Dear Sombath…from Flip de Haan

Dear Sombath,

The letter I write to you was provoked by an initiative on Facebook. I think this is much in your spirit since I remember you speaking enthusiastically about the use of Internet (Google maps) by young students together with village elders in projects in the rural area. I still remember your inspiring presentation on a VSO workshop in Vang Vien in 2011. Your very personal approach appealed to me and I remember your, for me unexpected, reaction to some of my critical questions. We were the only two people in the room with some grey hairs and you received my comments with the remark that you were very happy with a more critical note since you were critical at heart yourself, but the only way to get things done was to remain optimistic.

I have tried to keep that lesson in mind since I heard of your disappearance, but I must say it becomes more and more difficult as time passes. Presently I work as an agricultural advisor in the Prisons of Malawi and I hope to be able to contribute a little to the situation of people in custody here in Africa. Let me end with pronouncing the hope that you will we a free man soon and assuring you that many people keep up the spirit of your attitude toward development for the poor since you inspired them.

Yours Sincerely,

Flip de Haan,

Zomba, Malawi