‘These children need to be loved’: Geraldine Cox on staring down her darkest days

She has run orphanages in Cambodia for decades, against huge odds. But in 2017, the Australian known as Big Mum faced her greatest fear – having to close down her operation.

I’m in an upmarket French restaurant on a steamy evening in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, and Geraldine Cox is watching me eat. It’s not a comfortable sensation. “Are you going to finish that off?” she asks suddenly, waving at a dish of fish and noodles between us. I sense, somehow, that Yes isn’t the right answer. So I say No.

“Good!” responds the Australian known for championing orphans in one of the world’s poorest countries. She gestures to a hovering waiter to pack up the food. “There’s a lot of people at home who’ll enjoy that,” she says happily. I put down my chopsticks, and nod to the waiter that he can add the other dishes to the feast, too. I know when I’m beaten.

In full: https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/these-children-need-to-be-loved-geraldine-cox-on-staring-down-her-darkest-days-20190611-p51wjr.html

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