Update on Educate a Girl – guest post by Karen Owens

Educate a Girl started when Nick the tuk-tuk driver asked me to help with the fees for his oldest daughter to go to a good school. He would pay for the books and the uniforms. Then his three other daughters wanted to go to the same school as their sister.

I asked friends — hey, I’m very talented at spending other people’s money — and they came to the school picnic.

The latest report is from Karen Owens – aka The Nurse – about Nuch – pronounced No-ugh – who recently started school.

Nuch proudly wearing her new school uniform.
Nuch proudly wearing her new school uniform.

As The Nurse is living in Phnom Penh she regularly sees the dump people. Nuch_and_Malay

Any money you care to donate to help girls from the Stung Meanche garbage dump go to school, we can use. Thank you and we will keep people in the loop about how the students who appreciate education so much are doing. If you would like to contribute, I can send you my Canadian bank details and/or The Nurse’s Paypal address.

Best, Jody



Nuch and her grandmother, Malay.

Update on Educate a Girl – guest post by Karen Owens

Greetings All,

On February 9th, 2016, a very excited little girl named Nuch started school. This would not have been possible without the financial help from Peggy Buckley and Catherine Holtslander.

Nuch is seven and a half years old and has only attended school for about six months in her life. In the western world we take it for granted that our children will attend school and receive education from the age of five. But here in Cambodia it is very different for many children like Nuch.

For her it is a dream that is coming true, because she is attending a good school that will teach her English and Khmer, the national language of Cambodia. The cost of this is approximately $13USD per week. This includes all fees, uniforms and books.

Her family said Nuch has been walking around with a big grin ever since she was enrolled in school. She says Arkun (Khmer for thank you) to everyone that has made this opportunity possible for her.

Educate a Girl and Change the World will continue to support girls like Nuch and we thank everyone that donates money to this worthy cause. 100% of all money given goes directly to the education of the girls so the money goes a lot farther than it does with NGOs with high administrative overhead.

Aunt Vichika, cousin David,

Nuch — check the smile on her face — and  grandmother Malay.



Cerberus: Beware of the Insurance Dog That Will Try to Bite You

Dear Katrina,

Thank you for your message reporting that World Nomads has become involved in my bereavement claim and that $2,500NZD will be deposited into my account. Much appreciated.

To put the situation into perspective, my 56 year old brother dropped dead from a heart attack on 3 September, 2015. I didn’t go to Canada as I had been there two months earlier and we had spent quality time together. And I had just started Spanish classes in Medellin.

Then my 48 year old brother did the same thing on 6 November – three months and three days later –and I got on the plane to Canada for his funeral. Next, my 92 year old father quietly slipped away on 30 November. I had only been back in Colombia for 11 days and couldn’t face another trip. We had already said our good-byes.

So three family deaths in three months and I have to deal with bureaucracy, death certificates and attending physicians reports to claim a ticket for my second brother’s funeral. Then Cerberus comes back to me demanding his medical records. Really?

The pettiness of the bureaucracy continues to upset me. Who – except for questionable insurance companies, of which Cerberus lead the pack – cares how and why someone died?

While I realize it is the way slimy insurance companies worm out of paying, it is both immoral and unethical. Or, as one of the comments on my Facebook post said “Insurance companies belong in the ninth circle of hell.” Agreed.

Dead is dead and grief is grief. World Nomads could set a precedent by doing away with quibbling about details and leaving people alone to go through their mourning. New Zealand has euthanasia on the table. So how will World Nomads deal with that one? Time to get start thinking about it.

Pre-Existing Condition

I forwarded your message to my sister-in-law and she came back with the news that my brother’s insurance company had signed off on the claim as he didn’t have a pre-existing condition —

From: “Home” <>
Date: 2/10/16 10:27 pm
That is excellent Jody. I also received final payment today – after proving there was no pre-existing condition. Take care. 

When I asked if she had a certificate she replied –

No, I just gave them a list of doctors and permission and they dealt directly with the doctors. 

So – as a matter of principle – there was no pre-existing condition. But to return to my earlier statement, who cares if it was pre-existing, suicide or an accident as it wouldn’t make death any easier to deal with. Get human about it.

When you review how Cerberus deals with claims, I want to be part of the 360 process. The energy that was sucked dry by dealing with them caused almost as much grief as the three deaths.

They kept picking off the emotional scab – and that speaks volumes of how mercenary Cerberus is. Nobody, but nobody, should have to cope with that during a time of grief.

Best regards,

Jody Hanson


Tell Them Not to Die

Tell Them Not to Die

Planning an overseas trip? Going to insure with World Nomads – recommended by Lonely Planet – and underwritten by Cerberus? Make sure you tell everyone in your immediate family not to die while you are away.

Because if they are so inconsiderate as to check out while you are travelling abroad, returning to attend their funeral may turn into a major problem. Coping with the paper-pushers at Cerberus is enough to drive you to distraction. Or at least it did me.

When I rang World Nomads on 10 November 2015, I was told I could claim $2,500NZD for my trip to Canada to attend my brother’s funeral. When the claim was processed, however, the amount was reduced to $2,00NZD because my 48 year old brother – who had dropped dead from a heart attack – was deemed to have a “pre-existing medical condition.”

Really, and how did Cerberus get access to his medical records? One reason we – the family and the over 600 people who attended his funeral – went into shock was that he was about as healthy as could be. Does the photo of him that was taken an hour before he died look like “pre-existing medical conditions”? Photo_of_Chris

The following is the letter I wrote to Hannah at Cerberus. Her reply was another offer to settle for $2,000.

Does Cerberus teach employees how to pick off the scab of grief on a consistent basis? Their obvious approach is to keep battering away until they wear down your resistance so that you will sign off just to get them out of your life.

Happy travels. And don’t forget to tell everyone is your family to stay healthy as you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with Cerberus.

Open Letter to Cerberus

29 January 2016


Why does Cerberus keep changing the requirements for a bereavement claim? First you wanted a death certificate for my brother who died on 6 November 2015. Sent.

Next it was an autopsy report which I promised to forward when it was available.

When I sent the attending physician’s report that the cause of death was not a suicide, an accident or a homicide you replied by requesting his medical records to prove that it was not from a preexisting condition.

Right, so now you want me to ask my grieving sister-in-law to get a note from the local doctor that my strong, healthy brother who dropped dead from a heart attack didn’t have any earlier coronary problems?

Let me guess. The next demand will be to get his ashes tested to prove he didn’t die from polonium 210 poisoning.

And you come back to me with an offer of $2000NZD if I will sign off on the claim without having to go through the grief of this exercise. And all to save $500?

No. Enough is enough.

Dead is dead and the how, where, why, when doesn’t factor into the grieving process.

Therefore, I expect you to deposit $2,500NZD – as I was told on 10 November 2015 when I called World Nomads – into my account without any further paperwork.

Please let me know when this has been done.

Best regards,

Jody Hanson