Get the full story of "A Journey to Cambodia"
Comcast SportsNet will debut Part 1 of "From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia," a landmark, behind-the-scenes, two-part documentary at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with Part 2 premiering at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14.
The documentary tells the story of two Chicago sports industry veterans -- Bill Smith (team photographer for the Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears) and Joe ONeil (Bulls senior director of ticket operations) -- who are changing the lives of hundreds of children and their families in poverty-stricken Cambodia.
"The board of directors of 'A New Day Cambodia' is thrilled that Comcast SportsNet visited Cambodia to see our accomplishments," said ONeil. "The CSN crew was present as we marked our five-year anniversary since opening our first center. One hundred children who previously scavenged garbage 10-12 hours a day now attend school full-time, speak English and have opportunities that never previously existed. We are excited that Comcast SportsNet will tell our story to help our visibility and awareness."
In July, CSN anchorreporter Chuck Garfien, along with CSN photographer Matt Zickus and associate producer Justin ONeil traveled with Smith and Joe ONeil to Cambodia to witness and document the difference being made by the pair and the foundation they helped create, A New Day Cambodia. The organization provides shelter, food, and education for those in need.
"From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia" is a follow-up to CSNs Emmy-nominated 2010 documentary, "Bill Smith: Lasting Impressions," which introduced Smith and his wife, Lauren, and the life-changing trip they took to Cambodia in 2002.
During that visit, the two witnessed heart-breaking scenes of poverty -- families living in a garbage dump, scavenging for item in it that would be worth pennies and totaled less than 10 per month -- and decided on-the-spot to sponsor some of the children, remove them from those conditions and worked to send them to school.
From the Sports World to the Third World: A Journey to Cambodia features some of the children who have benefitted from the work of A New Day Cambodia and the newfound hope they have as a result.
"When you come back to the center three or six months later, the look and sparkle in their eyes is just the biggest difference their eyes hopelessness becomes hope for a future, and its not just that they are clean. They have a whole different persona," Bill Smith said. They hold their head higher, they have pride, they can take care of themselves and feel more human than they were before."