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Dream Big for Vithu Village: Anna

All this week, we’re introducing you to some of the children living in remote Vithu Village, a region in western Cambodia which just five years ago was littered with landmines. As the explosive devices have been cleared, an increasing number of impoverished families have moved to the village despite it having no electricity, clean water, or school. Of the almost 100 children who currently live in Vithu Village, most suffer from chronic malnutrition. LWB has set a big goal to start a primary school in the heart of Vithu Village, including a daily hot lunch program, to make sure the children have the opportunity to receive an education and a nutritious meal each day.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna, a sweet 12-year-old with seven brothers and sisters. Her mother, who works as a migrant worker in the cassava fields, moved her family to remote Vithu Village two years ago after hearing that people who were severely impoverished could get a small plot of land of their very own.

We first learned about the great needs of the children living in this area when we were delivering emergency food supplies. When Anna heard some of her neighbors ask our team if a school could ever be brought to her village, she became very excited. She told our team that since moving to this rural region, she has never attended school.

Anna really wants to see a school open so her little brother Ned might have the chance to go to school as well. He is an extremely active little boy who never likes to leave his sister’s side. Last week, when our team returned to do a full assessment of all the children in the village, five-year-old Ned thought the ink pen our director was using was great fun indeed. Once a school is up and running, we have a feeling that Ned’s new teacher is sure going to be kept on her toes!

While their mom goes to work in the cassava fields, it is up to Anna to try and provide something to eat for her and her seven siblings each day. Many of the children living in Vithu shared with us that they have to fend for themselves while their parents leave the village all day looking for day labor. Far too many said they often go without meals.

Ned and Anna both have hair that has lightened due to a lack of good nutrition, and both children are physically stunted in their growth. We know that having access to a daily hot lunch each day at a new village school would impact their health long-term.

When our team spoke with Anna last week about the possibility of having a new school open in the heart of her village, she couldn’t believe the promising news. She replied, “I am excited to go to school…I can’t wait! I want to be a good student and study until I graduate from high school someday. I would like to be a nurse. I want to earn enough money to buy food for my family to no longer be hungry, and I want my mom to be able to take some rest.”

It’s for children like Anna that we’re dreaming BIG for the children in Vithu Village. We are getting closer and closer to our goal of creating a school program here, with a daily hot lunch as well.

A donation of any amount will help start a village primary school for Anna, her brother Ned, and the 90 other children who are ready to enroll. Please join with us!

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