Emergency Food Relief Comes To A Flooded Region of Cambodia
As if the pandemic wasn’t enough to worry about right now, Cambodia has experienced massive flooding this past month. Tens of thousands of impoverished families have seen their homes and crops submerged.
After meeting with the Cambodian government’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children taskforce, we immediately got to work delivering essential food supplies to impacted children and families in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, and Pursat provinces. Over 8,000 pounds of food supplies were delivered last weekend alone.
We want to highlight just a few of the families helped through the kindness of those who support our Emergency Food Relief Fund.
In rural Pursat, many children are “left behind” in their villages as their desperate parents head across the border to Thailand to search for work. As we distributed food, we met many children living with an elderly grandparent. These three young children live with their 80-year-old grandma, and the oldest boy has the responsibility of caring for not only his little siblings but their grandmother as well.
Each day, he goes out to searches for food so they can have something to eat. None of the children have ever had a chance to learn to read. When our team talked to the six-year-old little girl about whether she had been to school before, she said, “What does school mean?” Instead, their days are spent just trying to survive.
This family of six children was also left behind to be cared for by an elderly grandma. Pre-COVID, the grandma received $50 a month from the children’s parents in Thailand, which was definitely not enough to feed all six children each day. During the pandemic, however, this family has received no funds at all and occasionally has had to plead with neighbors for food.
After not having enough to eat for over a month, their home flooded last week during the heavy rains. They were overjoyed to see our team arrive with enough provisions for the next month, and all the children had HUGE smiles when the first meal was prepared.
Another family our team met had been left homeless. They are now living on the ground under an old umbrella, and our director told us they have “no clothes, no school, and no food.”
The children spend their days walking from place to place asking if anyone will give them food to eat. These five children are especially vulnerable, and our team is working now to get them someplace safe. Despite all of their hardships, the older boy told us that he dreams of going to school someday because he wants to be a teacher.
Over a three day period, we met so many families whose homes were destroyed by the floods. One woman and her seven-year-old daughter were sleeping when floodwaters entered their home. When the water came up over their bed, they awoke and quickly climbed up onto the roof where they sat together in the dark, wondering how much higher the water would go. In the early morning, they saw that the roaring waters had sadly taken everything they owned…their chickens, a cow, and fruit trees. When the water quieted, they swam to a higher point and asked a neighbor for shelter. You can see that even the neighbor’s home, one of the highest in the area, is still covered with mud. Everyone was so grateful to have emergency food provided.
This week, we are raising funds to keep our Emergency Food Relief program going, as the pandemic has left millions of children at real risk of malnutrition.
Will you please consider a gift to help? Right now, a $20 sponsorship will be doubled to feed an entire family for one month. Together, we can make sure as many kids as possible get the life-sustaining food they need.
We’ve put together a short video about our distribution of Emergency Food Relief this past weekend, which you can watch below.