Cambodia: "I struggled a lot to feed everyone"

22 Apr, 2021

On April 7, 8 and 9, we distributed rice to 147 families in the slums of Phnom Penh particularly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, alongside our partner SKO.

"Today, I don't know if I'm happy or sad," said Stéphanie SelleCambodia Director of Planète Enfants & Développement.

"I'm happy to meet you. But I'm also sad because the virus is making people's lives, your lives, even more difficult than usual."

The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a significant loss of income for the poor people living near the Tonle Sap River. Usually earning their living as tuk tuk drivers, fruit sellers at restaurants, garbage collectors, many of them have lost their jobs due to the pandemic which has led to the closure of restaurants, the halt of tourism and a decrease in the use of transportation.

Sokhanya*, mother of 3 children, works as a garbage collector for a private company. Her husband has no job, and his only income was not enough to support his family. " Before Covid, my children supplemented our after-school income by selling fruit to restaurant owners. The Covid-19 crisis caused us to lose that extra income, so I struggled a lot to feed everyone." explains Sokhanya.

The commune authorities were responsible for identifying families to support, such as the one in Sokhanya. Pov Huot, chief of the commune of Chbar Ampov 1, first met with the different village chiefs to discuss. Then the commune officers visited the families in difficulty to assess their situation and identify those most in need of support. " We first contacted the Red Cross through the district. The Phnom Penh City Hall also mobilized its resources. Then I contacted the network of NGO partners and individual donors to complete the intervention for the poorest people. We also conducted awareness-raising activities about the virus and distributed free masks every day.he says.

Sokhanya is relieved: "I now have enough to feed my family for two weeks thanks to the 25 kilos of rice I received."

Planète Enfants & Développement has been supporting the communes of Chbar Ampov 1&2, Deaum Chan, Deaum Chan 1 and Preak for 3 years with the Hali project which renovates houses and carries out micro-projects to solve problems raised by the communities: sewage systems, bridges... The social component of the project also allows us to support and accompany the most vulnerable families in solving their psychosocial problems and to fight against gender-based violence in the communities. Sov, who received rice on Thursday, has also benefited from a renovation of his house in recent months.

April 21, 2021

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