The Safety Net

A hungry Child Takes a Big Bite of Food

Welcome to a new direction for the TPRF blog.  We are expanding our focus to offer our readers in-depth coverage of humanitarian and peace efforts occurring around the world.  We will also keep you updated on Ghana and the other Food for People centers as these stories develop.

The Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) is a safety net for abused, malnourished, and neglected children. It is frightening to think where many of the children of families living in desperate circumstances at a toxic landfill in Phnom Penh would be without the life-saving services CCF delivers. Take three-year-old Tola for example.  CCF sent this report to TPRF about Tola and her family:

Tola is an active and curious three-year-old. She loves hugs and attention from Scott (Director of CCF) and her caretakers at the Cambodian Children’s Fund nursery. Tola’s home life is not a happy one. Her father drinks and is abusive, and her mother has difficulty staying motivated. Sometimes, Tola’s parents make only $2.00 per day scavenging garbage at the toxic landfill site, barely enough to support her family of five.

When Tola first came to Cambodian Children’s Fund, her body mass index was off the chart—she was tiny.  Since enrolling in CCF’s food program, Tola has thrived, but there have also been stumbles. Earlier this year, the medical staff hospitalized her for a prolapsed rectum.  The primary cause for this condition in children is malnutrition. Tola’s severe abuse and neglect have also affected her psychological development.

While CCF cannot change the past, the organization and its dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure that children like Tola have the chance to grow up in a healthy and nurturing environment.  CCF is working closely with hundreds of families like Tola’s to break cycles of poverty and abuse.  Tola and each of her sisters receive full-time care in CCF programs.  CCF enrolled Tola’s youngest sister into the nursery program almost immediately after birth to ensure her wellbeing.

In addition to care, early education, and nutritional support, Cambodian Children’s Fund provides $1.50, rice and soup to Tola’s family to promote daily school attendance and a healthier home life. Over the past year, Tola’s weight and height have steadily increased, and she has been able to focus more on just being a kid.

For the third year in a row, The Prem Rawat Foundation has granted $25,000 to the Cambodian Children’s Fund to help it extend a robust range of life-saving and life-enhancing services to hundreds of destitute families like Tola’s.

*Photos courtesy of the Cambodian Children’s Fund.



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