Support Srey Mao to offer free school lunches to kids in Cambodia
$1,200 will pay for:
One full year's worth of nutritious school lunches for 20 children.
Srey Mao's story
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Srey Mao was born into a rural family of 11, during the reign of the Khmer Rouge where the genocide led by dictator Pol Pot killed around 25% of the total Cambodian population. As a young child Srey Mao watched 3 brothers and 1 sister die of starvation and sickness under the brutal regime.
Starvation and malnourishment are still acute issues in Cambodia today, with an estimated 4.8 million Cambodians living in poverty. Many adults struggle to earn a basic wage to provide for their families, and face a constant battle to find enough money for basic meals. As many as a third of all Cambodian children die from chronic malnourishment so it is vital that children have access to the nutrients and vitamins they need to avoid micronutrient deficiency.
Srey Mao’s 4 remaining siblings married and started their own families, but Srey Mao never married as she felt it her responsibility to work hard and help raise and support her younger siblings after her parents died.
Srey Mao strongly believes that nutrition is the key to health and prosperity and found work as a chef at a children's shelter. She worked her way up to becoming head chef at a school for underprivileged children, which provides free education and nutritious meals to children living in the urban slums of Siem Reap.
The daily meals Srey Mao cooks are made with fresh local ingredients which provide the essential nutrients the children lack from their diet at home. The dishes vary from fried rice with chicken/pork and vegetables, to pumpkin and coconut milk soup, to bobor. Bobor is a highly nutritious rice porridge, cooked with ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, octopus and a wide variety of herbs. It has many benefits including reinforcing the digestive system and nourishing other organs, as well as providing essential energy to the children. Bobor is rich with vitamins such as iron, magnesium, vitamin B & C and is low in fat. Srey Mao also provides each child with a boiled egg and a multi-vitamin each day.
The success of the Srey Mao's school meals program is evidenced through the physical and mental growth of the students. The food program enables the kids to develop properly and focus on their education.
Srey Mao has fought many obstacles in her life but remains committed to serving the children at the school. She continues to upgrade her skills, and loves her job as a cook. Her strong work ethic and warm, loving character are an inspiration to the children she feeds every day.