provided essential nutrition to Cambodian children!
Valerie raised $586!
This paid for:
2250 nutritious school lunches and multi-vitamin tablets
As a holistic nutritionist, I am passionate about the relationship of the mind, body and spirit. I believe in the healing power of nutrients that come from food, and the powerful emotional wellbeing it provides. In Cambodia, despite efforts from other organizations, thousands of children can go all day without eating. Commonly, school lunch is the only meal they will have for the day. I am compelled to help these children.
“It takes each of us to make a difference for all of us.” - Jackie Mucheson
Valerie was able to visit the children she sponsored and deliver food to their homes.
She even built a micro-website for the school's new vocational training centre!
Eng Ra's Story
Aged 10, Cambodia
Today, Cambodia’s new generations continue to suffer severely from malnourishment with an estimated 4.8 million Cambodians living in poverty. In the slums of Siem Reap, is not unusual for a family of 6 or more people to be sharing the same small shack with walls made of rubbish they have collected on the streets. They usually sleep on nothing but a thin mat on a concrete floor, surrounded by an infestation of rats. They have a high risk of catching malaria and other mosquito transmitted diseases, as well as various waterborne illnesses from the streams they source their water from.
With an estimated 73.9% adult illiteracy in Cambodia, 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.
Eng Ra is one of these children. When Ra was 7 months old, her mother ran away with another man and left her and two other siblings in the care of her 80 year old mother, KaRorn. As well as her own family, KaRorn feeds, bathes and provides safety for two other girls who live next door as their mother can’t look after them adequately. KaRorn’s husband died last year, leaving her with the sole responsibility of providing for all these children. KaRorn can only afford 50 cents to buy 1kg of rice per day which is not enough to feed 6 people for a whole day. Her only source of income is collecting rubbish from the streets which gets her around $1-$2 a day.
It was evident that Eng Ra was severely underweight and malnourished when she arrived in the care of Feeding Dreams Cambodia – a free school which provides education and nutrition to children living in the slums of Siem Reap. She needed urgent assistance if she was to keep her strength to battle for her life. Her face gaunt, her body frail, Ra had also suffered from worms for 3 years, as well as frequent stomach aches and fatigue. She occasionally visited the doctor at the children’s hospital for free but her medication was expensive. KaRorn worked very hard to earn money to treat Ra’s worms but more often than not she could not afford the medicine.
With patience, devotion and a daily supply of vitamins alongside nutritious meals at Feeding Dreams, Ra’s health improved dramatically. Now she receives regular medication to treat her worms, plus two multi-vitamin tablets a day. Ra’s beginning to gain weight and concentrates much better in class, showing a vast improvement from when she first arrived at Feeding Dreams.
Given the severe conditions of these students’ lives, guaranteeing them daily nutritious meals is a top priority. Feeding Dreams provide a meal every day for 600 students, cooked by Khmer 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 and vegetables to tagarsoup and bobor. Bobor is a highly nutritious rice porridge, cooked with ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, octopus and pigs blood curd. 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. On top of this the students each receive boiled eggs and multi-vitamins. All ingredients are sourced from local markets supporting the parents of the children who sell vegetables. The students eat as much as they like each day and any leftovers are taken home to their families.