“Since my husband and my oldest son have experienced mental illness, we have fallen into so much debt. All responsibility is on me now. I just want the best for my children,” said Roth.
Roth is 50 years old and has six children. She and her husband live together with 3 of their children in a small house with no clean water or electricity, no toilet and a roof filled with holes.
Roth relies on her other 3 children who work in construction and live in another village to pay for the family’s expenses. Her husband, Samnang, and eldest son, Ri, both have a serious mental health condition that requires full-time care and professional support. Each week, Roth’s older children send her $12.50 for food and use the rest of their income to pay off the medical bills and hospital debts for Samnang and Ri.
But now, because of COVID-19, workplaces have shut down and the siblings can no longer work to support the family. Every night, Roth and her children need to go out to the rice fields to hunt for snails, frogs and crabs so the family has enough to eat.
“I’m worried about how I can find food to feed my family,” said Roth.
When we were alerted to Roth’s situation, our social workers and nurses responded immediately by delivering food supplies and medical care to the family at home.