“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.
Roth told us how her house was unsafe but they couldn’t afford to fix the holes in the roof. She said that in the monsoon season, their house always flooded and that they had to wait for hours until the rain stopped before they could sleep. Our construction team fixed the holes in the roof and our family finance team began coaching Roth in financial literacy in preparation of her starting her own business.
10-year-old Vin and 14-year-old Makara are Roth’s 2 youngest children. When we first met them, they had never been to school. We purchased school uniforms, school shoes, books, backpacks and helped them to enrol in public school for the first time. Although they are 10 and 14 years old, they have had to start in grade 1 with the other children who are approximately 6 years old. We will provide tutoring and any extra support they need to stay enrolled in school and hopefully catch up to their peers their own age in the coming years.
Our nurses assisted Roth to seek out professional mental health services for Samnang and Ri. They are both receiving support from professionals and regular check ups from our nurses and their condition is improving. Roth’s older children have returned to work and the family no longer requires monthly food deliveries from CCT.
Healthcare, house renovation, social work and education support have helped Roth and her entire family to get back on their feet. Access to all of these services is what helped Roth’s family.
Our Village Hive model creates an environment which makes it easier for vulnerable families to empower themselves. In this environment, families have access to vital support services, like health, housing, social work, education and financial coaching, which empower them to change their circumstances and move out of poverty.
Support families like Roth’s to move out of poverty, permanently. Donate today – cambodianchildrenstrust.org/donate.