Many families in this area live off less than $100 per month and this barely supports a family, let alone offers any chance to escape poverty. One Family is an Australian volunteer group that focuses on providing small grants to one family at a time. By providing materials, food and health care, they can make a big difference in the lives of Cambodians. Below are some examples of One Family beneficiaries, for more information, see Our Programs and Success Stories.
An English doctor, Simon Stock and his family, live and work in Cambodia and are doing some great work in the community. They knew that one of the major health issues is lack of access to clean drinking water and that a lot of families get their water from the river and boil it before drinking, or buy water bottles. Both methods are costly and dehydration amongst children is common. Simon’s son-in-law, Davey, started a program to provide water filters to remote homes and began his project in Peas, a remote community.
After a lot of trial and error, Davey found that the most effective filters were biosand water filters (manufactured locally) combined with Sawyer filters (from the USA). The whole packages costs just US$50 and produces water to World Health Organization standards; validated by their in-house water testing facility. The big advantage of biosand filters is that they have a very long life-span (over 10 years) and don't get clogged easily. It is essential that they are used daily so they are only offered to families who show an interest in learning how to look after them. The team carries out follow up visits on each filter 3 times in the first year, (after 1 month, 6 months and 12 months) to make sure the filters are being used correctly. The results of this project are clear - one water filter results in savings of up to US$30 per month which can be spent instead on nutritious food, and people are healthier and not suffering diarrhea and stomach complaints.
The people of Peas are extremely poor and make around $2 or $3 a day as casual agricultural workers. The above house is typical of dwellings in Peas – it is so flimsy that the water filter had to be put outside. In 2016, One Family provided US$400 to buy 10 filters and another $750 was provided in 2017.
On your bike!
One Family volunteer, Sandra Dodson, arrived in February 2017 with a dream to provide bike training, helmets and T shirts to 200 kids. During her stay, ‘On your Bike Courses’ were run at three primary schools and the children learned basic bicycle care and maintenance, riding skills and general road safety awareness. Importantly each child received a helmet as well as an ‘On your Bike’ tee shirt and sticker.
Not only did Sandra run the training, but she also had enough money left in the kitty to buy brand new bikes for eight very lucky kids. The eight were selected because they had all been identified by CAD as kids who come from particularly poor backgrounds. They live a long way from the school and do not have bikes of their own. The children themselves are typically “stoic”; they don’t complain and just take each day as it comes. Here is just one of their stories.
Thai is aged 14 years. Her mother died when she was 5 years old and her father now finds work as a fisherman or in the forest. Her house was set fire to by “some bad men” when her father was away one time and they cannot move back there because of smoke damage. She and her two sisters/one brother all live with their uncle and there are 12 people in the house.
This project will make a huge difference in the lives of these children. The secondary school is nearly 17 kilometres away and it would be impossible to get there without bikes. All except one said that they now plan to go to secondary school – but it is hard to know what the future holds for these kids.
Nang lived with his grandmother in a shack next to the road. During rainy season, their home flooded and they had to sleep on the road. His parents had gone to Thailand, taking his four brothers and sisters with them. One Family provided equipment for fishing, a bicycle and also a monthly supply of food for the family and now their situation is much better and Nang plans to go to secondary school.
To find out more about children helped by Classroom of Hope and One Family, see Programs and Success Stories - Children.