It’s all about “families.”

Classes run each weekday from 8:00am-11: 00 am and from 2:00pm-5: 00 pm and meals are prepared for the children in the morning and at noon. A dose of vitamins is now being given to each child as well. Rice is given on a weekly basis to the poorest among us – 22 out of 56 families this quarter. Those families who have children with us on a part-time basis receive 3kg per child each week, and those on a full-time basis receive 5kg per child each week.

Preparation for Life and Practical Care

68 children met weekly on Thursdays for a time of singing, crafts, and teaching on good manners, polite speech, and the effects of gambling. For 16 girls from the age of 12 on we offered training on puberty and physical change. They were taught about physical growth, changing social dynamics, and managing menstruation. Our nurse is on-site to provide basic medical care and hospital referrals when needed. In the past quarter, many children received ongoing treatment for small wounds, signs of fever, and nausea; altogether, our nurse was visited 482 times. We had 4 cases which required hospital referrals for high fevers, emergency dental treatment, and fainting.

Help for Parents

Parenting meetings are held monthly, with meetings now being held solely in the communities where the families live. Caregivers are supported and given instruction on how to care for their children. 27 caregivers regularly attended the community meeting this quarter. Our social workers are continually visiting families in their homes, for both support and accountability and our 19 Khmer staff members receive on-going training, development, support and encouragement.

Ups and Downs…

This past quarter alone saw a total of 17 children drop out of studies with us. When the school year began in September we had 91 students engaged with us whereas we now have only 76. Many have relocated; some to find work in other communes or cities, while others have travelled to neighbouring countries. Still others simply wish to cease their studies and strike out in the workforce. This has a very significant impact on fellows classmates and in terms of continuity for our social workers and teachers. Since family relocation has been a common issue this quarter, our social workers have spent considerable time discussing the challenges that transient communities often face.

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