We’t got a little tiger baby to show you!
Do you remember Chavy, the little baby who was terribly thin and sick because her mom had been driven to begging, and could only feed her sugared water?
Well, here she is today!
That’s our Chavy, with round cheeks and soft dark hair to go with her soft dark eyes. When she’s not busy playing, she pulls herself up to stand and try a few steps.
Her big sister is back at school too, racing home every day to have a simple but healthy lunch and then play with her baby sister in their tiny home and help her mother prepare the baskets.
That’s the other surprise I wanted to tell you about – it is such a lovely surprise!
When we first met Chavy’s family, our priority was to get them back to health and out of immediate danger. Chavy’s mom was in poor health from years of malnourishment and childhood injuries that had damaged her hands.
We’ve been able to successfully help other women like her slowly train and find work that they can manage, so we told Chavy’s mother that when she was stronger, we would find an alternative training program for her.
Well, she got up as soon as she could and went round the markets to ask if anyone need a stall helper until she found someone willing to give her a chance. Then she came back and asked her neighbour for a small loan and bought baskets to sell on the side while she worked.
That’s why Chavy’s one of the luckiest little girls in the world. Her mom has been through so much – widowed twice, leaving a predatory husband, raped and infected with HIV.
But she gets up each day and tries hard to make a better life for her daughters. They are loved so hard by their “Tiger Mom”, those two little girls.
We’re doing a lot: kindergarten, health care, milk when Chavy was sick, advice and counselling from our nurses and social workers, and the direct cash aid of US$46 that lets Chavy’s mom plan for the future.
What we really need from you…
Riverkids works with children and families in danger of abuse and trafficking in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
We identify children at high risk because of extreme poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling, child abuse or other children or family involved in trafficking. Then, we talk with the families to work out what help they need and what will keep their children safe.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as getting the children enrolled in school. Other times, we need to provide emergency shelter for abused children and urgent medical care to prevent a greater crisis. For our families, selling their children is a desperate solution to complicated long-term problems that can’t be quickly solved, but instead need patience and compassion to find practical solutions like vocational training and family counselling.
Our community centers are within walking distance from the crowded and dangerous slums our families live in. That makes it easy for the families to ask for help during an emergency, and makes our centers part of the local community. We hire staff from the local slums where possible too.
Riverkids works with children and families at risk for trafficking and abuse in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Most of our children are high-risk because their families have deep challenges such as drug, alcohol or gambling addiction, or a chronic illness like HIV or serious physical disabilites, or single parent households in desperately poor circumstances with no extended family support, have family members involved in trafficking or sex work, or have already sold a child.It’s very important that we work with the whole family, not just a child at risk. Removing a child from their family and community is our last resort because of the additional trauma and loss that often causes.Instead, we look first to repair the family or to find either extended kin who can help or a foster family within the same community. When one child is at risk, it’s very likely that their brothers and sisters are also in danger.By working with all of them and their parents to figure out what has driven the family to abuse and trafficking, we can come up with solutions that help not just one child, but the whole family and their community.Paying a child’s school fees is the first step. The real solution is helping his mum find a safe reliable job so she can afford to pay his school fees, and giving her guidance and support so she believes that her child has a better future with education. That’s change that will last.
- Donate: The best way to help is also the simplest: donate! You can make a single donation online or donate every month for a huge difference. Support a specific program or site that’s close to your heart: Alexandra, Blum or Railway Two, or one of our programs. Looking to donate items in Singapore or Cambodia? Find out more! And we’re always happy to talk about grants and fundraising ideas.[paypal-donation]
- Sign up to volunteer! We need volunteers in Cambodia, Singapore and online. We work with short and long-term volunteers, as well as school groups. Read our FAQ on volunteering, download Riverkids volunteer forms and learn from stories from other volunteers.
- Speak out! Child trafficking and exploitation needs silence to flourish. If you’re in Cambodia, take our Riverkids Advocacy Tour to learn firsthand about life in the slums and child trafficking in Cambodia. We’ve got books, films and website recommendations too.
Our mission aims directly at the root causes of poverty and keeps the children safe from trafficking. TRUST Over a decade of community ties means parents trust us. The community we work in does not trust the authorities or outsiders. They are suspicious and secretive, especially about child trafficking. When...
The Kingdom of Cambodia, called Kampuchea in Khmer, is a small state in South East Asia. Cambodia borders Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. The capital is Phnom Penh with about 4 million people Most of the 13 million population is ethnic Khmer, followed by ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese, Muslim Cham and some...
Free shipping in Singapore and a flat fee of US$10 applies for shipping abroad Combining the heartbreaking true stories of life in the slums of Cambodia with beautiful portraits of families and children, Eight Stories is a book you’ll read cover to cover and share. These eight stories of children...