Meet Nimol! He’s the boy with the wide smile, in the cream-colored shirt. At seven years old, Nimol lives in Cambodia. He’s surrounded by his sisters in this photo, and pointing to something super important that Food for the Hungry taught his family to use….
But I’m getting ahead of myself —
Nimol lives with his mom, sisters and grandparents. His dad died about a year ago. Food for the Hungry helps his mother by teaching her how to increase her family income via a savings group. At the same time, Nimol is learning some important life lessons.
Learning Respect … Cambodia Style
After school, Nimol attends FH’s Children’s Club. The club helps Nimol with school work, and teaches character development as well. One of the first things Nimol learned was how to respect his elders. In this photo, Nimol (in the blue jacket) is respectfully greeting his Children’s Club teacher. He’s learned to greet people like teachers, grandparents and his mother when he meets them and when he leaves them.
(“But this teacher looks awfully young,” you might say. Yes, he’s in seventh grade. Food for the Hungry helps teenagers learn responsibility and community development. They work as volunteer teachers at Children’s Club.)
One of the things Nimol and his friends learn at Children’s Club is how to take care of their bodies properly. They receive hygiene and nutrition classes. In this picture, the teacher ensures that the students have trimmed and clean fingernails.
Washing hands is an important lesson in Children’s Club, in addition to keeping nails trimmed. The children are eager to take the lessons home and ask their parents to put them in practice. That’s what happened here, in a photo showing a hand washing station. This water station is made with affordable materials they can easily find. It helps the children wash their hands before eating or after going to the bathroom.
Clean yards = more time in school?
Nimol and his sister also insisted that the family build a latrine. This helps to keep their yard and drinking water clean. They learned how latrines help you stay healthy in Children’s Club. Hand washing and latrines prevent children from getting sick. That helps them attend school more. And attending school more means children are more likely to do well, and to keep attending to the secondary school level.
Additionally, Nimol’s family collects trash in a central receptacle. Instead of a yard dedicated to trash, the family now has a vegetable garden that FH taught them to grow. Children’s Clubs in Cambodia often organize community trash collection days to clean up their entire village. FH teaches that they not only should care about their house, but they should care about their neighbors as well.
A Happy Family
Nimol says, “I’m very happy that I can attend Children’s Club. I have learned a lot, like things that help me in school and a knowledge of health, and how to greet people. And I especially like playing with friends!”
Nimol’s aunt, who is also involved with FH, says, “I’m very happy with FH being in my village. They help develop children so they have more opportunities to learn. As a result, children are more courageous, have good morals, and possess knowledge of good hygiene and sanitation practices.”
“I’m very happy that my nephew is still very young, but he is very intelligent and seems to know even more than the elders,” says Nimol’s aunt. “That is an unexpected thing for a child his age.”
You can help children in Cambodia and other countries by sponsoring them with a monthly donation. With your help, we can teach other children and their parents about health and hygiene, while at the same time developing their character and leadership skills for the future.
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