Khoun didn’t expect her own life to be transformed. At first this mother in Cambodia was just grateful for the chance for her 12-year-old daughter Sievminh to become a sponsored child through Food for the Hungry (FH). Khoun and her husband Chanthon struggled to provide for their 3 children. Their income as rice and cassava farmers didn’t provide enough resources for the family.
Life Before Child Sponsorship
Dirty water, pulling the kids out of school to help farm, and getting sick from improper sanitation were just a way of life for them before child sponsorship. “My family was living in a difficult situation because our education and knowledge was limited,” Khoun shares.
“I also lived with an unclean and untidy environment. I didn’t know how to clean the house, get clean water, or practice hand washing. I didn’t understand nutrition basics for my children or how to save money for their education and future.”
Khoun knew they weren’t thriving, but she didn’t have the resources she needed to change their lives. “I didn’t want to see how my children’s futures would look even worse than mine,” Khoun shares.
The Transformation Begins
Khoun’s first experience with FH was educational training to help her children do better in school. And the first lesson was, “learning starts at home.” She heard how to set up a learning space for their children in their home, how to help with their homework after school, and how to use toys and play to help them learn. Both parents started reading books in their native language, Khmer, to Sievminh. FH also coached her and other parents on how to engage effectively with her children’s teachers. “I am really overjoyed, and have more courage since I have engaged with FH activities … FH doesn’t leave me behind. I live in a remote area, but my family could get all these opportunities in the FH program,” Khouin says.
In watching her daughter thrive with FH, she developed a deep understanding of the value of education and its ability to transform their lives.
The Ripple Effect: Child Sponsorship Creates Positive Change
Because of these changes, Sievminh’s sponsorship didn’t just help her. It empowered her whole family.
“Since my parents got involved in the FH program,” Sievminh shares, “they have changed their attitude. My mother takes her time to teach me at home and check my homework. My parents always ask me and my brother about our results in studies, and encourage us to attend school regularly.”
Before FH, Sievminh’s family didn’t have the resources necessary to thrive. But now they do. In addition to participating in the education initiative, FH trained Khoun and her husband in improved agricultural practices, health and hygiene, nutrition, leadership skills, and business practices. As a result, they’re overcoming the challenges of extreme poverty and can take better care of their family.
These skills have not only changed their current circumstances; they have equipped this family for a lifetime.
The Brighter Path Ahead
Khoun has big hopes for her children’s future. She hopes they will go to college, ending the generational cycle of poverty in their family. She wants to continue impacting her community, too.
“I want all parents to understand the importance of taking care of their children and letting them attend school regularly. Because children will become our next generation. Like bamboo, the children will continue to develop our community and share their knowledge, skills, and attitude for sustainability in community development.”
The future looks bright for Sievminh. She dreams of pursuing a career that will further impact families like hers. “My parents often ask me about my future plan in studies, and I really want to become a teacher. Because I want to teach other children in my community and want to see all of them have a good education.”
Thanks to child sponsors partnering with FH, these big dreams are possible for Khoun and Sievminh. The whole family experienced the life-changing effects of child sponsorship and are able to grow, learn, and reach their God-given potential. Now they’re eager to keep expanding that impact throughout their community.