House 97D Street 292 Sangkat Olympic, Khan Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia contact@damnoktoek.org +85517471291

Story

Intellectual Disabilities Little life

     Panh Niley was born August 8th, 2006 at Tbaing Khpous Village in Kampong Chhnang Province in a poor family. Unfortunately she has cerebral palsy associated with disorders (epilepsy). She lived with her family until her six years old. Because of her disability she was neglected and her family struggled a lot to support her. Every day, they were obliged to leave her alone to be able to go to work. One day in 2012 Panh’s parents decided to abandon her near a Pagoda in Phnom Penh.

     Then, Panh Niley was taken care of ByKota House a shelter in Phnom Penh to protect vulnerable children. Nevertheless this shelter was not specialized with children with disability especially children with severe disability like Panh Niley.

     In 2017 Damnok Toek was contacted by Mosvy, Uncicef and Bykota House to take care Panh Niley because, the living conditions proposed by Bykota House did not suit Panh Niley’s needs. Indeed due to her disability she needed very specific care such as physiotherapy and ergo therapy and Bykota House was unable to provide such specific care.

     After assessment, Panh Niley was referred to Damnok Toek’s Phnom Penh center in May 2017. This center was created to be adapted to welcome children with physical and mental disabilities. However, Damnok Toek closed this center in July 2018. This decision was made because after 15 years of existence the Phnom Penh center was not adapted anymore for children with disabilities because of the urbanization of the neighborhood.

     All the beneficiaries were transferred in a bright new center in Neak Loeung. This new center was designed to offer better support to children with disability especially in terms of medical assistance. Alongside the residential center, Damnok Toek has opened a rehabilitation center, where children have access to specific therapy such as physiotherapy, ergo therapy, different kind of adapted recreational activities.

      When Panh Niley arrived in Damsnok Toek’s center, she was weak and had very little autonomy. Moreover she was very sensitive and often cried without apparent reason. Month after month living in Damnok Toek’s center Panh Niley has started to smile and become more autonomous. Moreover thanks to an adapted nutrition she takes weight and become healthier.

     Currently, Panh Niley is able to eat alone without educators help. Moreover she seems happier than before and a lot more alert. Most important thanks to the daily care and patience of Damnok Toek’s educators, Panh Niley is starting to make people understand what she wants or doesn’t want.

    After few months of physiotherapy and ergo therapy Panh Niley is already beginning to feel benefits in term of posture and interaction with others. Today she is able to play games on her own, which was not the case some months ago.

Labor Abuse at Thailand life

        Chandran Sean is 13 years old and the youngest sibling of a family of 6 children. He was born in Beanteameanchey town in a very poor family. Sean’s father died when he was only 1 years old. In 2015, driven by poverty and lack of economic opportunities in Cambodia, Sean’s mother decided to migrate to Bangkok with Sean. Sean’s siblings were already old enough to take care of themselves. One of the objectives for this migration was to gather enough money to build a house back in Cambodia. Unfortunately, as an illegal migrant it was very hard for Sean’s mother to find a proper job, most of the time she was obliged to beg on the street with her son. The child succeeded in earning between 300 and 400 Bath (9/12$) every day. Some of this money was given to Sean’s mother; the rest was used by Sean to buy food.

       One day as Sean was begging with his mother, the Thai police came and arrested both of them. They stay 2 days in the police station. Then Sean was separated from his mother to be sent in a Children center in Banphumvet. Sean stayed there almost one year before to be deported in Cambodia through the Poipet border. There, Sean was taken care of by Damnok Toek’s social worker from the Border Drop In Center. Then Sean was transferred in Damnok Toek’s Reception Center.

       At his arrival in the Reception Center, Sean was experiencing his adolescent growth spurt and was growing up very fast, but in the same time he experienced memory problems and seemed a little traumatized: he looked easily panicked and was very quiet. In the Reception Center Sean was provided with regular nutritious meals and social services, such as basic counseling, life skill and informal education, art therapy, recreational activities etc… After almost one year of living in the Reception Center, Sean seems to have adapted well his new living condition, he looks happier; he is less shy and plays with the other children. Moreover he participates to all the activities, including handicraft, gardening and drawing.

       During his childhood Sean didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. In the Reception center he learned some basic Khmer literacy and mathematics. Now he is able to read alone and reading is one of his favorite hobbies. Sean is very motivated to catch up with his study and to graduate. In the future he wants to be mechanic, to earn a salary and be able to help his family. His dream is to build a house and live again together with his sibling and his mother.

      For the moment, Sean’s mother still lives around Poipet, but after assessment Damnok Toek’s social workers preferred to keep Sean in the center. Indeed for the moment his mother living situation is not stable, she crosses the Thai border often sometimes for several month to work in Thailand. In these conditions there is a high risk for Sean to be obliged to beg again if he returns with his mother. Sean’s sibling had also poor economic situation and they refused to take care of Sean. Sean’s biggest brother is the only one in the family to have a stable job in Kampong Cham. Unfortunately he’s already using a big part of his salary to help other members of the family and he is unable to welcome Sean.

      Damnok Toek plan for Sean’s future is for the moment to keep him in the Reception Center. When he will be ready he will certainly integrate Damnok Toek’s Transitional Care Center and maybe go to Damnok Toek’s Non formal Education classes. In parallel Damnok Toek’s social workers will continue to work with Sean’s mother in order to try to stabilize her situation. Damnok Toek always keep in mind to find solution for family reintegration.

Street Life in Poipet to be bright at NFE

     Teveh is a young girl of 12 years old. She is the 3rd sibling of a family of five children. Her family is originated of Poipet surrounding. When Teveh was younger, her father was working as a construction worker and her mother as a seller in the market village. During this period the family income was not very high and the parents couldn’t afford to pay school fees and material to send their children to school. Teveh’s father was an alcoholic and he often used violence at home. One day authorities came to seize Teveh’s family house and land. Her father opposed the force of order with violence; as a result he was sentenced with 2 years of imprisonment. Teveh’s family economic situation after this event went worse because Teveh’s mother needed to take care of her husband in jail (in Cambodia families need to care about their relative in prison because the food isn’t enough to survive there). During this time the family’s children needed to take care of themselves, they workedto buy their own food by collecting junk in the street.

     Teveh’s neighbor saw this bad situation and decided to call Damnok Toek’s hotline to ask for an intervention. A Child Safe team went to Teveh’s family to make an assessment and they found out that the family matches all the criteria of Damnok Toek. In a first time, Damnok Toek supported Teveh’s family with basic needs such a food support. Then Damnok Toek’s social workers persuaded Teveh’s mother to enroll her children in Damnok Toek’s Non Formal Education program.

     Teveh started NFE in 2017 in grade 3. According to her teacher she is a hard work student and she got very good result at her studies. Damnok Toek still provides basic needs support to her family. In the future Teveh want to become a nurse. She is very happy to come to school.