Youn is a rice farmer in rural Cambodia.  She wanted her two young daughters, ages eight and five, to be as healthy as possible, so when an ADRA volunteer visited her home and invited her to join one of our projects, she agreed.

Malnutrition, stunting, and illness in children under five are a concern in the area and ADRA’s project teaches families practical ways to improve their health.

Groups known as ‘reflect circles’ are formed, bringing community members together to learn about nutrition, sanitation, pregnancy health, childcare, and health.

“Before, I was not eating very nutritious foods or feeding my children well.  The way I used to cook before joining the program was not very good.  We hardly ever ate any fruit.  When I cooked fish I would never put anything else in the soup, just some salt and MSG.  We have learned a lot about nutrition as well and how we should eat healthy from three major food groups.  Now I add a lot of vegetables and greens in with the fish.  Now we are eating much better and taking in a good variety of foods. We now eat a lot of fruit at our meals as well.  We all feel so much better. 

The reflect circle has also taught us a lot about sanitation.  We now keep ourselves clean, our clothes clean, our home more clean.  We also now have a latrine and use a water filter for our drinking water…I think for me the biggest change has come in our home and family.  I have a much closer relationship now with my husband and my children!

I have really appreciated the water filter that I received as being part of the program.  It used to be that we were sick a lot with diarrhea.  We had no idea why we were sick so much.  It never occurred to us that it was because of the water that we were drinking.  We were just drinking water right from the well without boiling it.  That was the way that it had always been done.  Our parents drank the water that way, our grand parents, all of the other people in the village, so we never really gave it much thought or made the connection between the water we were drinking and why we were sick so much.  Since we started drinking only filtered water, we hardly ever get sick any more. 

This program has really changed our lives as well as the lives of my friends in this village.  We know so much more now about health and sanitation and how to build good relationships.  We have latrines, water filters and are eating healthy.  I would like to thank all the donors in Canada who have made this program possible for our village.  I wish them prosperity and a good, health, long life!”