Eighteen-year-old Yon became pregnant soon after getting married, and through her pregnancy, continued to work long hours in the fields in Cambodia without receiving any prenatal care.
“While she was busy working, her body would always be shaking, and she would sometimes feel faint,” says Bot Channey, who works with Samaritan’s Purse in Cambodia. “She didn’t eat enough nutritious food, which resulted in her newborn baby being very sick.”
Financial support from Canadians like you enabled Samaritan’s Purse to launch its Strong Tall and Robust (STAR) project in Yon’s village early last year.
Through the project, mothers with potential leadership skills are identified, equipped, and trained to help other mothers in their neighborhood. Each “lead mother” was responsible for reaching out to between five and 10 neighboring households, teaching health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and how to help provide the basics of life through livelihood training.
In Cambodia, more than one-third of children under age five are stunted while 10 per cent suffer from ‘wasting.’ Wasting is a severe loss of weight often associated with acute starvation or disease, according to the World Health Organization.
However, wasting can also be the result chronic malnutrition during pregnancy and after birth. This can cause stunting, which has life-long consequences on the physical, social, and cognitive development of children.
Samaritan’s Purse is the only organization in Yon’s province with the capacity and experience to address health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and, household food security needs.
Combined with our church relations program, the STAR project reaches hurting families with physical assistance, training and hope in Jesus’ name.
All Samaritan’s Purse staff in Cambodia are trained to share their faith in Christ, “the Word [who] became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, ESV). They anticipate reaching more than 26,000 people with the Gospel over the next three years.
“I would like to give thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for working and helping my village. Thank you from both the mothers and children,” Yon, recipient of Samaritan’s Purse’s Strong Tall and Robust (STAR) project
Prenatal health care and maternal nutrition can help babies achieve optimum birth weights. Stunting in children under the age of two can often be addressed through proper feeding, providing safe water, and hygiene training.
Yon got involved in the STAR project when she was three months pregnant with her second baby.
A lead mother trained her and her husband on birth preparation, maternal nutrition, delivery, home gardening, chicken rearing, and the importance of hygiene and safe water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
After the training, Yon finally understood the importance of health care.
“My health is now better because I carry out what I am learning from my lead mother,” she said.
Yon began to undergo regular health check-ups for herself and her children. Midwives at the local health center also taught her how iron supplements, breastfeeding and vaccines can improve the health of her family.
Yon’s second daughter was delivered at a health facility weight of seven pounds and her firstborn is now thriving as well.
“I would like to give thanks to Samaritan’s Purse for working and helping my village. Thank you from both the mothers and children,” said Yon.
Many more villages in Cambodia need the life-changing physical and spiritual benefits of the STAR project. You can provide those benefits through your donations and prayers. Please join us.
Your donation to Medical Care Projects helps Samaritan’s Purse Canada meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people around the world providing funds for life-saving medical equipment and surgical assistance, disease prevention initiatives and community health programs and training opportunities. We also offer spiritual support and eternal hope by meeting these critical needs while sharing the love of Christ.