The Children’s Future healthcare and social work teams regularly intervene in situations where a small child’s life is in danger. Often, these children are still infants, and in very dire situations– Cambodia’s infant mortality rate is still the highest in the S.E. Asia.

Recently, Children’s Future discovered that Chantha, a younger sibling of three of our students, was severely malnourished. At 1 year Chantha weighed only 4 kg.—a weight more appropriate for a newborn—and her life was at risk. Chantha was being fed infrequently and lacked proper hygiene, leading to diarrhea, fever, and other sicknesses that further impacted her weight. Chantha’s condition is, unfortunately, not uncommon.

In response to the grave situation, the Children’s Future healthcare team created a Signs of Safety case plan for Chantha and her older siblings.

Most interventions were focused on Chantha’s primary caretaker, her mom. Working with caretakers ensures that support systems are long-term, sustainable projects that will outlast Children’s Future’s direct intervention.

Children’s Future provided the mother with training and practical support on hygiene and nutrition for her small child and built a system of accountability that helped Chantha’s parents learn to provide more consistent and reliable care for their one-year-old daughter.

Progress for Chantha and her family was slow, but steady. Chantha started catching up on developmental milestones and, today, she can sit, stand and walk.