Research has shown that the best way for children to grow up is by living with their family. This way, children have community and family support, which allows them to grow up physically and emotionally.

However, in Cambodia, a lot of families struggle to properly care for their children, often because of poverty or the family situation. In some cases, families believe their children will get a better education, other times the family migrates to Thailand and parents want their children to be cared for.

When local authorities identify a child whose family wants to send them to live in an RCI, they refer the case to CFI and our social workers visit the family to learn more about their individual situation. The social worker then works with the family to keep the family together and find solutions together to their challenges.

In this case, Veasna is a single father with four children living with his elderly mother. He didn’t have a consistent income as he would buy scrap metal and sell it to earn some money, but he couldn’t earn enough to send his children to school so he decided to send his children to an institution where he thought they could get a better education.

With this information, the Ek Phnom government authorities referred this case to CFI so that we could follow up with the family and provide support to prevent the children from entering the RCI.

After CFI social workers met with the family and learned about their situation, CFI provided food, household materials, school materials, and bikes for the kids so they could get to school. We also provide materials for the family to build a small house (5mx4.5m) and a toilet for children to have good hygiene. Additionally, we provided materials for the father to earn extra income by raising chickens at home.

After a couple of months of hard work, Veasna’s family situation got better, they were able to make extra income from raising chickens and the children were attending school regularly. Our social worker follows up with the family monthly and explains to them the impact on children of living separately from their parents and now Veasna no longer wants to send his children to the RCI.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the local authorities and CFI for all the support and for explaining to me the importance of living together as a family. I will not send my children to the RCI. ” Veansa says.