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Nara’s Needed Support

January 5th, 2021

Nara is a 12-year-old boy in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He is the first child in his family, followed by his sister. Recently, her mother separated from her husband because he was violent towards her and used drugs. After the divorce, they did not have a stable place to live and had to move to live with the grandmother and aunt in a slum area while his mother works in Phnom Penh.

¨I felt frightened, worried, I want to protect myself, my sister and cousin from this man.” said Nara

Despite working once a week in a hotel, his aunt still tries to look after them and two other children, and pays for the household’s living costs, and education fees and materials. Nara has a good relationship with his grandmother. Despite losing contact with his father, Nara still had his grandmother and aunt who were very supportive of him.

Nara lives in a risky environment where there is a high rate of domestic violence, gambling, and drug abuse. In addition, strangers can access this community easily. Nara suffered from depression and anger. He felt helpless because he could not help his mother and did not want to make friends. Despite such an unfortunate situation, Nara was still going to public school and attended English classes with the support of an organization.

His life took another turn when he was studying in his public school. A foreigner showed his genitals to him, his sister, and cousins. After the incident, Nara reported it to his English teacher. The teacher informed APLE, Terre des Hommes’ partner organization in Cambodia.

Nara felt very upset after the incident. He cannot understand the distress that happened to him. Before, he thought that all foreigners are very good people and do good things for children in Cambodia. 

When it happened, he felt very frightened, ashamed, and nervous. Naratook his sister and cousin and ran from offender to the school canteen and sought help from the adults.

APLE referred Nara to Terre des Hommes’ WATCH (Working Actively Together for Children) project team. He is provided with the care and attention that he needs from a social worker who frequently visits the family. He received psychological support, a bicycle so that he can go to school, and food and hygiene kits during COVID-19. His grandmother was also trained regarding her parenting skills and was encouraged to take care and motivate the children in school. The Terre des Hommes project team ensures that the family can access their basic services despite living in a slum area.

Despite the restrictions and school closure caused by the pandemic, Terre des Hommes  and partner APLE has provided food and non-food support, hygiene kits to the client, and their family at least four times. TDH managed to distribute needed materials for the children to stay occupied and study at home. These materials include notebook, pen, pencil, story books, ball, badminton, colors, white, and color paper. Poster about hand washing and COVID-19 prevention measures was also provided and explained by social workers to make sure that they understand how to protect themselves.

APLE referred Nara to Terre des Hommes’ WATCH (Working Actively Together for Children) project team. He is provided with the care and attention that he needs from a social worker who frequently visits the family. He received psychological support, a bicycle so that he can go to school, and food and hygiene kits during COVID-19. His grandmother was also trained regarding her parenting skills and was encouraged to take care and motivate the children in school. The Terre des Hommes project team ensures that the family can access their basic services despite living in a slum area.

Despite the restrictions and school closure caused by the pandemic, Terre des Hommes  and partner APLE has provided food and non-food support, hygiene kits to the client, and their family at least four times. TDH managed to distribute needed materials for the children to stay occupied and study at home. These materials include notebook, pen, pencil, story books, ball, badminton, colors, white, and color paper. Poster about hand washing and COVID-19 prevention measures was also provided and explained by social workers to make sure that they understand how to protect themselves.

Nara said, “I am very happy to receive support. I have materials to play with when I stay at home during COVID-19. I am feeling better and because of this, I have made new friends in the neighbourhood. I have become brave and I can now communicate with my friends. They motivate me to study hard. I learned how to protect my sister and cousin from abuse when we go to school”. 

He added, “In the future, I want to be an electrician, I want to earn money to support my family. I want to buy a house for my mother and grandmother. I would be able to fix the electricity when it cuts off if I become an electrician.”

Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ WATCH project in Siem Reap, Cambodia aims to help children like Nara from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Through local partner organizations, cases such as these are heard and responded to with the right approach. 

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