21 year old Sreyna* walked into our security guards office recently looking for help. She wanted someone to take her 8 month old baby boy.
Sreyna has had nothing but misfortune in her life for the last several years. She is a single mother, her husband having died in a traffic accident when Sreyna was three months pregnant. Her parents are also deceased and she has no living relatives to turn to for support. On top of all this, she was injured in a electric fire years ago and lost use of several fingers on one hand. When we met her, Sreyna and her baby were living in a local Karaoke bar. At nighttime she helped serve drinks and ice to customers. If the place was busy she earned about $2.50/night. If there were no customers she earned nothing. On those nights that she was busy she would have to leave her infant son alone. Sreyna had finally turned for help from M’Lop Tapang when the owner of the Karaoke business where she was living asked her and her baby to leave.
Feeling desperate enough to want to give up a child is something no mother should have to deal with. M’Lop Tapang, and the partners we work with, strongly believe that whenever possible children should stay with their families.
After meeting with Sreyna and assessing the situation, our Alternative Care and Outreach Teams coordinated their efforts to find the mother and son a safe place to stay as well as provided emergency support and medical care. After learning that Sreyna used to be a seamstress we have also arranged for her to enter M’Lop Tapang’s Home Based Production Program that helps poor parents develop a steady, safe source of income generation. It has only been about a month now that we first met Sreyna and her baby and will continue to provide follow up and support as long as she needs it, but for now she and her son are safe and together.
*name and photo changed for confidentiality