Sovann* was just a small child with two older sisters when his mother died 10 years ago. Unable to care for the children Sovann’s father sent the young boy to live with an uncle. The sisters were sent to live with a grandmother in another part of the country.
Growing up has not been easy for Sovann. The uncle that he lived with treated him more as a servant than as a family member. Earlier this year he had enough and ran away, ending up in a small town near Sihanoukville. For two days, the 13 year old boy lived on the streets, survived by begging for bread from people he met, and at night he slept near the market after it closed.
When the local police in that town found Sovann they contacted M’Lop Tapang’s ChildSafe 24-Hour Confidential Hotline. He was brought to Sihanoukville where he was provided with food, support, and a safe place to sleep at our Boy’s Night Shelter. The Outreach Team and Child Protections Teams were able to track down Sovann’s father who is now remarried and living with his new family in Phnom Penh. The father was unable to take Sovann back into his own care but helped us to assist Sovann moving to live with his grandmother and two sisters.
We have visited with Sovann at his grandmother’s home since he moved there. He is doing very well, going to school, and told us how happy he is to be with his two sisters again. Our Outreach Team will continue to follow up with him every few months to make sure he continues to be doing okay.
*name and photo changed for confidentiality