The stories behind the youngsters are often heartbreaking. They have lost parents to HIV, malaria and even snake bites. There is no state aid or medical treatment to speak of so youngsters in these situations are very much left to fend for themselves.
In the home they are loved and looked after as best as the volunteers are able. The home works like a large family with everyone playing a part. After their supper and homework the children scurry around doing their chores with not a grizzle to be heard!
Meet a couple of our children:
Shortly before a previous visit Jacob had an accident and his injuries had turned gangrenous. They eventually took him to a doctor who said it was pointless wasting money on an orphan and that he should be left to die. Our visit was very timely and we were able to provide the money for medical care and save his life.
More recently he and his brother were taken away from the orphanage (having been there for 2 years) by an aunt who sold them to a plantation owner. It took 2 months to find him and arrange to buy them both back. We were able to provide the requisite money.
This is Srey Mao. She came to us a couple of years ago from a very abusive family background. Unknown to us she had suffered a broken leg some time before which had never been properly set.
Over time the fracture worsened and in late 2008 she was so ill that she was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and infection in her bones. Her X-rays and tests were emailed to us and our medical advisers feared the worst.
We were able to send funds for an emergency operation on her leg. After several months she pulled through and we heard recently that she was back at the home and learning to dance! She needs another operation early in 2010 and we are hoping she makes a full recovery.
She is pictured with a huge teddy bear that we took out last Christmas and gave her in hospital!