Malnutrition in Cambodia remains a significant problem with estimates putting the number of undernourished Cambodian citizens at five million and sighting malnutrition as a cause of one third of child deaths (WFP, UNICEF). One of the biggest challenges to overcome is stunting which is a growth failure in a child caused by insufficient intake of essential nutrients in early childhood, which causes a child’s physical and mental development to be irreversibly compromised. The latest Demographic Health Survey of Cambodia (2010) found stunting in 40% of children and while continued work by NGOs and hospitals has seen this number slowly decrease, it remains a huge concern.
With the help of our friend Rang Hawrami we are now able to take steps to reduce malnutrition amongst our students by providing varied and balanced meals at breakfast through the week. We have started a 2 month trial and so far things are looking good and we hope that with support we can continue this important addition to our services. It is great to see the children either heading into school or into our centre with full bellies and smiles on their faces!