Supporting First-Time Parents In The Midst Of A Pandemic

The Corona pandemic has been universally challenging for everyone. It has been particularly rough for people who work in the tourism industry, and people who became parents during these unprecedented times.

Both of these situations apply to Vannara.

Vannara, who works as Front Office Supervisor in a hotel in Phnom Penh, found himself and his pregnant wife, Malin, in an increasingly difficult situation after international borders were closed in March 2020 and overall tourism dropped by 82%.

While a decent amount of hotel guests remained throughout 2020, as business travel between East-Asian countries was still possible, crisis hit in the spring of 2021. A COVID cluster in Phnom Penh in late February lead to COVID19 cases spiking to numbers that were 100-times that of the total case number that was detected in 2020. Therefore, while international travel remains restricted, inner-Asian trips were also prohibited for the first time.

Vannara has been on unpaid leave and he and Malin, who are now parents of their 9-month-old son Johnny, found themselves in a financial crisis and turned to CYS for financial assistance during these burdensome times.

Please read his story in his own words below:

Dear supporters

I would like to say thank you to all of you for helping my family in this difficult situation. But first, I would like to introduce myself!

My name is Vannara and I am 29 years old. I didn’t have a family when I was young, so I used to live in a children’s village. After that, I got a diploma in hospitality & tourism. I graduated in 2016.

I have been working at hotels in Phnom Penh since 2016. First I worked as a receptionist, but I got a lot of experience in the last years and I got a lot of promotions.

I was very happy because I love my job. I love to take responsibility and to motivate and lead a team. I was happy because I was able to live very independently. I earned enough money to take care of myself and my wonderful wife. We were planning to have a small family. Last September we welcomed our first son, his name is Johnny and we love him so much.

But unfortunately, not all of our dreams came true in the last year. The last year was very difficult because of COVID19. I work in a hotel but because of COVID19 Cambodia didn’t have any tourists in the last year. In 2020 I was still able to work a little bit because we had some quarantine guests. All of our salaries were cut a lot and it was very difficult for me, but I was happy that I still had a job

But 2 months ago, everything stopped and now all the staff of my hotel is on unpaid leave. I don’t have enough money to continue to support my family.

It is very difficult for us, because Johnny is so young, which means that we still need a lot of money for his clothes and his medical check-ups. Also, my wife Malin stopped working last year before COVID19 because she was pregnant. I am the only person who used to earn money for our family, but now it is all gone because of COVID19.

I am very hopeful because maybe at the end of 2021 Cambodia will have a lot of tourists again. Then I can continue with my job and my career. My dream is to become the General Manager of this hotel.

But until then, my family and I need your support.
So I would like to thank you all for supporting us in this difficult situation. It would be impossible to take care of my family without your help.


All the best,

With your support, CYS is able to assist this young family in need on a monthly basis and will thereby ensure that baby Johnny can continue to grow up healthy and that this crisis doesn’t derail this family’s life.

Help us continue to support young families in need by donating to CYS today!