Srey Muen’s life took a drastic turn 13 years ago when her husband Phala caught meningitis. The infection left Phala partially paralyzed and unable to walk. All of a sudden, Srey Muen became the sole provider for her husband and their then 4-year-old daughter Srey Neang. Unfortunately, medical treatment was not accessible in rural Cambodia back then, let alone physiotherapy.
For years to come, Srey Muen carried this heavy burden and worked tirelessly to ensure that Srey Neang can attend school and receive an education. When she lost her long-time job as an employee at an orphanage in rural Cambodia last fall, however, Srey Muen’s family was once again struck by financial crisis. Now 17-year-old Srey Neang had to drop out of school in order to accompany her mother in going to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh to find work.
On a positive note, it is worth mentioning that Cambodia as a whole has gone through a lot of development and progress in recent years. Fortunately, there is now a health center that offers physiotherapy in Phala’s district. Thomlang – Cambodian Youth Support supports Srey Muen and Phala through the coverage of their medical bills. We believe that the family will greatly benefit from the rehabilitation of Phala’s physical health.
Please read Srey Muen's letter below:
Dear brother Julian,
My name is Srey Muen Kan. I have a husband called Phala and a 17-year-old daughter called Srey Neang. My husband is unable to work because he had infective meningitis and endocarditis a long time ago. He has been disabled for 13 years. So I always have to work hard. I don’t want to complain because I love my family so much and I can do everything for them. But the last year was very difficult for us. I used to have a job at an orphanage but I lost this job in 2020. After this, my daughter Srey Neang decided to stop studying. I am sad about this, but I need her help to work to support our family. We found a job in Phnom Penh. We work as housekeepers. I hope that my daughter can study more after COVID19.
I am so grateful that you are supporting my husband’s therapy. He improved so much in the last year. In the many years before, he could not walk. Now he can already walk and stand. This is the best he has been in over 10 years! I cannot express how deeply thankful I am. I will never forget that you are doing this for us.
I wish that all of you are staying safe, have a lot of success with your work, stay healthy, and have a happy life.
Thank you so so much.
CYS will continue to stay in close contact with the family to ensure their further well-being. We are also planning to support Srey Neang’s education once the COVID19 situation has bettered. The 17-year-old is very interested in enrolling in trade school and learning a skill.