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AN NGO BUILT AROUND THE FAMILY
Cambodia is a country still reeling from the aftereffects of war and political instability. Over the years of turmoil, much of its social infrastructure has been destroyed – to this day, its citizens are still unwilling subjects in a cycle of poverty and suffering. Camkids, also known as the Cambodian Children’s Charity, seeks to do its part in the recovery of a fractured society. Its primary target is the family – by providing nutritional, medical and educational support, the NGO aims to reduce the prevalence of child abandonment and takes a hands-on role in improving the lives of local communities.
The Marshall Foundation supports the organisation’s medical outreach projects, which seek to change lives by providing vital clinical services and enhancing awareness about the importance of good health.
Cultivating Knowledge, Building Relationships
Enter the Chbar Chros Community Clinic (CCC Clinic) – a facility next to the CamKids-supported Chbar Chros elementary school in the Kampong Speu province providing basic medical and dental care to young students and villagers. It is a CamKids project built around the concept of empowerment: by providing dental and health education to primary school children, it seeks to cultivate a health-centric mindset from the ground up.
The CCC Clinic runs the School Health Program, which brings a range of services to the provincial schools – such as hair de-licing, scabies treatment and health education, among others. The Clinic also has a Mobile Dental Team that moves between schools, conducting teeth extractions, restorations, and fluoride treatments. The numbers reveal the CCC Clinic’s broadening outreach: it provided dental services to 573 students between August and December 2015, while giving basic medical treatment to a total of 409 patients between July and December that same year.
The CCC Clinic also has an active medical nurse who, aside from regular clinic duties, visits local community members and village chiefs in order to promote the Clinic’s activities and initiatives. These lasting relationships ensure that more people are empowered to better self-care, and know where and when to seek help.
Reaching into the Heart of Cambodia: Clinics in the Slums
The slums of Cambodia are home to rubbish collectors, construction workers and garment factory employees – who face a range of health problems caused by sub-standard sanitation and poor nutrition. To alleviate the poor health conditions, the Camkids Medical Team conducts tri-weekly clinics at three such slums: Canal Side, Banteay Sleak and House above the Water. In the six-month period from July to December 2015, there have been more than 3500 beneficiaries of the Medical Team’s efforts.
Living and working in the slums has its own set of risks. Foot injuries are highly common: if improperly treated, they can result in death – especially if tetanus sets in. As prevention is better than treatment, the Team has gone a step further by providing two pairs of shoes per family to reduce the occurrence of foot injuries.
Although Camkids has achieved some spectacular results, working directly at the heart of the issue and trying to change the status quo can be a long and challenging process. The Marshall Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with Camkids to ensure that more children and their families benefit from accessible treatment and basic healthcare knowledge.
You can learn more about Camkids and who they are by visiting http://www.camkids.org/html/000.html