Raising two kids on your own is hard enough in any country, but when you’re a single mum in Cambodia, your house is taken from you and you’re left with nothing but two square meters, things get really tough.
That’s what happened to Sophal*. She lives just outside of Siem Reap, a city flush with tourist money from the nearby world wonder of Angkor Wat, but she and her neighbours see none of it. Their whole community is built on government-owned land, or APSARA Authority Land.
This means that at any time, on any day, the community could be thrown off the land for good. They have no claims at all to the few square meters of land, timber and tin that they call home.
Sophal used to have her own home. Then the authorities came. They moved her family out and demolished it. Now her new house is down a small, damp alleyway tucked in between a crumbling wall and mosquito infested waters. It’s a run-down hut with leftover building materials scattered around the outside. The house backs onto sewerage that’s also littered with rubbish and the remnants of half the village’s meals.
Sophal doesn’t even have the whole place for her family – she has just two square meters of it. One inside, shared with two other families. The other outside, under the shelter of a battered tin roof that doesn’t stand a chance against monsoon season if the puddles on the ground are anything to go by.
Sophal’s kids go to Sunrise New Hope for school, but every night they come home to the uncertainty of life and every season they get sick from diseases borne from water, mosquitoes or just lack of basic hygiene.
Sunrise is working to secure another area of land for Sophal’s whole village to relocate to. Land that is safe, secure and theirs. If you can help us help them, please make a DONATION today.
*name has been changed