Meet Sophea, CCF’s special baby on 25th December

Tucked in under layers of blankets, 8 day old Sophea lies on the family bed surrounded by her adoring mother, father and younger brother. Born on the 25th of December, under the care and guidance of CCF’s Maternal Care Program (MCP), Sophea was the first festive baby welcomed into the CCF community.

Whilst Christmas is not a widely recognised holiday in the buddhist country of Cambodia, the 25th of December will now always be a special day for the family.

“I feel so happy to have a new baby,” exclaims mum Srey Nich, aged 21.

Sophea is the third child to be born to the family, the eldest child lives in the province with relatives and Boren, aged one, lives in the family home in Steung Meanchey, Phnom Penh. Father Pov Somnang, 34, works as a tuk tuk driver to support his family but their home, a modest one room with a mattress on the floor, demonstrates the challenges that they face.

CCF’s Maternal Care Program is in place to support parents like Srey Nich and Pov Samnang. Since the program began in 2010, the MCP has overseen more than 1,200 births with a 0% maternal death rate.

Medical expenses and childbirth can often put financial strain on families living in Steung Meanchey, and force them further into poverty. The MCP works to ensure that pregnancy isn’t a daunting and life threatening prospect for families, but instead it is an exciting step into parenthood.

“My life is better because the MCP supported us and looked after my wife and baby. I didn’t have to pay money for any of the services,” says Pov Samnang.

“The MCP supported me with free pregnancy check ups and the delivery of my baby. After the delivery, I received a baby care kit, free food and transportation,” explains Srey Nich.

The ‘Welcome Home Baby Kit’, provided by the MCP, contains all of the necessities for a newborn baby, including woollen hats for mother and baby: a Cambodian tradition that promotes good health and protection from the cold (even in Cambodia’s tropical climate).

Whether or not the 25th of December is a festive day for you, the birth of Sophea has given everyone at CCF a special reason to celebrate.

To support for the crucial work done by the MCP, please consider making a donation here.

Alice Brown//CCF

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