In the middle of 2009 as global economies crumbled, the already pitiful incomes of the world's poor were stretched even further. The ripple effect from the economic crash magnified down to those lowest on the world's financial ladder. Around Steung Meanchey, the people who already survive on the barest minimum reached crisis point, with the most vulnerable of these people being infants and babies. Reduced income and soaring food prices combined to expose these tiny little people as a new group among those desperately in need.
Right around this time, the lack of care and services available for these tiny new lives was revealed to us when CCF staff found two babies, Nyta and Maly. Little did we know then that these two little ones would eventually inspire the establishment of our Nursery program. Nyta was about 18 months old when she was found by CCF staff on the edge of the Steung Meanchey garbage dump. Life had always been a struggle with little food and even less care. Her days were filled with hunger and she constantly battled disease. Each day she became that little bit weaker and less able to withstand her perpetual illnesses.
Maly was just seven weeks old when we were visiting his village to see another child. Maly only weighed a mere 700 grams, just under two lbs, and was born into a brutal home life, where even the youngest and most frail are not immune to the curse of domestic violence, alcoholism and a lack of maternal instinct. He was barely breathing when we found him.
The discovery of Maly and Nyta within days of one other were the inspiration behind CCF's Nursery. Today, we can happily say they are healthy children, growing up with an abundance of love and care.