Education

New Care Center Opens for Kids with Disabilities in Prey Veng

Improved day care center opens its doors in Prey Veng, offering services to 80 people with disabilities and vastly improving services in the area
A new day care center in Prey Veng that provides vital services to children with disabilities. Kiripost via Sarah Saunders
A new day care center in Prey Veng that provides vital services to children with disabilities. Kiripost via Sarah Saunders

PREY VENG PROVINCE - A new day care center that provides vital services to children with disabilities has opened its doors, offering rehabilitative services to 80 children living in Prey Veng province.

On September 9, Damnok Toek finished construction of the Day Care Center (DCC) in Neak Loeung commune to support children with disabilities. It was made possible thanks to support from the Japanese Embassy through a Kusanone grant.

Izumi Masahiro, representative of the Japanese Embassy, said in Cambodia there are more than 550,000 children with disabilities, who often lack appropriate care from their parents.

“Today, I am very happy to see the new DCC. This building will help 80 disabled children. We strongly hope that the new DCC will be maintained properly and offer nutrition effectively so children will be healthy and safe, and active in society.”

San Ratana, Chief of the Department of Welfare for People with Disabilities at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), called on relevant organizations to support the center and strengthen its activities and reach.

The Japanese Embassy has developed buildings for children with disabilities to provide services and support in the field of social affairs.

“We would like to appeal to all government officials and those who are working to provide public services at all levels to provide better cooperation for the center and the provision of services to people with disabilities,” Ratana said.

“I hope that all relevant organizations cooperate to inspire children who this is going to effect.”

Em Kunmantha, a district deputy governor, said she is proud to have partner organizations and the government pay special attention to vulnerable and disabled children in the area.

“We are very excited. It is not normal for teachers to try to take care of children if we look at the activities around the tiers. I have never before seen all these types of activities, I have only participated today.”

She added that all relevant support be provided to give children with disabilities the appropriate services, care and opportunities.

Chon Srey Sros, a resident who lives in Neak Loeung commune, said her son will attend the center and has been the recipient of services offered by the organization for the last two years. Prior to this, he was unable to walk or talk. However, she has seen vast improvements.

“My son can move and talk a little. I am happy, it was better than before. I hope my child can walk, sit and eat on his own so that he can help himself when we do not stay with him,” she said.

Sorn Sreyleak, a resident of Prek Thom village, said her daughter suffered from memory problems. However, after attending the previous center for almost two years, she has also witnessed great improvement in her daughter’s condition.

“At home, we often did not take care of her because we were busy when she stayed here. The teacher taught her a lot, now we talk to her and she listens to us. It is different,” Sreyleak noted.

She added that babysitters are provided in a comfortable setting for children and parents with disabilities, which can help motivate their rehabilitation.

Va Sa Em, a 40-year-old teacher at the center, said she has been working at the center for the past three years and wants to share her love. She added that before entering the center, children are often scared and it can be difficult to care for and guide them. However, after receiving instruction and guidance, there are often notable improvements in their conditions.

“When I saw the activities of children in the center, there was an acquaintance who was a teacher, I was really excited,” she said.

The DCC was originally established in 2018 and offers care and physical therapy to children with disabilities, as well as support to their families who live in rural communities in Neak Loeung, where opportunities to access disability-specific healthcare are scarce.

Construction of the new DCC began in January and was completed in July. The total cost of the project was $94,503.50, which was funded entirely through a Kusanone Grant from the Japanese Embassy in Phnom Penh.

The DCC will allow Damnok Toek to reach more children as well as increase the quality of services available to them. The previous DCC had the capacity to provide necessary care to 40 children and their families. However, Damnok Toek has already identified 158 more children in the area who are in need of services.

The new DCC will allow Damnok Toek to welcome 11 more children into the DCC program by the end of 2022, with the intention of increasing that capacity annually, according to a Damnok Toek press release.

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