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English (UK)

Kunthy nel centro disabiliKunthy's story

Kunthy is a 9-year-old boy who lives in Dangkhao Mao village, Kompong Chhnang Province.

Kunthy has Down syndrome and Mental Retardation.

As it often happens in Cambodia, his mother didn’t know the importance of antenatal care and, although she felt dizzy and too weak during pregnancy, she went to the health centre for regular visits only twice.

When Kunthy was born, his parents didn’t know about his disease. They just noticed that his face was strange and, lately, that he could not speak as normal children did.

Two months after his birth, Kunthy frequently got sick and he lost 1.5kg of his weight.

We met his family and we proposed them to enter our “nutritional support project”, thanks to which he started to gain weight like other normal kids.


Kunthy is loved and spoilt by his parents and siblings.

He’s a very obstinate child and, because of his disability, his parents let him do almost everything and never dare to scold him.

In 2009, when Kunthy was 5 years old, he started attending the Chak CBR center, managed by NH. There, he had the opportunity to receive medical care, medical treatment, language and communication development, and to take part to outdoor activities.

Besides the assistance received in the centre, NH also started activities with his parents and family. Nowadays, Kunthy’s parents participate in some activities like taking Kuthy for a walk outside the village. Previously, they rarely took him with them because they felt ashamed of Kunthy’s strange face.

I visited his family twice a month, and I found that Kunthy has fairly improved his personal hygiene, and he could help doing some house chores such as washing-up, chopping wood and assisting in preparing food before eating.

Thanks to the interaction with other children in the centre, his speaking, communication and participation skills improved. Teachers in the centre are friendly, they always encourage him and play with him, let him go to the community to have lunch together with other children, make him brave and not afraid of the other people.

In the village, kids and elder people love Kunthy and they are friendly with him. Kunthy is a lovely boy, he always plays with his friends

In 2011, Kunthy was sent to study in NH’s community preschool. We wanted him to make new friends and improve his relationship with other kids by playing and speaking with them. After study, Kunthy goes to the centre to have lunch together with other disabled children and in the afternoon he has extra classes with teachers in there.

Kunthy’s family is also very poor.

He lives with his parents and his 5 siblings. Kunthy’s family has two old houses made of zinc, leaf, and bamboo. The size of land is 40 meters x 60 meters. They have a bike, three cows, a chariot, and a farm. Kunthy’s father is the head of the family. He is a farmer and he normally gets 600kg rice  per year. Besides cropping, he chops wood pole for selling. In average, he can earn from 6000 Riel ($US 1.5) to 7000 Riel ($US 1.75) per day. His income is not enough to support all his family’s needs. Moreover a part of income is needed to pay for health expenses of Kunthy’s mother, who has chronic disease that makes her feel weak, dizzy, and exhausted.

Kunthy’s older sister works in a garment factory in Phnom Penh. Monthly she earns from 70$ to 80$ and she manages to send about 25$ per month to her family.

Kunthy’s father was invited to attend the agriculture skill training about pig rearing. After training, he received materials and tools in order to implement farming activities at home. He frequently got advice and technical support from the field officers about the agriculture skills. After the training, he built a pig pen with the support of the field officers.

Additionally, frequent and regular visits by field officers and social workers helped him a lot to practice successful farming activities, such as chicken raising and growing vegetables.

He strongly hopes that next year he will get good income from this activity and this will help him support his family better, especially for daily food consumption.

 [Written by: Miss. Ka Sochea, Chak Center Supervisor]

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