In the 1970s, the militant Khmer Rouge tore through Cambodia and wiped out a generation of educated citizens. In the aftermath of the genocide, many women were left in the dark, struggling without any basic knowledge of how to take care of their children.
Slowly but surely, like a new dawn, healing is coming to Cambodia. With help from Samaritan’s Purse, mothers living in the impoverished Kratie Province are learning how to care for themselves and their children. We’re also providing opportunities for obstetric care and nutrition education.
Many women in Kratie have had at least one child die because they lack access to basic healthcare. Hospitals can be hours away from their remote villages. Transportation to a hospital, especially during labor, often brings enormous challenge and risk for expectant mothers.
To help reduce Cambodia’s high infant mortality rates, Samaritan’s Purse built seven community birthing centers in rural areas around Kratie Province. The centers are attached to existing government health centers, where we also train the staff midwives to help make labor and delivery safe for women and babies.
Our work begins with physical relief, which provides a platform to share the Gospel with mothers and families. Many mothers we meet in Kratie have never heard about Jesus. About 95 percent of Cambodians are Buddhists, and because of the country’s high infant mortality rate, many parents place their hope in traditional superstitions to keep their babies safe. Our staff does everything in the Name of Jesus, as we offer physical and spiritual comfort to mothers who need the hope of Christ.
Our maternal and child health programs also include nutrition education. Samaritan’s Purse staff in Kratie travel from home to home throughout different villages, identifying malnourished children and teaching mothers how to cook nutritious meals.
Our staff met Sor Samy and her daughter, Sekat, during a nutrition screening. Four-year-old Sekat was malnourished and not gaining weight. Our staff taught Samy how to cook meals with proteins and vegetables to help her daughter become healthier. We also shared the Gospel with Samy, who heard about Jesus for the first time in her life. Samy now trusts in Jesus Christ.
We want Cambodian women to view pregnancy and giving birth as joyous occasions. We pray motherhood is not something to be feared, but is a time to celebrate God’s gift of life. As we reach them with the basics of nourishing their bodies alongside their souls, please pray for many more mothers in Kratie to turn from Buddhism and believe in Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life.