Mr. Sok Sambath and Mrs. Sok Sreymao who live in Saensokh Village (Khmounh commune, Saensokh district), Phnom Penh City, Cambodia have five children. Mr. Sok Sambath worked as a construction worker while his wife worked as a cleaner at a garment factory. Both worked verry and put in overtime every day in order to increase their income. However, even together, they both weren’t able to earn enough income to support their family’s daily needs. Then, due to the strenuous work and extremely long hours, the wife, Mrs. Sok Sreymao, got seriously ill. She was diagnosed with cirrhosis as chronic illness. Her state got increasingly worse until she wasn’t able to work any more. In the meantime, her husband was diagnosed with a chronic disease as well. As a result, both, the husband and the wife weren’t able to work any longer and were forced to stay at home. This posed to be an enormous challenge for the family of 7. The burden of providing income has now fallen on their children. One of their daughters got married and went to live with her new family but ther other sibling remained at home with their parents. All of their children decided to drop out of schools because of their poor living standard and in order to support their family. One brother and sister became beggars because their lack of education, didn’t leave them any other options. As for the two elder brothers, they have become recycling and rubbish collectors in order to earn some money to feed their family. Even though they have this job they still don’t have enough money to support their family’s needs, especially their parents’ medical treatment.
Mrs. Sok Sreymao was seriously ill and unable to work for 6 months. After that she passed away on June 12th, 2019 aged 48 . Then her family members were unable to perform her funeral ceremony due to their financial situation. Despite their financials problems and also struggling with the difficult situations, they still held a small funeral cremation for her. Mr. Sok Sambath aged 50 years had to take out a loan of 150 US dollars from the financial service to arrange his wife’s funeral ceremony. It is only thanks to the compassion of their neighbors and relatives who helped him manage the event, that there was a funeral for his wife. On the day of the funeral, neighbors, relatives, friends, the village chief, communities’ leaders and local authorities participated in the cremation and shared their condolences. To help family of the deceased shoulder the burden, the village chief contacted and confided in SCC staff and asked for help. He knew about SCC’s available budget for funeral support aiming to provide funerals for the poorest of families. Then, SCC staff provided 40 US dollars and SCC staff took photo of the recipients (family members) who received the aid in form of cash from SCC staff. The husband, Mr. Sok Sambath was genuinely excited and at this point would like to express his gratitude for the help and supportof SCC’s staff and the Firefly mission from Singapore. He thanks you very much for kind help.