Phnom Penh tragedy – An update from Friends

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Dear friends of Friends,

Thank you again for the overwhelming response from all of you. The teams are extremely happy to receive such support!

As promised, here is the latest update on the situation after the Koh Pich tragedy:

Friends / Mith Samlanh is now working with the families of the 8 children and young people who have died (13 to 23 years of age). The aim is ensuring each family is provided with full emotional support. Since families have received generous financial support in most cases, we also ensure that they keep that money safe (including helping them open bank accounts or plan on the use of the money with family members)

We are also working with the 11 children and young people (14 to 23 years of age) who are still in hospital. We make sure they receive adequate medical care and provide a care-taker if no family members are available. For adults in hospital with children at home we ensure they are taken care of and for people from the provinces we are helping them contact families and local authorities.

The good news is that we have found 3 of the 4 missing children but are still looking for a 19 year old girl (factory worker).

The Alternative Care team is coordinating efforts (with partners Mith Samlanh, M’Lop Krousar, SKO, Krousar Yoeung) to identify children who have been orphaned by this tragedy. Unfortunately we did find cases of orphaned children. Two of these were babies.

One 3-month old lost her mother. Her father was also feared dead until we found him, some days later, seriously injured in hospital. The baby is currently with its grandmother and the team is making sure the family is emotionally supported through this distressing time and will be able to provide proper care – we have also provided support in the form of adequate milk supplies for the baby.

Another child, a 7-month old, lost her father. We are supporting the grieving family in their return to Kampong Cham and we will again ensure that the entire family will be able to care for this child.

We thank you all so much again for your support and encouragement

The Friends-International / Mith Samlanh teams

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