For people who live in poverty, a natural disaster represents much more than a minor setback. More than 1.5 million Cambodians have been devastated by recent flooding, half of which are children. Many families have been left without shelter, their crops for the year ruined.
Salesians from the Don Bosco Cambodia Foundation (DBCF) have responded to rural areas to offer support and assess the immediate needs of the families affected. Some villages are cut off completely, making it hard to know the extent of the tragedy. For those communities that have been accessed, our missionaries report widespread destruction and suffering.
Rice crops have been destroyed and most buildings are flooded. Families are now crammed in refugee camps, struggling to cope emotionally with their losses. Many of the victims barely escaped the disaster on make-shift rafts constructed of bamboo. Some even had to swim for their lives.
When the flooding recedes, the Salesians will be hard at work helping people rebuild their homes, schools and farms. Our missionaries fear that many children will not be able to return to school because they will need to help provide for their families who have lost everything.
Despite the obstacles, the Salesians are determined to restore valuable training and education programs that will give many children and adults the opportunity to recover from the disaster and rise out of poverty.
Salesian Missions efforts to better the lives of disadvantaged children and families becomes even more challenging when a natural disaster strikes. We especially need your assistance when a tragedy destroys our facilities and interrupts our work for the poor. In Cambodia and all around the globe your partnership allows us to rebuild and renew the spirit and the hopes of thousands of lives.