Forced to Eat Mice

A Very Real Story of One Struggling Cambodian Family

Forced to Eat Mice

The following story may distress some readers. It is however a particularly important story to tell as it highlights the severity of the situations we sometimes find families in.

A few weeks ago while building a house for another family, Deb the Founder of MyGapYear & a group of Volunteers did a routine check-up on a family that we built a house for in the past. Routine check-ups on past families are part of daily life here at MyGapYear, but rarely do we find that a family’s circumstances have regressed since our input. In fact, in all of our history of family check-ups we have never seen a negative outcome, until now.

Siem is a young, blind mother to three children who received a house, food & housing supplies from MyGapYear donators earlier this year. Upon entering her property we were shocked and appalled to find her in such a disturbing scenario it is hard to fathom. Siem was peeling mice that she had caught and was boiling them for food! Can you imagine? A blind mother of three with no electricity, and no access to clean water forced to resort to such desperate measures in order to keep her family alive. Nobody on this planet deserves to live like that and MyGapYear would not sit idle by and let such injustice happen.
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Siem was peeling mice that she had caught and was boiling them for food! Can you imagine? A blind mother of three with no electricity, and no access to clean water forced to resort to such desperate measures in order to keep her family alive.

This was an extremely confronting and uncomfortable experience for all involved. Especially the Volunteers. But what happened as a result is a testament to the generosity of not only our Volunteers, but young Australian’s in general. Natalie Lopresti, a young Sydney woman who was Volunteering with us at the time took the situation in her stride and offered to help this desperate family. Natalie offered a monthly sponsorship to support this family and help them get back on their feet. This young woman is only 18 years old, still building her own future, yet generously opting to change the future of complete strangers. MyGapYear cannot thank Natalie enough for her generosity and are extremely proud of the way she handled herself in such a difficult situation. What an amazing & inspiring young woman.

UPDATE: Another amazing woman, and also a previous Volunteer, Grace Hallewell has generously donated enough money to install a water well for Siem & her family. This is a MASSIVE deal for Siem and her family as she will now have access to clean water to bath & cook with. Having access to water is something many of us living in Western Countries often take for granted. Everyone deserves the right to access water, a basic human necessity. A massive THANK YOU to Grace for her kind & generous donation to this extremely impoverished family.

With Love,

The MyGapYear Team

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