Inspiring Moms of May: Cambodian Mom Fights Malnutrition


At Direct Relief, May is for moms. Throughout the month, we will regularly honor mothers around the world who inspire us. Today’s story comes from our partner, Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Heng Chan is a 38-year-old mother of four: three boys and one girl. She was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago.

Since 2004, Chan has been working at Angkor Hospital for Children as peer-educator, often working with other mothers whose children also have been diagnosed with HIV.

One of the subjects Chan teaches is the importance of nutrition. Everyday, she helps conduct a cooking class at the hospital showing other parents how to make a special “bor-bor,” a popular porridge in Cambodia.

Chan’s recipe is specifically adapted for children suffering from malnutrition. In Cambodia, malnutrition affects nearly one third of children under the age of five. It is caused by the inability to afford nutritious food, high rates of infectious diseases, and inappropriate feeding practices. The cooking classes are just one part of a nutrition program at the hospital that is supported by Direct Relief.

Chan’s dedication to care for her family and community despite living with HIV inspires all to live healthier, more hopeful lives.

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