ISF Parent Reveals How COVID-19 Has Impacted Her Family

Recently, one of our exceptional social workers sat down with Toek Channy. This ISF student’s mother, to speak about how the COVID-19 crisis has affected her family. Usually she spends her days selling home-made cakes on the streets of Phnom Penh, but, with many adhering to physical distancing guidelines and others hard-hit economically, customers are scarcer these days. Channy is herself frightened to go out and interact with strangers, so she’s been left to scramble for income as payments loom on her home loan.

Sadly her family’s story is not an isolated one. Crises like the Coronavirus epidemic most often disproportionately affect disadvantaged and working poor families. Lacking savings or a full-fledged social safety net, any missed paycheck can spell disaster. According to 90% of the families we interviewed, half or all of their income has disappeared since the crisis began. To help the families in the communities we serve during these difficult times, ISF has expanded our support in key ways. 

While schools are closed to prevent community spread of Coronavirus, we provide take-home lessons for our students. They are either picked up at our education centres or ISF community libraries. We also leverage the power of social media to facilitate online learning and student-teacher communication in Facebook Groups. Since nutritional support is one of the bedrocks of our programme, we continue to provide monthly food parcels during the pandemic. To make up for the school meals that children are missing, additional rice and canned goods are also given. Our community team works diligently to find new ways to help those we support. Their efforts include health and hygiene workshops as well as negotiating with landlords to reduce rental fees for struggling families.

Your contributions count now more than ever for the hundreds of families in our care who are hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Please, if you can, make a donation below.