Within any group of children there will be one or two who want extra love and attention. This young man is one of the needier kids at SOC and I recognise him from two years ago as “the boy who loved being picked up.” His name is Sorm and his family circumstances are very poor – his mother unable to afford his care and his father is no longer part of the picture. This boy craves a father figure.
Latching onto a visiting stranger is not a long term solution though this boy is aware of the continuity of care – from sponsors who return, from visitors who have been here before. Better still, his life has structure at the SOC with friends, with daily chores, with regular mealtimes and with school classes: a far cry from his early upbringing where there was not always food on in the bowl.
Visitors to Cambodia almost always remark on the smiles on all the faces; but these days I’m more aware of the broken homes and tragedies that remain hidden from tourists. This boy is being given assistance and a relatively strong level of support – but growing up without a father is far from ideal. We owe it to these children to provide them with steady, dependable role models.