When Sok Kheang was one years old, he was taken to Svay Rieng Provincial Hospital for treatment of a very high fever and stayed for one month. He lost the ability to use his legs and the hospital was at a loss for how to treat him so he was returned home to his village. After returning home from the hospital, His parents did not try to help the child in another way as they did not know how so they just kept him at home. Four years later his father made a pair of crutches for him to walk with, but they were uncomfortable.
Sok Kheang’s family heard about VIC from a coomunity outreach visit in 1996, when he was six. He first visited the center in Prey Veng on June 26, 1996. After Veterans International’s staff assessed him, Sok Kheang was provided with a wheelchair and 2 crutches for traveling around. VI staff provided counseling on the importance of education to his parents and encouraged them to integrate the child into school.
For the past of 12 years, VIC has followed up with him 21 times at home and 4 times at the center. After supplying the wheelchair and crutches for traveling, VIC has provided him with school materials, and a hand-cranked bicycle as a means of transportation to school.
To improve his standard of living, on December 8, 2006, VIC provided him with two piglets, one male and one female and on December 15, 2007, one of the pigs farrowed her first litter of 11 piglets. Raising and selling the pigs hasimproved his families situation enabling them to expand their small construction business. Before the family could only earn about 12,000 Riels ($3.00) a day, but now they can earn from 20,000 to 25,000 Riels ($5.00-$6.25) a day.
“With all the support I received from VIC and their donors since 1996, my family’s standard of living improved, enabling my younger brothers, sister and myself to go to school like the other children in the village. In the next years, VIC will continue to be my second family.” said Kheang.