Maly* is a bright, young Cambodian woman. Now 18 years old, she is studying hard in the hope of soon being able to support the mother who has raised her and her younger sister.
Maly was born to an extremely poor family in Kandal, Cambodia. Their poverty was such that her parents were unable to care for Maly and they made the difficult decision to give her up for adoption.
I am alive and healthy because of the program” – Maly
Maly was adopted by a kind Cambodian couple and life was simple and happy...until Maly grew increasingly unwell.
Maly was smaller than other children her age, she lacked energy and she was often sick.
Around her fourth birthday, Maly was diagnosed as HIV positive.
Maly’s life hung in the balance as her parents frantically sought help.
Thanks to the support of the Caritas community, the family was able to access the Seedling of Hope program, run by Caritas Australia partners Maryknoll.
The Seedling of Hope program in Phnom Penh gives vulnerable children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS access to vital healthcare, education, life skills and spiritual support. Many of the children in the program are orphans or were abandoned, left with little chance of survival if not for Seedling of Hope.
After ten years at the Seedling of Hope program, Maly returned home to her adoptive family in 2014.
As Maly embarks on the next phase of her life, she has had to cope with the passing of her beloved adoptive father. Maly has put her dreams of being a doctor on hold to study at the Don Bosco Hotel School and hopes soon to earn enough to support her adoptive mother and educate her younger sister.
Your support of programs such as Seedling of Hope will change the lives of vulnerable children just like Maly.
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*Name has been changed.