Last year in June, I met a new born baby and his mother in a little shed at the infamous Stung Meanchey (old) Garbage Dump. We spent a week at the dump. The baby was born on either the second or third day that we were there.
Yesterday I went back there to make preparations for another project in June. Naturally I wanted to see how the baby and his parents were doing. The garbage mountain was still there. The shed was still there. But the family was gone.
The staff of the NGO who worked with them told me a now-familiar story. The father left the mother and the baby soon after he was born. The mother couldn’t possibly raise the baby by herself, so she went back to her village with her baby, who should be 9 months old now.
Perhaps it is actually better for her and her baby. Hopefully her own family and relatives would be able to help her raise her baby. Hopefully they have enough to eat. Hopefully they can make a fresh start. Hopefully.
I hope the baby does not have HIV. Why is it that it is always the women and the children who suffer more?