''We all deserve to live and not survive''
due to the surge of COVID 19 in Cambodia and the following lockdowns particularly in Phnom Penh Municipality, the food crisis has been a major issue nationwide.
The direct economical impact on certain persons such as garment workers, elderlies who cannot have access to basic food, and stigma of starvation are already observed.
Generation C Cambodia (GC) started an emergency food distribution to help the persons in acute need. GC plans a long term action in activating pagodas and their role within the communities. Samakithoar, is an initiative to implement ''le Restaurant du Coeur'' in Cambodian pagodas to promote Buddhist philosophy and recenter in Khmer society pagoda’s role in helping the people in need.
Nowadays, in Cambodia, Pagoda’s activities are mostly religious celebrations. During this pandemic, all pagodas in Phnom Penh have been closed to the public which is in contradiction to their Buddhist philosophy and values as well as their main role in helping people in need by providing them with food and a place to stay especially during a time of crises. It is important more than ever for pagodas to show acts of kindness and gesture of solidarity to their people.
‘’le Restaurant du Coeur’’ created by a famous French humorist Mr. Coluche was a solidarity restaurant providing food packages and hot meals to those in need. The association does not only target the homeless but also all those with a low or very low income (single families, old people with a low pension, young adults…). This initiative became national wide and was even implemented in Germany and Belgium.
Due to the social distancing and sanitary protocol, local villages pick up their lunch at the Pagodas. To avoid all plastic uses meals are distributed in a lunch box. 15 meals are served to each family during 5 days a week at Prey Soh district in 3 different locations; Wat Ang Metrey pagoda, Wat Russey San pagoda, and Prey Soh chief of the village house. Samakithoar project officially launched on June 14th, 2021. In a near future, the goal is to serve 2 000 to 3000 meals per day national wide.
The distribution process will evolve in function of the epidemic and the government directives.
Urgent dispatch to people in need
Due to the COVID-19 explosion in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh Municipality and Takhma Town, a lockdown has been put in place with total isolation of red areas. Most of the markets have been closed due to the identification of positive persons.
Direct impact a part economical, certain persons such as garment workers, and persons locked in red areas have no possibility to have access to basic food and stigma of starvation are already observed.
Focusing on Phnom Penh, food donation will target :
Red & Orange zone where people are in strict lockdown and can't have access to food
Around Phnom Penh in the rural area where garment factory workers are suffering starvation
Two categories of persons are identity:
Homeless, streets kids, cyclo which has no means for preparing food
Persons locked in red districts areas that have a kitchen
Using pagodas temple to prepared and serve food or distribute raw foods and utensils following strict hygiene and infection control protocols.
With the help of our donors, we were able to raise a total of amount of
USD 7 100 and distribute food packages for 350 families for one week.
The food package consists of :
Rice (15 kg)
Noddles (1 pack)
Cans fish (10 cans)