Caring for Cambodia’s Meet the Team interview series highlights CFC staff on the ground in Siem Reap and at our offices in the United States and Singapore. Suy Sophea is Caring for Cambodia’s Food for Thought Manager in Siem Reap, as well as the Storage and Project Coordinator, and has been with CFC for 13 years. Sophea has a daughter, and in his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and cooking.
You have worked with Caring for Cambodia for 13 years. What is the biggest change that's happened within CFC since your early years with the organization?
I have seen a big change, there were just a bit more than 100 students at Amelio school and only one school building. And now there are 21 schools and more than 6,500 students plus some mothers joining the preschool program. All students around the community were not healthy, most of them sick with no hygiene understanding etc. Now all the students are healthy and understand how to clean themselves in order to keep safe from other diseases. Community is getting bigger and bigger because people moved from other areas to communities around CFC schools, because they think they are good schools.
For followers who may not know: What is the Food for Thought Program?
I think everyone knows about the Food for Thought program as this food provides nutrition to every child at the schools and also community, it is good for pregnant ladies and babies, also everyone knows this food makes everyone healthy.
How does food factor in for Cambodian students? Why is it such an essential part of Caring for Cambodia's operations?
Our food program is very important for Cambodian students, especially our partnership with FMSC (Feed My Starving Children). All ingredients in CFC food provide students enough protein and vitamins to make students grow. Most Cambodian students don’t know food with nutrition even if they eat it at home, but most of the food does not provide enough nutrition. We found a lot of the students were sick and unhealthy before we provided our Food for Thought Program. It is such an essential part of Caring for Cambodia’s operations because this food provides nutrition and makes students healthy and growing well, especially through this food program we provide education about healthy food, protein, and safe food. Moreover the Food for Thought program can help reduce school dropouts, as coming to school provides meals for some poor children who don’t get enough at home.
What is your favorite part about working with CFC schools?
My favorite part about working with CFC is my job today, running Food for Thought, and installing projects at all schools. I especially love working with volunteers.
How do you see CFC evolving over time? What are some areas you'd like to see growth in?
To me, CFC is moving for the world so great. Developing all children in all areas of education through all CFC programs make schools grow, children get good education and through these make communities develop well, clean communities, a lot of people have better knowledge, skills, and reduce domestic violence, gambling. Mainly I would like to see students who graduated from CFC school become good resources for the community.
What is your proudest moment working for CFC?
I am very proud to work with CFC, never feel tired, always give me so much energy because this is the opportunity for me to help my community and my young generation who are like me when I was a boy.
You yourself have a daughter. What is one thing you hope she takes away from her education?
I would like her to take the gender equity education with her, because this area will help her to make decisions on her own and make herself strong, as a girl will be good to be a role model for other girls in the community through gender equity education.