ASIA PACIFIC. Interest is building in The Moodie Davitt Report Duty Calls Charity Dinner, to be held in Singapore on Saturday 11 May.

It will support the work of Friends International, which has 25 years of experience working directly with disadvantaged urban children, youth, families and communities, across Asia, Africa and Europe. The programme enables children who have come from precarious environments to be raised in safe family homes, including children who have been abandoned in hospitals due to sickness or disability.

One of these is Sreypich. She and many children like her have been abandoned by their parents, often due to sickness or disability. It is on behalf of children like her that this fund-raising drive has been initiated.

Only weeks old, Sreypich was abandoned in a forest near Cambodia’s historic Angkor Wat Temples in Siem Reap. Local villagers heard a baby crying in the forest as they walked to work. Following the noise, they found an abandoned baby, who had suffered injuries and was in distress. They immediately took her to the local authorities who called the Friends International ChildSafe Emergency hotline.

The Friends International social workers advised that the baby should be taken immediately to the local Angkor Children’s Hospital where she was administered life-saving treatment on arrival. After two weeks’ treatment at the hospital, where the medical team restored her to health, baby Sreypich was taken into short-term foster care by one of the charity’s most experienced foster-care families.

Friends International’s foster care families receive extensive training on parenting techniques for children who have suffered trauma and neglect. Sreypich’s short-term foster mother was capable of providing a nurturing care environment and Friends International ensured all the baby’s nutritional and material needs were met.

Friends International’s social workers try, where possible, to reunite all children who come into their care after being separated from their families. For Sreypich, this was not possible. The family reintegration team traced her mother but sadly, because of extensive abuse and trauma, her mother had serious mental health problems and was unable to care for Sreypich.

The team also learned there was no suitable relative to care for the baby in the long-term. So, together with local government Friends International’s social workers set about looking for families to become long-term foster parents for Sreypich.

Sreypich pictured with her long-term foster parents and, below, her foster mother signing the guardianship papers.

After in-depth interviews and observations with many potential parents, the right fit for Sreypich was found. This couple had wanted children for a long time, but were unable to have any of their own. They desperately wanted to give Sreypich a loving family. In early January this year, Sreypich moved from her short-term foster family to her new, long-term foster parents.

Today Sreypich is growing up in a loving family, giving her the best chance at a healthy, happy, and productive life.

This is one of the projects implemented by Friends International where short-term foster care in a family care environment is provided for children under six, while the project workers find a permanent living situation for the children. As with Sreypich, the charity’s social workers continue to monitor all children’s situation to ensure they and their new long-term foster parents are happy.

Sreypich’s dedicated social worker commented after a recent visit: “I am so happy to see Sreypich is developing a lot in just one month with her new family. She is super happy to live in a family. Her new parents are taking care of her excellently!”

On behalf of Sreypich and the many children we will be supporting through our Duty Calls charity dinner, we urge our friends and colleagues in the travel retail industry to get behind this important cause.

To reserve your table or seat at the dinner visit DutyCalls.events. For information on partnership opportunities or how to contribute to the charity auction during the dinner, please contact Michael Barrett (Michael@MoodieDavittReport) or Irene Revilla (Irene@MoodieDavittReport).