Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGO set to fund acid attack victim’s surgical care in US



NGO set to fund acid attack victim’s surgical care in US

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) founder Scott Neeson (right) and 14-year-old Malita. Heng Chivoan

NGO set to fund acid attack victim’s surgical care in US

Eleven years after being badly injured in an acid attack, Chenda Chheang and her 14-year-old daughter Malita will finally receive surgical care in Los Angeles, US, thanks to NGOs Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) and Face Forward International covering all expenses.

Hailing from an impoverished background, Chenda said it was “truly unbelievable” that her family would receive such care after they were attacked by acid outside a relative’s house in February 2008.

“Although I am blind, after coming to live at [CCF’s World Housing community], my life is no longer blind. People encouraged, cared for and even took pity on me. I am very deeply grateful,” Chenda said.

Chenda who was blinded in the attack was also badly scarred. Malita, who was only two years old, suffered extensive burns on her body, face and arms.

They were taken in by CCF, where Chenda worked at a rice workshop while Malita attended classes with ambitions of working in the film industry.

CCF president Scott Neeson, who first met Malita when she was six-years-old said: “I have watched Malita grow and begin to thrive. During that time, she has had to undergo painful treatment and her courage has been remarkable. It’s wonderful that Malita and her mother have been given hope.”

The pair will travel to Los Angeles in a few weeks to receive three months of treatment. This will continue over the next five years with them going back and forth.

Treatment will include scar reversion, skin smoothening and possibly ocular repair options for Malita, said Face Forward International founder and CEO Deborah Alessi.

Face Forward will cover all the expenses related to the treatment. Surgical visits and four procedures for the two victims will cost about $300,000.

Licadho monitoring manager Am Sam Ath told The Post that acid-related violence had decreased over the past decade but have recently experienced an uptick.

“Despite having declined, acid attacks have serious repercussions for its victims. Acid can cause them to lose their lives or make them differently-abled. It takes a long time for recovery with the effect that acid attacks kill victims from the inside out,” he said.

Sam Ath said acid attacks were so serious that they demand the government enforce strict laws for acid vendors.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that