If you want to cook rice for 1,600 kids a day—you’re going to need a lot of water! Learn about Splash’s work with Mith Samlanh, Cambodia’s largest feeding center.

It’s only when you pass through the front gates of the Friends International’s Mith Samlanh Center that you get a clear sense of the enormity of its operations. It is the largest street shelter in Cambodia for homeless and vulnerable children. On an average day, some 1,600 street children come through its doors seeking food and shelter. Every corner of the expansive grounds is filled with the frenetic activity of children and staff. And if you’re there during breakfast or lunchtime, good luck getting through the massive line of children that wraps around the building as they wait for the meal to start!

Splash began work with Friends in 2008, cleaning water for drinking, handwashing, and the incredible volume of food preparation that occurs in Mith Samlanh’s kitchens each day. Knowing that our water system is an integral piece in its operations gives us a great feeling, to be sure. But knowing that the children will continue to have safe water every time they go there—well, this is why we work with feeding centers and street shelters.

We monitor the Friends site’s water closely, which requires our Cambodia staff to visit their kitchen several times a year. Each visit seems to bring a welcome surprise: In 2009, they had begun a delivery service to truck our water to many of their outlying operations, significantly increasing the number of people who benefit from the water we clean. In 2010, Friends expanded that service and now fill more than 300 five-gallon jugs daily, extending the reach of clean water to all their operations and partners. We’re excited to see what they come up with next!

Access to clean water is crucial to provide support to the 1,800 children and youth that we work with daily…
Not only has this system provided us with a safe and consistent supply of clean water, but it also helped Mith Samlanh save a lot money: every month we save around $900.00 USD ($10,950 annually!). On behalf of the children and youth, Mith Samlanh would like to express our sincere thanks to Eric and his colleagues for the support and care for the most vulnerable children and youth in Cambodia.