OT&P first became involved with M'Lop Tapang in 2008. As an organisation we already supported a number of social projects, we had some funds to donate and we realised that we could use our skills to leverage the impact of that money. We were very lucky to find M’Lop Tapang, a small charity in Sihanoukville Cambodia, that was 5 years old at the time. M’Lop Tapang had begun as a simple initiative to feed and offer safety to six children who slept under a large Tapang tree on the beach every night. It quickly blossomed into a much wider program, in 2008 they had just opened a small medical centre.
In 2003, an encounter on a beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, sparked an extraordinary journey. Maggie Eno, a co-founder of M’Lop Tapang, came across six vulnerable children sleeping beneath the shelter of a solitary tree. These children were separated from their families, deprived of education, malnourished, and reduced to begging for daily survival.
Maggie was moved by their plight. Having sought help from government agencies, only to discover a gaping void where support and care should have been, she resolved to provide these children with basic health and safety services.
This was the birth of M’Lop Tapang, an organisation that started under a tree on a sandy beach has since expanded its reach to support over 5,000 children, youth, and families in the Sihanoukville area.
M’Lop Tapang's vision is to create an environment where all children are treated equally, feel safe, healthy, and happy. The projects offer access to education, reintegration with families, life-skills training in addition to creative and recreational activities. They ensure protection from all forms of abuse.
OT&P’s Involvement with M’Lop Tapang
Dr. Tim Trodd, GP and co-founder of OT&P Healthcare has been a great supporter of M'Lop Tapang. Tim's first visit was In 2008, an experience he described in a recent blog. Even for an experienced doctor the reality he encountered on that first visit was disturbing. Despite the difficult circumstances the M’Lop Tapang team had set up makeshift medical clinics conducted on tarpaulin mats in surrounding villages. Here he was faced with significant numbers of children suffering from malnutrition and illness. Tim recalls "I was deeply moved, the team at M’Lop Tapang was doing extraordinary work."
One of the key factors in any development work is to ensure both impact and sustainability. Tim focussed on system based gains which could be both measurable and sustainable. The initial focus was on nutrition. MLop Tapang launched an inpatient program, anchored on WHO guidelines, to provide intensive care for children severely affected by malnutrition. However, the foundation of any good primary healthcare programs rests in a focus on prevention. Tim organised for random blood testing of malnourished, children and apart from access to basic macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate and protein) discovered a common deficiency among these children - Zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids.
The team sourced Zinc Sulphate locally and tapped into the natural richness of coconut oil to produce Omega 3 in the M'Lop Tapang kitchen. This strategic intervention yielded quick and effective results as evidenced by rapid weight gain in the children within the program and even more importantly, by a reduction in the incidence of malnutrition in the surrounding villages as the benefits of education and modelling of behaviour came into play.
Contacting and donating to M’Lop Tapang
Despite its many successes, M’Lop Tapang confronts significant challenges. The organisation has been witnessing an increasing demand for its services, which is a testament to the positive impact on the local community. However, meeting this demand requires resources. The stark reality is that M’Lop Tapang is facing a critical lack of funds for 2024 and beyond. This financial shortfall threatens the continuation of their vital work.
OT&P are continuing to support M'Lop Tapang, Dr Trodd remains a keen advocate "I have worked with M'Lop Tapang for 15 years and I know that every bit of funding is put to good use. I urge you to consider making a donation. Every little bit helps."
Every contribution, regardless of its size, can create ripples of change. As Maggie commented recently 'any donation, even a few dollars, can make a significant difference. It's not just a donation; it’s a lifeline for these children."
If you have any questions about where your donations will be used and how you can make an impact, please feel free to reach out directly to Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org. She would be more than happy to discuss M’Lop Tapang's mission and current needs.