HUON Mao was born as a son of two HIV-positive parents. After the early death of his father, Mao's mother tried to support the family for a long time. Due to her own health's decline, she lost her job and desperately tried to keep her family from starvation by taking on any job that she could find. As an eight year old, Mao started to live at Kinderhilfe Kambodscha's village, where he finally was able to attend school and didn't have to worry about going to bed hungry any longer.
Today Mao works in a garage as a mechanic after he successfully finished school and received vocational training at Don Bosco.
Early childhood hardship due to HIV-positive parents
HUON MAO was born as the youngest of three children in 1999 in Phnom Penh.
Both his parents were HIV-positive and his father passed away from AIDS, when Mao was very young in 2001. Luckily, Mao is not infected with the virus. The living conditions for Mao and his family however changed for the worse after his father passed away. His mother first was able to support the family with the small but stable income she earned in a garnment factory and they rented a small hut in Phnom Penh's slum.
The whole community was relocated to Sen Son, a slum north of Cambodia's capital and his mother's health began to deteriorate and she lost her job. She tried to support her family by taking whatever job she could find - on construction sites or washing dishes in restaurants, but the situation for Mao worsened and eventually the local authorities got involved.
Immediately after learning about Mao's living conditions, the team of Kinderhilfe Kambodscha met with his mother in their hut. After seeing the real need for support, Mao was accepted into our program and started living with us on New Year's Eve of 2007.
Mao was eight years at the time and joined Grade 1, because he never had visited school before. He enjoyed school, did well and eventuell graduated in Grade 9 from school. After successfully passing the entrance exam, he joined Don Bosco for a vocational training course to be come a mechanic, which he finished in 2019.He immediately found full time work. Sadly, his mother passed away shortly after he started working and so Mao comes to visit our village whenever he can to check in on his big family here.