Who is hiding in the kitchen?


At Anjali House, we provide unlimited drinking water and 2 nutritious meals a day. Giving a decent meal to our 120 students is an essential part of our basic care program and most of the time, a privilege the children would not otherwise benefit from if they did not attend the school. Who is behind the scene? Portrait of Prom Thorn, Anjali house cook.

Prom Thorn, Anjali House cook while preparing lunch for our students and staff.

Prom Thorn is a typical Khmer woman. She is dressed in a turtle neck, a blouse and long trousers, and unbelievably modest and shy. She has been the Anjai House cook for the past five years, five days a week. Slowing down doesn’t fit her agenda of being a single mom, who also has to provide food and education for her family of four.

“I get up in the morning at around 5 and I leave for work at around 5.30 am. At 6.00 am, I prepare the breakfast that includes porridge, Khmer noodles or soup for the 50 students attending the local school in the morning. At 7.45 am, most of the children have finished eating and wash their plates. I then go over the 50 plates, the cutlery and the cups to make sure they are clean. After that, I wash the utensils, clean the kitchen and it is time to rush to the local market.
Every week I get a shopping list that meets the need of nutrients for all the youngsters. At the market, I have to find the right ingredients in a big amount and within a budget of 70 dollars per meal. .
At 10.30 am, I am back in the kitchen cooking lunch for 80 students who will be waiting for their meal at 11.30 am.  I have to prepare every dish and make sure everybody has enough. A regular lunch includes rice, vegetables and meat or fish. At 12.30pm, I can take my 30mns break. Afterwards the cleaning ritual starts all over but more thoroughly and my day stops at around 4.00 pm.

Prom Thorn waits until 6.00 pm for one of her boys who is one of Anjali House young adult student and who is volunteering at the library. When she gets home, she needs to cook dinner, do the household and give her children the attention they seek. Super woman!

If you want to sponsor our food program, contact nancy.barrett@anjali-house.com