Cambodian Women's Development Agency

Vision: Women and children in Cambodia have quality of life, dignity, safety and are free from discrimination. Mission: To enhance the capacity of women in Cambodia through empowerment, education, self-development and advocacy in collaboration with stake-holders. Goal: To find practical and innovative solutions to social problems by empowering vulnerable women and children in under-served communities to govern their own lives and become autonomous and self-reliant.
Apr 30, 2013

Swimming Lessons

We have been taking the girls swimming at the Olympic Stadium pool which is a 50 metre outdoor pool. They have been thoroughly enjoying the classes and are now very confident in the water. The youngest girls are always asking to take off their armbands, to have a swim on their own.

The swimming lessons have improved their water confidence and overall health. None of the girls are scared of water any more and really enjoy the classes.

We purchased five sets of armbands for the girls who had never swum before and floats, balls and hoops to encourage thier progress in the water. We also got the girls suitable swimwear as they didn't have anything to wear. Many of the girls recently returned home for Khmer New Year and three of them said they went swimming in a local lake when they were home. They were very happy to have something suitable to wear and to show off their new skills.

Excited to go swimming!
Excited to go swimming!
Feb 11, 2013

Siem Reap - 5th to 7th February 2013

We took a trip to Siem Reap so that the girls from the safe shelter could see the cultural epicentre of Cambodia and to enable them to understand more of their heritage. None of the girls had ever been before and we paid for their stay using some of the money raised from Global Giving. It was clear from all their faces that they enjoyed themselves!

We arrived in Siem Reap at 3pm and checked into the two guesthouses where we were staying. Thirty-six of us went on the trip and we were all excited to discover the wonderful city. After we had settled in, we went to the Phnom Bakheng Mountain to watch the sunset and to have dinner on the hilltop.

The next morning we woke up early to visit the beautiful Phnom Kulen Mountain and waterfall. The mountain has a major symbolic importance for Cambodians, as it was the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire. The line of market stalls led to the impressive stairs heading up the mountain, with beautiful statues on either side. Once at the top there were many statues and areas of worship, it seemed very majestic especially as there were local musicians playing traditional Cambodian music. We took off our shoes and hiked up the final staircase to see the giant Buddha and spectacular views of the area. Many people lit incense and encircled the giant Buddha, to pay their respects and reached out to touch his face.

After this visit we went back down the stairs and across to the waterfall for lunch. The waterfall was lively with people splashing about and playing in the water. We ate lunch by some temple ruins and enjoyed a swim afterwards.

We then drove back down the mountain and towards Siem Reap to visit the wonderful temple of Banteay Srei. This temple is renowned for some of the most exquisite carvings of all the temples and it definitely did not disappoint. It also has a lovely hue as it was mainly formed out of red sandstone. Returning to the hostel, we prepared dinner and had a well-deserved rest. We enjoyed the facilities of the hostel, playing pool and a large game of hide-and-seek.

Bright and early on Thursday we went straight to visit Angkor Wat to take advantage of the cooler air and to beat the mid-morning rush of tourists. The temple was magnificent and we walked all around, taking in the atmosphere. We climbed right to the top for the breath-taking view and well-preserved statues. Many of the statues around the temples are headless due to periods of raids and looting. However, Angkor Wat has been preserved well and it is a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on the national flag. We enjoyed an ice-cream after the temple and got back on the bus.

We drove to the West Baray Lake to enjoy lunch in the lovely huts on the lakefront. We then went for a lovely swim with rubber rings and we could barely get the girls to leave when it was time to get back on the bus.

We then headed back to Phnom Penh with some very satisfied and sleepy customers. The trip was wonderful and incredibly successful. It would not have been possible without your support and it is definitely something the girls will not forget for a very long time.

To donate money to the girls’ safe shelter at CWDA, please follow this link: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/safe-shelter-cambodia/ to donate in dollars, or http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/safe-shelter-cambodia/ to donate in pounds sterling.

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Jan 17, 2013

Thank you!

The girls are extremely grateful for your support!
The girls are extremely grateful for your support!

We would like to say thank you for your donations during the December 2012 Open Challenge which got our campaign off its feet to hold a permanent fundraising position on this website. We are extremely grateful and would like to give you some information on where the money is going to go.

Firstly, we will be providing the girls with food and sanitary equipment at the shelter including; medical supplies, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We will also use this money to send all the girls to school; with a suitable uniform and any educational materials that they need. We will also be providing extra classes for some of the girls who need extra tutoring or want to specifically focus on a subject to develop this for further study. For example, Sokara, 18, will study mathematics four times a week.

Secondly, the funds will be able to provide a new emergency fund for any of the girls, if they become critically ill and need urgent medical care. A stay in hospital for 4 days can cost about $50.

We can now take the girls on a cultural trip to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Temples that are part of their heritage. We are currently planning the logistics of the trip which will take place in February 2013. We are also creating a fund to pay expenses for the girls to visit their homes out of Phnom Penh during public holidays to spend time with their families if this is possible.

Finally, we are starting swimming classes this Sunday. Many of the girls cannot swim and it is a vital skill to have to prevent drowning. It is a very sad reality that many children in Cambodia lose their lives as they cannot swim.

Thank you so much for your support and we will keep you updated on these activities!

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