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.
Oct 17, 2013

A Day in the Life of a CWDA Safe Shelter Girl

Ready for school
Ready for school

Chantha (not her real name), aged 10, has been living at CWDA’s Safe Shelter since 2012. Her father had died and shortly after her mother abandoned her, leaving her elderly grandmother to care for her. Chantha’s aunt, unable to take Chantha in herself and worried that she was at high risk of being trafficked due to her vulnerable situation and poverty, came to CWDA for help.

Thanks to the generous support from our donors, a year later Chantha is a happy and confident young girl. She is studious, speaks English and aspires to be a teacher when she is older.

Typically Chantha wakes up at 5:30am and begins her chores of cleaning the sleeping area and making the beds with the other girls. She then showers and gets dressed for the day before going downstairs to the communal living space and eating a breakfast of eggs and rice, cooked by the older girls and supervised by the house ‘mother’. After breakfast, she washes up the bowls and cutlery and then gets started on her homework.

At 10.30am, Chantha has an English lesson for an hour, provided by CWDA’s native-speaking volunteers. She then has lunch consisting of soup, pork and rice, before helping to clean up and getting ready for school.

During the afternoon, Chantha attends a local Khmer school until 5pm. After a dinner of curry and rice, she watches TV, plays with the other girls and reads before finally going to bed at 8pm.

When asked what living in the Safe Shelter meant to her, Chantha replied: ‘I like living at CWDA because it makes me happy to go to school, learn English and be looked after by house mother’.

Chantha, and the other girls at CWDA’s Safe Shelter would like to thank you for your generous support, which enables them to continue living in a safe and caring environment. 

Having an English lesson
Having an English lesson
Jul 18, 2013

Activities of the CWDA Girls: Skateboarding

Just over a year ago, CWDA forged a partnership with Skateistan, an NGO that uses skateboarding as a tool to empower youth in Cambodia. Since then, every Thursday the girls have been going to Skateistan for half a day to learn new skills and also participate in arts and crafts. 

Learning a new and exciting skill such as skateboarding not only increases confidence, but also encourages trust, friendship, leadership, community and social capital.

On International Children’s Day (1st June), the CWDA girls participated in a skateboarding competition organized by Skateistan, held at the Jasmine Valley Resort in Kep. The trip was an ideal opportunity to enhance the girls’ understanding of the environment outside of Phnom Penh and provide them with life experience outside of the city. The competition also encouraged the girls to demonstrate their skateboarding abilities after a year of training with Skateistan.

Despite being in a completely alien environment, the girls were not afraid to show off their skills and take part in the competition, which lasted for 2 ½ hours. There were 17 participants from various different organizations, 8 of whom were from CWDA. All of the girls gave a great performance and the competition was a huge success, whilst CWDA’s very own Srey N. came in 3rd place!

Furthermore, Skateistan have offered 17-year-old Srey N. a voluntary work placement over the forthcoming summer holidays. This is a fantastic opportunity and will provide her with invaluable work experience, responsibility and confidence in teaching skills to others.

Skateboarding means the world to the CWDA girls and they look forward to Thursday’s lessons all week, however without the generous support from our donors, the competition, and skateboarding lessons would not be possible. Donations help pay for transport to and from Skateistan and skateboarding events and also pay for appropriate clothing for sporting activities.

‘Skateistan has helped me become more happy and healthy and makes me strong’ - 17 year old Srey N.

‘Skateboarding gives me new skills and makes me happy’ – 13 year old Malen

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.

Thank you!

Links:

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!

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