Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the education, health, and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world. Lotus Outreach achieves its mission by supporting effective grassroots projects in vulnerable communities.
Nov 28, 2012

Did you know?

We are the Girl Effect!
We are the Girl Effect!

Lotus Outreach and the Blossom Bus are in the final hours of the second annual Girl Effect Challenge. Victory in this challenge would mean we could double the number of Blossom Bus girls next year to 300, bringing new hope to 150 girls that have been forced to drop out of school and are at-risk of becoming child brides.

The only way we can guarantee victory and continue our invaluable partnership with Girl Effect in 2013 is through your vote.

A donation of just $10 to the project = one vote for the Blossom Bus, and there are two simple ways to cast your vote: 

Donate online at www.blossombus.org

-or-

Text "GIVE 5307" to 80088 to donate $10*

You can track our progress on the Girl Effect Challenge leaderboard here.

So far this year, 150 girls have received rides to and from school each day as a result of the tremendous outpouring of love, support and energy we received from you all in the 2011 challenge. 99% of these girls graduated to a higher grade level this spring, with many making history in their village high schools. We know you can help us cross the finish line again and enable these bright young women to continue blazing trails in their communities.

If you have already donated toward the challenge this month, thank you!!! Please continue to be a voice for these amazing girls by telling your friends, family and colleagues about this challenge via email, Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to ask them to donate $10 to cast their vote too.

The "polls" close on November 30, so be sure to cast your vote today!

Warmly,
Lotus Outreach

*Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 80088 to STOP. Text HELP to 80088 for HELP. Full Terms:www.mGive.org/T. Privacy Policy: goto.gg/privacy.

Links:

Oct 30, 2012

A reason to celebrate this Back to School season!

Bicycle giveaway ceremony
Bicycle giveaway ceremony

As a result of your generous support, 107 impoverished young girls in the Russey Keo district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia received refurbished bicycles and repair kits this month, allowing them to celebrate Back to School season in style.

In rural Cambodia, the road to school is long and full of hazards.  In addition to the time and opportunity costs of traversing lengthy distances to school by foot, rural Cambodian girls face a high incidence of sexual violence in their communities, and walking alone increases their risk.  By supplying heavy-terrain bicycles to the poorest girls living over one mile from the nearest schoolhouse, Lotus Pedals is helping hundreds of adolescent Cambodian girls safely return to school.

The giveaway ceremony, held at Bun Rany Hun Sen Koh Dach High School on October 8, was attended by nearly 1,000 people, including the district officer, commune council, village chief, school director, teachers, local authorities and 700 school children and parents. Speaking to the crowd, the Deputy Governor stressed that a bicycle means a lot to poor family that would otherwise have to save for a very long time in order to afford a bike for their daughter. Student council representatives also declared that with a bike, the girls can now come to school both regularly and on time. Recipients thanked the donors and promised to study hard and take good care of their new bikes.

Susan B. Anthony once said "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.  It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can't get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."

These words – spoken by a 19th century American feminist – could not be truer in present-day rural Cambodia, where – for a young woman – a bicycle can mean the difference between reaching her full potential and a life of oppression.  We offer our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for entrusting us to help these young Cambodian girls get back to school, and for investing in the healing of a nation.

One of the 107 poor girls that received bikes
One of the 107 poor girls that received bikes
"Thanks for helping me stay in school!"
"Thanks for helping me stay in school!"
New Lotus Pedalers :)
New Lotus Pedalers :)

Links:

Oct 16, 2012

Mid-year update & KimNga's story

Your support has given her the gift of literacy
Your support has given her the gift of literacy

In the first half of 2012, your generous support opened the doors to a better life for 98 women and children living and working in the red light districts of Svay Pak, Beung Kak II and Phnom Penh Thmei, Cambodia. In addition to the Non-Formal Education (NFE) literacy and life skills classes, the project supported training in tailoring, sewing, cooking and cosmetology, paving the way for better jobs outside of the sex and entertainment industry. The program also provided STD and HIV/AIDS screening and counseling to 85 of these students, ensuring they stay healthy while transitioning to better futures.

The story of Heab KimNga demonstrates just how much of a difference these courses can make in the lives of the most vulnerable. Born in 1994 in Kondal province, KimNga learned grown-up responsibilities at a young age. Losing her father at the age of three, KimNga was forced to drop out of school in the third grade in order to help care for her seven siblings. Her dedication to giving her brothers and sisters a better life was evident when she moved to Phonm Penh to take up work entertaining men in a karaoke at the age of 15. She wanted to make sure her younger siblings could afford to stay in school no matter what.

In February 2011, KimNga joined the NFE class in hopes of finding something better for herself. She absorbed all that the literacy and life skills classes had to offer, and began attending vocational training in sewing. In December of 2011, she graduated from the program and found a good job in a garment factory in the same month (in Cambodia, the garment industry is highly regulated with strict labor laws).

Since then, KimNga’s life is looking up. She recently married and now enjoys a productive, loving family life with her new husband who works in construction. “The program has helped me to have the kind of simple, happy life that I think everyone wishes for,” share KimNga. “I feel so warm in the heart now and my only remaining wish is to one day have a business of my very own!"

Sewing class
Sewing class

Links:

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