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.
Jul 25, 2012

"Thank you!" from Chea and friends

Chea tries out her new bike and pump
Chea tries out her new bike and pump

On July 12, Lotus Pedals delivered brand new bicycles and pumps to five promising young women enrolled in our Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) scholarship program in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to ensure they could get to school safely.

In urban environments like Phnom Penh, girls often face harassment and abuse while walking to school alone, and their risk increases as they reach adolescence, both as a result of their age and the longer commute to secondary school.

We interviewed one of the new Lotus Pedals recipients, Chea Daraty, who describes the danger she faced before receiving the bicycle.  Watch her short interview by clicking the link below.

Thank you again for helping us pave a way to school for hundreds of Cambodian girls each year.  To learn more about this project or pledge additional support, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lotuspedals/

Happy girls!
Happy girls!

Links:

Jul 16, 2012

A New Life for Srey Leak

This month our team visited NFE graduate Srey Leak ("lee-ack") at her new job as a beautician in Phnom Penh’s riverside Old Market. Formerly a karoke bar worker, Leak completed NFE in 2010 and in 2011 was one of five graduates to receive additional beauty skills training from the program. LO Director of Field Operations Glenn Fawcett describes the observable change in Leak’s appearance:

“I remembered Leak’s apparent sadness and lack of energy on the many occasions we met during our visits to the karaoke bar where she lived, and could hardly believe how happy and easy going she is now,” says Glenn. “Her happiness to be away from her former life, where she was prone to abuse and exploitation, and to now be among good friends that nurture and love her is so apparent - the transformation is extreme.” 

During the visit Leak laughed often with her co-workers, and her boss, Pov described the atmosphere: “We all love each other very much.” There is little reason to doubt her sincerity – in addition to full-time work and a living wage, Pov provides Leak with free training in nail design.  

What’s more, Pov has invested heavily in a training course in Hong Kong, and is saving to open up her own training school. It’s clear that Leak has landed in a positive, future-focused environment where she will have room to thrive, living on her own terms.  

“I will continue to add to my skills,” says Leak. “I plan to open my own small business in this market, maybe on this very spot when Pov opens her training school.”

While Pov partially hired Leak out of pity for an orphaned young woman trying to make a better life for herself, Leak wouldn’t have been a viable candidate without the training in hair, nails and make-up she received from NFE.

Bridging the small gap in education and training to make these women marketable in their communities is precisely what NFE is designed to do, and it makes us incredibly happy to see this come to fruition in a case like Leak’s. Thank you so much for making these happy endings possible!

Jul 10, 2012

You did it!!!

We are humbled yet again by the tremendous energy and compassion our wonderful supporters brought to our first major campaign of 2012.  Our goal was an ambitious one: we needed to raise at least $7,000 in a 24-hour period in order to get the most out of two generous donor matches: 100% from a private donor and an additional 50% from GlobalGiving as a part of their second annual bonus day.

We are delighted to share that you not only pulled through, but you exceeded our expectations!  We raised a total of $7,928 from our supporters, as well as $7,000 from our private donor (who has already delivered on the pledge) and $1,394 from GlobalGiving’s matching fund.  Every penny of the $16,322 raised on June 13 will directly support students in the Phnong Education Iniative (PEI) scholarship program in Mondulkiri, Cambodia.

PEI provides dozens of minority students in Cambodia with scholarship and housing assistance so they won't be forced to drop out of school due to poverty and distance to the nearest schoolhouse. Furthermore, PEI supports training for Phnong-speaking teachers so they can return to their home villages and pay forward the gift of education by helping other linguistic minorities succeed in the public school system.  Each year, PEI provides 31 children and 20 teacher trainees with basic scholarship packages - including food, housing, books, school supplies and transportation - to ensure they can excel in their studies. Investing in the education of these promising young women will not only improve their individual circumstances, but will ripple throughout their communities and future generations. PEI is further designed to "pay forward" the gift of education by investing in the educators of tomorrow.

Thank you again for your tireless support of Lotus Outreach.  To learn more about PEI or make an additional donation, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/pei/.

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