Smaller grassroots organizations in Cambodia have a good understanding of the local context where they work. However they often lack access to funding opportunities and/or organizational capacity to run their programs effectively. Our Charter-Doorsteps team works with member organizations who want improve their capacity toward reaching internationally-recognized standards in the areas of staff care, financial accountability, governance, project planning and design and child well-being. Participating organizations receive a small improvement grant to assist with the implementation of their own Improvement Action Plan. Because of their commitment to excellence, Charter member organizations are often the ones leading the way forward in best practice in child care and protection.
One of our Charter-Doorsteps members, Children in Families, coordinates family-based care for children who are unable to live at home with their own family members. They do this as an alternative to having these children enter institutional settings (e.g. orphanages). In the past, many orphanages opened up in Cambodia despite the fact that additional orphanages were not needed and most of the children already living in these institutions did not need to be there; most had living family members who, with some support, could care for the child in their own home. For children who cannot live at home, family-based care alternatives (e.g. kinship care, foster care) are better options than institutions where they will not have the opportunity to grow up in a family setting.
There has been an effort both by the government and organizations working with vulnerable children to support children to stay in families instead of placing them in institutional care settings. To read about this process and/or why NGOs and the Cambodian government believe family-based care to be the best solution for children, click here. Our Charter Member, Children in Families, received a Charter improvement grant and has been participating in our program to build skills aimed at providing foster families in rural areas of Cambodia with training on parenting skils and child development.
One of the foster mothers expressed her satisfaction with the training:
"After attending the Parenting Skills Training, I have learned how to be a [better] parent and have come to realize the value of children and how to keep their best interest in mind. They have a right to share their ideas and be active members of society. They need much attention from their parents and a chance to learn from and rise above their mistakes. This training helps me to understand parenting roles and I have shared the lessons I have learnt with my family members and my friends."
Our Charter-Doorsteps team continues to support and equip Cambodian leaders to uphold best practice and raise standards of care to better protect children in their communities.
Our Doorsteps staff is continuing their training and mentoring services provided to all coalition members, and it's been a busy couple of months!
Earlier this year the team conducted a series of trainings for Cambodian NGOs on Financial Management. Due to oversubscription for that session, the team facilitated another three day training session in September for leaders of NGOs, management teams, finance officers and accountants. The trainings were led by Fontamillas Donasco & Co. Certified Public Accountants and consisted of courses on Roles and Responsibilities between Senior Management and Finance Teams, Communication between Senior Management and Finance Teams and Developing the Internal Control for Preparation of Financial Policy.
In October the Doorsteps team traveled throughout provinces in Cambodia to provide a training for Chab Dai member organizations on Minimum Standards for Protection of the Rights of Victims of Human Trafficking. Additionally, they supported a training by Hagar International on Trauma-Informed Care regarding crisis intervention and properly responding to clients wanting to commit suicide. And finally, this week is the first session of our Learning to Learn training, with instruction from Yejj Consulting, designed for Caregivers (House Mothers), Teachers, Teachers' Assistants, Trainers and Team Leaders. The second session will take place in mid-November.
Our Doorsteps project is an important resource for our member organizations who understand the local context of Cambodia and have a desire and a vision to see change in their own communities, but who have had very little in the way of formal education and training to equip them for managing projects. With the services provided by the Doorsteps team and partnering organizations, members are enabled to reach internationally-recognized standards in the areas of staff care, financial accountability, governance, project planning and design and child well-being.
Thank you for your continued support of this project! We appreciate your dedication to helping end human trafficking in Cambodia, Southeast Asia and the world!
Our Doorsteps team trains local community leaders in Cambodia to be able to protect children against abuse, exploitation and trafficking by providing small improvement grants, collaboration opportunites and capacity-building opportunities to grassroots programs. This year, Doorsteps combined with our Charter project to build on these endeavors by raising standards and sharing best practices with other organizations in the counter-trafficking movement.
This past quarter the Doorsteps Charter team began a training series on effective living based on Stephen Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The training involves 21 participants working in education, capacity-building and social work who meet for two days a month together learning about the principles outlined in the book. By facilitating effective living the Doorsteps Charter team encourages a method for the participants to create a sturdy foundation on which to improve their current and future work in their fields. Additionally, the team is in the midst of conducting a needs-based training for Charter member organizations on Financial Management, Human Resources and addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These trainings will conclude this month.
Last month the team also completed the final session of this year's Project Cycle Management Level I training with 24 participants. The training lasts an entire year, during which time the Doorsteps Charter team works on building capacity and mentoring grassroots leaders in Cambodia to effectively run their organizations and thus better address vulnerabilities that can lead to exploitation and trafficking in their communities.
Outside their normal trainings provided, this quarter presented a unique crisis for the Doorsteps Charter team to respond to. Tens of thousands of Cambodian migrant workers were deported from Thailand following the military junta’s campaign to crack down on illegal migration and slave labor. Through threats, warnings and mass deportation, Cambodian migrants (reports say both legal and illegal) working in Thailand’s construction, fisheries or garment industries were loaded on trucks and sent to the Thailand-Cambodia border, with no appropriate safety measures or provisions for the journey, as well as being charged extra to cross the border. The response to the crisis on the Cambodian side was well-organized and coordinated through a network of NGOs, agencies and the Cambodian government to provide these migrants with water, food and hygiene kits, as well as temporary shelter in tents before they were transported back to their respective homes. The Doorsteps Charter team was part of the relief and protection work and continues to be part of the collaborative efforts to define next stages of addressing the return of these more than 200,000 unemployed Cambodians back to their homes.
Thanks to your contribution to this project, our team is able to continue their important work equipping and empowering local leaders to care for their communities effectively, as well as responding to emergencies such as the one detailed above. The Doorsteps Charter team provides financial resources for grassroots leaders to implement their programs, but also train these leaders in the organizational skills necessary to do the kinds of work they want to do. Capacity-building and mentoring helps leaders identify specific ways their programs can increase their impact in protecting children and subsequently make their application for a small improvement grant. As a result, children benefit from improved programming in the community. On behalf of our team and our training participants, thank you for your continued support!
Our Doorsteps team trains local community leaders in Cambodia to be able to protect children against abuse, exploitation and trafficking by providing small improvement grants, collaboration opportunites and capacity-building opportunities to grassroots programs.
We've been busy at work in these efforts this year. Our team recently organized a half-day refresher training course on Financial Accountability and Sustainability, where we also provided five small grants for approved grassroots organizations. Participants who joined in the session expressed their appreciation for the training itself and the networking environment. As a part of the training, participants shared their lessons learned, as well as the challenges they've faced and best practices they've implemented in administering financial matters in their organizations.
We also completed our annual Project Cycle Management Level II training in January. We had 20 participants for this session, the main objective of which was Monitoring and Evaluating the effectiveness of their businesses. After completion of this training, which generally spans several months to a year, participants can apply for the Learning Grants that are available.
Our most recent training event took place on the 6th and 7th of this month. The Doorsteps team conducted the Livelihood Development Training with 11 participants to provide a course on Business Planning, which helps in further building the capacity of their small businesses and grassroots organizations.
Your contribution to this project allows us to continue equipping and empowering these local leaders to care for their communities effectively. The Doorsteps team ensures that grassroots leaders not only have financial resources to implement their programs but, more importantly, have the organizational skills necessary to do the kinds of work they want to do. Capacity-building and mentoring helps leaders identify specific ways their programs can increase their impact in protecting children and subsequently make their application for a small improvement grant. As a result, children benefit from improved programming in the community. All of this only continues with your help, so thank you for your continued support!
Since 2008, Doorsteps has organized an annual Project Cycle Management training for its members. This training teaches and equips grassroots Khmer leaders to strengthen their knowledge and skills in protecting vulnerable children and adults in their community. This last December, Doorsteps held their annual event in Phnom Pehn, where 46 Alumni members came together to celebrate their accomplishments, share lessons learned and form new partnerships. The event was filled with workshops on management, various networking activities as well as graduate presentations on their current projects.
The presentations at the event highlighted Doorsteps’ training and mentorship program as playing a key role in preparing leaders to start and run programs that are impacting and empowering their communities. As one member stated, “before coming to the training, it seemed like I was working without a plan and strategy. But in the training, they taught us how to set up and prepare our projects. It is important to have consistent goals and expected outcomes for the project.” One of the 2010 PCM graduates, this momeber is working as an HR and Operations Manager with a rehabilitation organization. Another inspirational piece shared at the event was presented by a PCM graduate who runs a prevention project in his local village. This village has a high illiteracy rate and the children often play in the garbage that surrounds their community. This PCM graduate started an education centre that offers training on parenting skills, information on domestic violence, human trafficking and child rights to education to help empower his community.
Many of the graduates expressed strong appreciation for the Doorsteps training and mentorship program for being able to build up their capacity to be influential and have a positive impact in their communities. What was most exciting at the event was the ability to actually measure the change our leaders are making. This change has been documented and measured through an increase in parent knowledge about domestic violence and child trafficking. We have also seen lower dropout rates for teenagers when they continue with employment training and hold a part time job to support their studies; this allows families to stay together because children are not forced to look for employment across the borders. Lastly, we have seen how Doorsteps training has had a positive impact on gender equality and empowerment to Cambodian women. Since its launch in 2008, we have seen an increase in female participants by 50%, bringing the male to female ratio to almost equal. This event showed the major progress and accomplishments we have made together and cannot wait to see the future progress of our many leaders.
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