Provide women and girls education in Cambodia

 
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Dec 22, 2014

Meet Ty, and Help Us Win the Giving Challenge!

WRC counsellors support women emotionally.
WRC counsellors support women emotionally.

We hope you’re enjoying your holiday season! We have a story to share with you about a woman called Ty whose life you’ve touched through your contributions to Women’s Resource Center. (Thank you!)

Because there are many more women we still need to reach, though, I first must tell you about this: GlobalGiving has challenged us to raise $3000 by the end of the year, funds critical to continuing our programs in 2015. If do, we are eligible to win up to another $3000 in the Giving Challenge!

This grant is only available if we hit $3000 in the next 2 weeks! We hope you’ll take a moment to renew your commitment to Cambodian women by donating today. Thank you so much for your support.

Your gift goes toward helping Cambodian women create better lives for themselves and their children. One of them has allowed us to share her story with you today. Out of respect for her privacy, let's call her Ty:

Ty came to Women’s Resource Center ready to give up her daughter for adoption. At just three years old, Ty’s daughter is severely disabled in body and mind, and she is mute. Ty doesn’t know what her daughter’s affliction is because she can’t afford a doctor’s visit for a diagnosis. Understandably, Ty arrived overwhelmed and wanting a better life for her daughter. She was unable to find work since her daughter required her attention throughout the day.

After learning from her WRC counselor of the hazards of Cambodian orphanages, Ty quickly decided an orphanage wasn't the place she had hoped for her little girl. She needed love and care, and Ty wanted to be the person to provide it. She told us, "I want to keep her and I want her to be happy and healthy."

Ty’s WRC counselor worked with her to identify her strengths and create a plan for a steady income. Ty is a gifted seamstress and dreamt of working from home sewing while caring for her daughter. We connected her with a local foundation offering small business loans and coached her through the process.

Ty secured her loan and just started her own stall in the market in her town! Ty lives in her market stall as well as works there - she has room for both, and now she has her daughter with her in her care full-time.

What about Ty’s daughter? WRC introduced Ty to a local health organization that now makes house calls to ensure Ty’s daughter’s needs are met. She now is in physiotherapy to help her development. There is no cure for what ails her, but she will have quality care and grow up knowing the feel of her mother’s touch.

Ty’s life was transformed, and it only took 7 weeks (and your help!). Her daughter will have a better life, too, because of you and the community of donors who keep Women’s Resource Center’s doors open.

Thank you so much for making this story possible. If you’re able, please contribute to our Giving Challenge so we have many more success stories to share with you in 2015. For every woman we reach, there are hundreds more in need of an advocate. Please help us reach those women in 2015.

Dec 2, 2014

"There are times when women deserve to be beaten."

WRC Say NO to Violence Against Women!
WRC Say NO to Violence Against Women!

28%. That’s how many Cambodian men agreed with the statement, “There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten” when surveyed by the United Nations.* That’s almost one in three, and that’s just the men who were comfortable admitting it.

Women’s Resource Center is working to change that statistic, and we need your help. We’ve got to reach community leaders and men, too, to change the trajectory of domestic violence. Last week, we kicked off this outreach with our Say “NO” to Violence Against Women workshop for 100 village and commune chiefs, police officers, health workers, and men and women from the community.

Will you help us reach 100 more?

The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive. One police officer even gave us his personal phone number and asked that we call him directly when one of our clients has a domestic violence issue so that he can respond personally. This may be commonplace where you live, but it’s groundbreaking for women living in communities that consider domestic violence normal and even justifiable.

Please donate now and help us raise $1000 before Human Rights Day on 10 December (WRC's 5th birthday) to keep this community outreach going! Each village chief we reach can help dozens or even hundreds of women in his or her community. The impact is HUGE, but we need your help to make it happen! 

As always, THANK YOU for supporting WRC and women in Cambodia.

Links:

Sep 5, 2014

You're Making Riel Change

Empowered
Empowered 'Riel Change' workshop participants!

Hello, WRC Supporters!

We have an important new program to share with you that will help Cambodian women hold the purse strings – and thus the power – in their households and communities. It’s called Riel Change, and we’ve founded it this year to empower women financially. Riel are the currency of Cambodia, and as you know, money talks. We’ve just finished our inaugural sessions, and I’m hoping you can contribute today to help fund our next round.

It always amazes us the immediate change that education can have on a woman’s confidence: One particular woman in our program – let’s call her Devi – had always been very shy and timid, rarely looking people in the eye and always cowering over when speaking to others. In the workshop she used to sit with closed and tight body language, only speaking quietly if at all. There’s no telling what Devi has been through in her life to give her this countenance. After our program, Devi now stands tall and confidently when speaking. She is engaged, participating, smiling and laughing. Her newfound confidence is all from the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

We’ve got a long way to go to reach all the Devis of Cambodia, though. The United Nations reports that Cambodia has the lowest levels of gender equity in Asia, and Cambodian women have limited knowledge, confidence and skills about economic and financial issues. Financial literacy increases their decision making power to help them break the cycle of poverty and oppression. It gives women more power in household dynamics, too, so they don’t always have to subject to their husbands’ wishes – critical in a nation with prevalent domestic abuse.

The 'Riel Change' curriculum includes:

  • Expense priorities
  • Goal setting
  • Tracking expenses
  • Savings
  • Planning for emergencies & risks

This week the women of our inaugural Riel Change class graduate, in time for International Day of Literacy next Monday. These women now possess the skills, knowledge and confidence to raise their incomes and start saving money for better futures for themselves and their children.

THANK YOU for contributing to Women’s Resource Center so that we can make Riel Change like this happen. If you’re able to contribute today, please do, and continue this vital program to change the lives of more women.

Many thanks for your kindness and support

Building Confidence class - hands up strong & tall
Building Confidence class - hands up strong & tall
Goal Setting ~ envisioning achieving set goals!
Goal Setting ~ envisioning achieving set goals!
While the women learn, the children draw :)
While the women learn, the children draw :)

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Do you ever feel limited because of your gender?

staff capacity building on gender roles
staff capacity building on gender roles

The following is a postcard from Charissa Murphy, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Southeast Asia, about her recent visit to the Women's Resource Center in Cambodia. 

Do you ever feel controlled or restricted because of your sex, age, education level, or income level? In Cambodia, just as everywhere else in the world, gender roles and societal expectations play a major role. In Cambodia, though, the differences mean that women are beaten down and/or left behind both literally and figuratively. For women, their role entails less access to education, a 1 in 4 chance to be a victim of domestic violence, and earning less income than men while often solely caring for not only her own children, but also extended family and living parents.

While visiting the Women's Resource Center (WRC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I met the staff members who are incredibly passionate about empowering women to make informed and healthier life decisions through life skill educational workshops and individual counseling. During my visit, I had the opportunity to observe some of the reason that the small staff is increasingly more and more qualified to provide support to women in Cambodia: staff capacity-building. The local staff of four was engaged in a capacity building workshop on gender roles led by a social worker from Australia, Kate, who volunteered her time with WRC for two months and shared knowledge to help build the skills and perspectives of the staff. This time that the staff dedicates to improving their technical and emotional intelligence is going to amplify the support they can provide as they reach more and more women and create stronger systems to support the women in setting and implementing healthier life goals. 

When asking the staff what they thought about the workshop, they found learning about gender roles in other countries very interesting. They want to incorporate similar content into their own current workshops.

Can you imagine what it would be like to only follow a society-assigned role because you are not aware that other roles exist and you can be whoever you want to be? Knowing the resources and options available is exactly what the WRC team wants to share. Currently, WRC provides free workshop series in Health, Legal Aid, Financial Literacy/planning, and Parenting throughout the year. It also holds workshops for youth at local schools and organizations in the area.

Additionally, I had the pleasure of volunteering with WRC for a month, working with the staff and another volunteer on a strategic plan and vision. Honestly, it was difficult to leave! The plans the local staff established are captivating, and I will surely stay connected with WRC as it continues to affect positive change in more families throughout Cambodia, helping to diffuse the gender role inequalities and strengthen the resources and opportunities available for women, children, and men alike to make healthier life decisions for themselves, for their families, and for Cambodia as a whole.

Thank you all for your support of WRC. Without generous donors like you, WRC wouldn’t be able to provide as much assistance to the women who so desperately need it in Cambodia.

Upcoming Event on GlobalGiving - TODAY, this Wednesday, July 16th, is a Bonus matching day!:

Today, July 16th (Wednesday), beginning at 9AM EDT, GlobalGiving will match 40% of any donations (of up to $1,000 from any individual donor) to WRC. There are $130,000 in total funds available for matching that day for all of GlobalGiving’s partners. To ensure your donation is matched before the funds run out, please consider donating earlier today shortly after 9AM.


I want to thank WRC for allowing me to visit! I look forward to following WRC as it reaches more women and builds a network well-informed people making healthier life decisions.

Kate was able to work directly with Sophal
Kate was able to work directly with Sophal
sharing knowledge on roles in other countries
sharing knowledge on roles in other countries
active, engaged learning!
active, engaged learning!
local staff engaged to help further support
local staff engaged to help further support
May 6, 2014

Mother's Day SPECIAL - See How You Helped Ny, 36, a Mother of Seven

Ny, Age 36, talks motherhood and WRC
Ny, Age 36, talks motherhood and WRC

Growing up, Ny lived with her adoptive mother and her adoptive mother’s daughter. She has no recollection of her birth mother. She grew up very poor because her adoptive mother is a widow who struggled to support the family. Although there was little money, Ny felt loved and supported by her adoptive mother, who pushed her to study and get an education. Despite this, Ny cannot read and write well since she stayed in school only until grade 3.

A mother to seven children ages 7 to 20, Ny had her first child when she was only 16. She had six more children with her second and current husband. Unfortunately, both of Ny’s husbands have been violent. Ny once left her current husband but since she had no home or work she became a beggar. She went back to her husband because it was the only way for her to support her family.

When Ny gave birth to her first child she didn’t know what to do when the baby cried. She didn’t know how to hold, carry or bathe the baby. She was especially worried about having food for the baby since she had little money and wasn’t always able to work.

At WOMEN’S RESOUCE CENTER, Ny learned about family planning and how to take care of her children. She learned about how a woman’s body changes as she grows from being a girl to a woman, and also about having healthy and safe pregnancies.

Ny will share what she learned about women’s health and reproduction with her own daughters. By educating Ny, Women’s Resource Center is making a difference for her entire family.

This Mother's Day, support a mother in Cambodia a chance to learn and grow, in honor of your Mom.

Women's Resource Center : Women helping women

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Project Leader

Sally Douglas

Siem Reap, Siem Reap Cambodia

Where is this project located?

Map of Provide women and girls education in Cambodia