Hello and I hope you and your family are having a lovely holiday season! Thank you so much for your kind support of Women's Resource Center this year. We hope to be able to continue and expand our work in 2013 with your continued support. If you are able to make a year-end contribution, we hope you’ll consider giving to WRC. Regardless, though, please know that your contribution this year made a huge difference to this woman’s children, and I think you’ll be surprised about how.
The holidays often inspire visions of children laughing and playing. As you know, Christmas is not celebrated in predominantly Buddhist Cambodia, but did you know that children here often are discouraged from play?
This is a photo of Dara, one of our parenting workshop students. She has two children. Because of you, she learned this year that it’s normal and good for her children to play, and that she should not punish them for it. This may sound unbelievable, but Dara was just five years old when the Khmer Rouge genocide struck Cambodia. Families were put in work camps and starved. Children worked the fields from dawn until dusk. Teachers and anyone with education were killed. You can begin to imagine, then, why her mother didn’t teach her that children must play to learn and develop. Although we don't know Dara's family's whole story, one can only assume that their sole priority was survival.
Dara’s attitude is the rule and not the exception here in Cambodia. This is a sad fact, but I’m writing today to tell you that Dara has a new attitude toward child’s play. After completing her 8-week parenting workshop, she told us that the most surprising thing she learned in it was to encourage her children to play, and to invest in affordable toys they can use to learn and develop. We know that this change will trickle down to impact her children, her children’s children, and so on.
As you watch the children in your life playing with their new toys and other gifts they received this holiday season, I hope you’ll think of Dara’s children, too, and the extraordinary gift you gave them this year.
Happy New Year to you and your family, and thank you so much for your generosity this year. With your help, we are looking forward to changing many more lives in 2013!
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