Nov 21, 2012

I'm devastated, and thankful

Yesterday evening, as I was wrapping up for the day, our health facilitator came into my office to discuss a young Cambodian woman who had called her for help.  

She was nearly three months pregnant. Her boyfriend left, and she’s scheduled to visit her mother next week. Due to a legitimate fear of being shunned for life by her own family, she felt she had no choice but to end the pregnancy, and fast – before seeing her mother.

Rather than referring her to a doctor, this woman’s pharmacist sold her a sketchy mix of pills and enemas to end her pregnancy. (Safe abortions are available in Cambodia, but not so widely available as misinformation and druggists looking to make a buck.) Last night, our staff worked to get in touch with this woman – who never had the benefit of sex education – with the vital information she needs to ensure this decision doesn’t cost her life. 

I’m devastated that another young woman may lose her life today to fear and misinformation. But at the same time, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that we’ve come so far. A year ago, we had no health facilitator. Today, because of all the support you’ve given us, this woman has someone to turn to for emotional support and information that – hopefully – will save her life.

We may not celebrate Thanksgiving in Cambodia, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t thankful. Truly, we wouldn’t be where we are today, helping women like this every week, without for generous friends like you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sally Douglas
Advisor 
Women's Resource Center, Siem Reap, Cambodia 

Links:

Oct 10, 2012

Thank you for supporting our successful educational workshops!

Center Manager Pisey and Health Facilitator Ratana
Center Manager Pisey and Health Facilitator Ratana

WRC is proud to report that our schedule of Center activities over the past few months has been full and fruitful—something not possible without the generosity of our GlobalGiving supporters.

Recently WRC welcomed the newest addition to our team, Sophal, our Legal Aid Workshop Facilitator.  Sophal recently graduated from the Royal University of Law and Economy in Phnom Penh and has moved to Siem Reap to join the WRC team and follow her passion of contributing to women’s empowerment.  Sophal will soon recommence WRC’s Legal Aid Workshops to continue raising awareness about women’s rights during instances of domestic violence, family law, property settlements, child custody and reproductive rights.

Last week ten parents (8 women and 2 men) completed the final session of WRC’s eight week ‘Parent’s Talk’ workshop where the topics of: child development, the importance of play, positive parenting strategies, building a happy family, healthy body and healthy mind, child rights and child protection were discussed. Some feedback from the participants included: 

"I feel more confident as a parent and have more skills..." also "I now know my children's needs, and can help their development" and "...I understand how domestic violence can impact children." The next group of 8 mothers and fathers started last Friday 5/10/12, with the wonderful Pisey.

Ratana who WRC welcomed on board in July after she recently graduated from 4 years of nursing study and training, continues to facilitate WRC’s successful Health Workshops.  Last week 10 young women completed the final session of WRC’s eight week sessions covering the following topics: how the body works, feminine hygiene, contraception, birth spacing, family planning, pre and post-natal mental health, danger signs during pregnancy and labor and safe abortion.  Participants report feeling an increase in confidence with more knowledge about their bodies and how to stay healthy. 

The WRC team felt very proud that our Center Manager, Pisey, delivered a TedX type talk to a group of young women at the Bamboo Dorm in July about the importance of education in all its forms to achieve one’s life and career goals. Pisey was touched by the moving feedback she received from the girls after sharing her inspiring and powerful story about her life as a young Khmer girl and the hard work and persistence she took to become all that she stands for today.

Following up from our last report, Pisey held 3 workshop sessions at the Camp GLOW retreat (a camp/retreat for young women to learn about their bodies, health prevention and much more). Pisey shared inspiring sessions to a group of high-school aged girls about setting and striving towards one’s life goals, healthy versus unhealthy relationships and self-awareness.

WRC also continues to operate as a drop in center for women to come and share their problems and worries and we are excited to see almost all women returning to speak with us. They return to talk through their options and share their feeling of relief and increased confidence after talking through their issue with us. 

We thank you for your continued support as we proceed to impact the lives of women here in Cambodia.

Best wishes to you from the WRC Team.

Parents Talk Workshop in action
Parents Talk Workshop in action
Ratana's Health Workshop - small group activity
Ratana's Health Workshop - small group activity
Camp GLOW 4 day camp/retreat
Camp GLOW 4 day camp/retreat

Links:

Jul 2, 2012

Increased outreach to educate women and girls in Siem Reap!

Pisey conducting a domestic violence workshop
Pisey conducting a domestic violence workshop


Since our successful April GlobalGiving challenge (thanks to you all!) we have been able to expand our reach in providing education to girls in need, in areas of health, contraception, family violence and on how to keep themselves safe.

Last week Pisey (Center Manager) went to a local restaurant to educate the staff of young women, and a few men, about domestic violence and gender rights. One young women gave us this feedback - "everyone should know about this, and more people need to do this training" 
It was also positive to see the young men who attended so engaged in learning about this topic. 

We've included some photos of this workshop for you to see first hand the impact you're having.

Next month we participate in a girls educational workshop camp! Where 150 girls from surrounding villages attend the weekend camp to learn about health, contraception, safety, legal rights in regards to domestic violence and goal setting.

WRC also operate as a drop in center for women to come and share their problems and worries and we are excited to see almost all women returning 2 or 3 times to speak with us, wanting to talk through their options and decision making processes. Through individual follow ups we hear how women are progressing. 
Recently a woman returned, for the 4th time, to share with us how happy she now felt in her life, and thanked us for listening and supporting her. She shared that she had "found [her] own solutions" for her problem and felt in control and empowered.

Additionally the WRC team is expanding! We are hiring a health educator to provide regular women's health workshops in the surrounding villages of Siem Reap, which we see as important to giving women reproductive freedom and what all women should have - choice.

Thank you for your continued support as we proceed to impact the lives of women here in Cambodia.

Best wishes to you from the WRC Team.

Domestic Violence cycle of violence information
Domestic Violence cycle of violence information
Using activities to help girls learn
Using activities to help girls learn
A happy return to WRC
A happy return to WRC
The many shoes from the many women leaning with us
The many shoes from the many women leaning with us
Women are mothers, together learning about health
Women are mothers, together learning about health

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.