Women's Resource Center

Women's Resource Center provides women and girls in Cambodia with emotional support, referral services, and informal education so they can be empowered to make informed decisions about their lives.
Sep 5, 2014

You're Making Riel Change

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 :)


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 7, 2014

Share with your Mom: How YOU Helped Mork, age 30, Care for her Adopted Daughter

Mork, talks motherhood and WRC
Mork, talks motherhood and WRC

Mork identifies as an ophan. She grew up with her mother and father until her father died when Mork was 13. Mork doesn’t get along with her stepfather so she went to live with cousins in Siem Reap city.

Mork had her first child when she was only 16 but the baby died very young. When she was 23, Mork adopted her brother’s young daughter, who he had with his first wife. Her brother didn’t want to raise his daughter with his new wife after he got remarried.

At the beginning, Mork struggled to take care of the young girl, who was only 14 months old when she was adopted. When the child got sick, Mork would lie awake with worry. She also found it very hard to discipline her new daughter, who often didn’t listen and didn’t want to study in school as she got older. 

At WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER, Mork learned how to educate and discipline the child. She learned that there are ways to discipline without hitting. She also learned about family law, domestic violence, and gender rights, and how to tell a healthy relationship from an unhealthy relationship. 

Mork says WRC helped her to be a better parent. When she is angry, she now speaks with the child and finds ways to solve problems without using violence. By teaching the child how to be peaceful, the child will know good ways to discipline her own children one day. 

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

Women's Resource Center : Women helping women


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