Overall women in Cambodia undergo a high number of abortions, and unplanned pregnancies are frequent. Many women die from unsafe abortions and those that continue with their pregnancy are often ostracised from their families and communities, and live in poverty. There are no social services existing within Cambodia to help these women. Many women in Cambodia come from extremely vulnerable situations, being that trafficking, sexual abuse, HIV and poverty are real issues today. Mother's Heart vision is to provide unconditional love to women facing crisis pregnancies and to see women empowered with choices, so that they can make the best decision for their future and the future of their ba... read more Overall women in Cambodia undergo a high number of abortions, and unplanned pregnancies are frequent. Many women die from unsafe abortions and those that continue with their pregnancy are often ostracised from their families and communities, and live in poverty. There are no social services existing within Cambodia to help these women. Many women in Cambodia come from extremely vulnerable situations, being that trafficking, sexual abuse, HIV and poverty are real issues today. Mother's Heart vision is to provide unconditional love to women facing crisis pregnancies and to see women empowered with choices, so that they can make the best decision for their future and the future of their babies. Vision and Mission The vision & mission of Mother's Heart is quite simple but it drives the work that we do every day. Our aim is to: Provide crisis pregnancy counseling in Cambodia Empower women with choices Support for every woman facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy What Makes Mother's Heart Special? We are the first crisis pregnancy counselling service in Cambodia We love unconditionally and respect each person we serve We respect and support a person's individual choice through giving them relevant, timely information We don't discriminate or judge but serve all in need We support (walk with) women and their families who face crisis pregnancies. The Start Mothers Heart was founded in 2010 by Katrina Gliddon and a small-dedicated team to respond to the lack of choice for women in Cambodia facing unplanned pregnancies. Research showed that abortion was a main form of contraception, sometimes resulting in maternal death. Cambodia did not have crisis pregnancy consulting services and there was no existing services providing women with viable alternatives to abortion. Built on a solid foundation of 25 years of Mother's Choice in Hong Kong, Mother's Heart was born, adapted to the unique Cambodian challenges and culture. What We Do Pregnant Woman's Services Mother's Heart believes that every young woman who faces crisis pregnancy has a right to know the options available to her. We offer non-judgmental support from social workers throughout the decision making process. We provide holistic and loving support for young pregnant women through their challenging decision, so they can make the best decision for their future and the future of their baby. Counselling Counselling is available for single pregnant girls and women, their boyfriends and families. Our on site counselling service includes guidance and support on making a plan for the baby, parenting and post abortion help. We support single girls and women when facing a crisis pregnancy, not only do we give them access to counselling; we also aim at helping them understand the choices ahead and the respective consequences. This process will enable them make critical decisions for themselves and their baby. Every single girl or woman in our program has a social worker and midwife assigned to their case, so they have on-going support every step of their journey. Accomodation Many women in our program are from poor and vulnerable backgrounds and require safe temporary housing during their pregnancies and postnatal period. We believe the best place for them is within their local community where their support networks have already been established. If they already have a small room we provide them with rental assistance and food allowance each month. Otherwise we provide them with a room, sometimes sharing with other young pregnant women within the local community. This helps women stay independent and to have some responsibility for their everyday living. With special cases (teenage pregnancies, rape etc.) that require a safe secure place to stay, we have referral agencies that partner with us to provide temporary Hostel accommodation until a permanency plan has been establish for the client. Health Care Mother's Heart finances antenatal, delivery, postnatal, all medical needs of the client and baby. The staff accompanies each women to their appointments and advocate for the best possible care. We use already existing government health care centre. We firmly believe in capacity building by utilizing local existing government and community healthcare services already available here in Cambodia. Therefore, women will learn how to access health care for themselves and their babies in the future. Ongoing referrals. Women also have access to health care for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV care for mother and baby, and contraception counselling and distribution. As part of our health care, all women have access to multivitamins during pregnancy and lactation, as over 75% of Cambodia population are micro nutrient deficient because of their diets. Preparing for Birth We offer antenatal training to the women we work with to help them prepare for the birth and the early days of parenthood. We also have on-going positive parenting training and child development training, so women can share their experiences and learn together. Longer Term Following the birth of a child it is important that foundations are established so that the women and their families can support the child in the future. Mother's Heart works with partners to support women to access appropriate vocational training and job opportunities. Fostering & Adoption We realise that for some girls and women keeping their child after the pregnancy is not an option. Every child deserves a family. According to the Government policies, Kinship care should be the first option then local adoption, permanent fostering, overseas adoption and the last resource being temporary orphanage placement until a family can be found. Mother's Heart works with specialist partner organisations and government services to provide foster care and adoption within the local community. Advocating Many of the girls and women that we work with have lost their voice with regard to what they deserve or how they should be treated. We advocate on their behalf for community care and better family support for every child. Very often the girls and women in our program need support and specialist care. We are able to work with many specialist partners that help the women access other services (legal, counselling for trafficking, rape, HIV, mental health). We have many wonderful partner agencies that work together with us to bring wholeness to each girl and woman in our program. Education We understand that unplanned pregnancies will always be a part of the world we live in, so we want to be more than just the solution to the problem. Mother's Heart seeks to educate communities around the issues of unplanned pregnancy.
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