Oct 9, 2021

Life-changing stories from Mother's Heart

Family reconciliation
Family reconciliation

Dear supporters and friends near and far: These are challenging times for us all, and we hope you’re in good spirits and health!

 As COVID-19 continues to impact our everyday life, we thank you for your continuing support to Mother's Heart. We are doing everything possible to sustain daily operations and provide services to our beneficiaries and, at the same time, ensure they, and ourselves, are safe and healthy.

Although we have been quiet in the social media for a while, we are currently supporting 88 women and 78 children and babies. Five women entered our program in September and three babies were born. At the moment, there are also nine pregnant women waiting for delivery in the coming weeks.

There are four women in our women’s home (shelter) while three more women are in the care/shelter of our partner organization in Phnom Penh. Because most of the mothers are still unable to go back to work, we only have five children in our day care. When the country reopens and returns to normal in the near future, we are expecting more children in the day care. A total of 27 women are receiving receiving support in the form of monthly food packages (consisting of rice, canned goods, etc., plus sanitation items) and modest stipends (to help with their utilities). In addition, a partner organization in Battambang province is also supporting five of our beneficiaries there.

Despite the setback in the progress made by the women in our program due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first six months of the year, we have seen cases of women whose families’ attitude and behavior towards their daughters' (being single and pregnant, or single mothers) have slowly changed towards understanding and acceptance.

One case is Marady (not her real name) and her baby who were recently reunited with her family after months of being indifferent and not wanting to communicate with her. Convincing her family, especially her father, was difficult. But in each meeting spanning more than 12 months, our social workers, counsellors, and our partners from the Phnom Penh social affairs department and the commune council for women and children had been really helpful in counselling and mediating between Marady and her family members.

When our team officially closed her case, her case workers met with her one last time and gave her a good send off.  She is now with her family, looking healthier and happier, and keeping herself busy in their family's business, while her parents and other family members are doting over her baby.

There is also Mony, a shy 15- year old girl who survived a traumatic experience in her young life that resulted in her crisis pregnancy. With Mother's Heart's support, she delivered a healthy baby boy and continues to receive support and services to complete her healing and recovery.

Due to her young age, the financial hardships of her family, and the stigma from villagers, Mony's baby was initially placed in a temporary foster care. Three months later, Mony was reunited with her baby, and Mother's Heart was there every step of the way working behind the scenes to ensure Mony and her baby have the support, protection, and care they needed for the reunification. However, Mony's story is far from over. Mother's Heart's social worker and counsellor continue to work with her to help her deal with the traumatic experience, and to follow through and provide support to her immediate and long-term needs.

All of these would not be possible without your support to our organization. On behalf of the women and children in our care, we thank you for your generous support to Mother’s Heart. There are countless other girls and women in Cambodia, like Marady and Mony, who have no access to crisis pregnancy services. Your donations to Mother’s Heart will give more vulnerable girls and women in crisis pregnancies access to critical support and services they need to heal, recover, and achieve stability for their and their babies’ future together.

Reintegration. Making sure the baby is accepted.
Reintegration. Making sure the baby is accepted.
Oct 9, 2021

Life-changing stories from Mother's Heart

Family reconciliation.
Family reconciliation.

Dear supporters and friends near and far: These are challenging times for us all, and we hope you’re in good spirits and health!

 As COVID-19 continues to impact our everyday life, we thank you for your continuing support to Mother's Heart. We are doing everything possible to sustain daily operations and provide services to our beneficiaries and, at the same time, ensure they, and ourselves, are safe and healthy.

Although we have been quiet in the social media for a while, we are currently supporting 88 women and 78 children and babies. Five women entered our program in September and three babies were born. At the moment, there are also nine pregnant women waiting for delivery in the coming weeks.

There are four women in our women’s home (shelter) while three more women are in the care/shelter of our partner organization in Phnom Penh. Because most of the mothers are still unable to go back to work, we only have five children in our day care. When the country reopens and returns to normal in the near future, we are expecting more children in the day care. A total of 27 women are receiving receiving support in the form of monthly food packages (consisting of rice, canned goods, etc., plus sanitation items) and modest stipends (to help with their utilities). In addition, a partner organization in Battambang province is also supporting five of our beneficiaries there.

Despite the setback in the progress made by the women in our program due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the first six months of the year, we have seen cases of women whose families’ attitude and behavior towards their daughters' (being single and pregnant, or single mothers) have slowly changed towards understanding and acceptance.

One case is Marady (not her real name) and her baby who were recently reunited with her family after months of being indifferent and not wanting to communicate with her. Convincing her family, especially her father, was difficult. But in each meeting spanning more than 12 months, our social workers, counsellors, and our partners from the Phnom Penh social affairs department and the commune council for women and children had been really helpful in counselling and mediating between Marady and her family members.

When our team officially closed her case, her case workers met with her one last time and gave her a good send off.  She is now with her family, looking healthier and happier, and keeping herself busy in their family's business, while her parents and other family members are doting over her baby.

There is also Mony, a shy 15- year old girl who survived a traumatic experience in her young life that resulted in her crisis pregnancy. With Mother's Heart's support, she delivered a healthy baby boy and continues to receive support and services to complete her healing and recovery.

Due to her young age, the financial hardships of her family, and the stigma from villagers, Mony's baby was initially placed in a temporary foster care. Three months later, Mony was reunited with her baby, and Mother's Heart was there every step of the way working behind the scenes to ensure Mony and her baby have the support, protection, and care they needed for the reunification. However, Mony's story is far from over. Mother's Heart's social worker and counsellor continue to work with her to help her deal with the traumatic experience, and to follow through and provide support to her immediate and long-term needs.

All of these would not be possible without your support to our organization. On behalf of the women and children in our care, we thank you for your generous support to Mother’s Heart. There are countless other girls and women in Cambodia, like Marady and Mony, who have no access to crisis pregnancy services. Your donations to Mother’s Heart will give more vulnerable girls and women in crisis pregnancies access to critical support and services they need to heal, recover, and achieve stability for their and their babies’ future together.

Reintegration.
Reintegration.
Jun 15, 2021

We are in this together. Thank you for being on our side.

MH social worker distributing food support
MH social worker distributing food support

Chum riep soo, dear donors and supporters. I hope you all are keeping safe and healthy.  Here is our report for the second quarter of the year.

COVID-19 has continued to spread in Cambodia and showing no signs of abating. Cambodia was nearly COVID-free recording one of the smallest COVID-19 infections in the world but the numbers climbed from about 380 after a community incident in February, to 36,240 cases now with 289 recorded deaths (as of June 10), and a daily increase in infections numbering in the many hundreds.

By April, the government imposed a blanket lockdown after a steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in different areas (districts) of the capital Phnom Penh and neighbouring Takhmau city, many of which of which were related to the February incident. This resulted to the classification of areas in Phnom Penh by colours: red (severe outbreak), orange (moderate risk of infection), and yellow (low risk) zones. Immediately, travel and other activities were restricted.

The health and safety of our staff and beneficiaries remain as our main priority. As early as March, our staff have begun working from home until April when the city was placed in a lockdown. Our office in Phnom Penh, including our day care was temporarily closed and all the staff worked from home.  Residents in the capital and Takhmau were banned from leaving their homes unless they are essential workers or their purpose for going out is essential.

Nineteen (19) of our beneficiaries in Phnom Penh, many are in the red zones, were critically affected, having no access to work or sources of income and food due to the restrictions. Travelling during the lockdown period was also restricted, so delivering food support and services has been very challenging despite our staff having the necessary permits to travel. But we were able to deploy our social work team to provide support to our pregnant beneficiaries and deliver emergency food packages – rice, canned fish, baby milk formula, soaps, sanitary products, and a modest stipend.  We also received donations of rice, other food items and sanitary products from our local community that we distributed to our beneficiaries. We are also happy to report that 18 healthy babies were born during this period and the beneficiaries received food and other supplies for themselves, their babies, and their families.  We will continue to provide support until the restrictions are completely lifted, the women vaccinated, and are able to return to work.

There are also no infections amongst our staff, beneficiaries and their families. Most of the staff in Phnom Penh have completed our vaccinations while in Battambang are waiting for their appointments. Rollout of vaccines to the provinces have already began and we expect our staff will get their shots soon.

The lockdown has been lifted recently and the red zones have decreased. Because of this, the situation is now improving slowly and things are going back to normal. Wearing masks are still required in public areas. The government is also aggressively implementing a mass vaccination campaign in an effort to vaccinate 80% of the country. We are hopeful for better days to come.

The past months have been truly challenging as we continue to navigate through this uncertain time, we are truly grateful to have you on our side. Your donations have allowed us to continue to respond to the immediate needs of the women and children in our care and be able to accept more women into our program in the midst of a pandemic. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

MH foster mother receiving milk and food supplies
MH foster mother receiving milk and food supplies
MH shelter residents received food and other items
MH shelter residents received food and other items
 
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