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Mar 19, 2020

Changing lives, one mother and baby at a time

Mother's Heart Organization 2019, at a glance
Mother's Heart Organization 2019, at a glance

Mother’s Heart  has just closed a challenging but very rewarding 2019, with a total of 101 women supported and 84 babies born in our care. Your generosity has impacted their lives and ensured mothers are healthy, stable or working towards stability, and their babies have a better start in life.

The impact of Mother’s Hearts’ works are, perhaps, best measured one mother and baby at a time. The value is even higher when the community recognizes the importance of the services we provide and gets involved to ensure that a woman gets their further support and services so she can start her new life as a mother.

Here is one example of how our partners and community rallied behind one of the women in our care.

***

Stories straight from Mother's Heart
Our clients come from all walks of life. The beginnings of their stories are all different, and so are the endings. But one thing each woman has in common is this: when she comes to Mother's Heart, she is in the midst of a crisis.

Each year, dozens of Cambodian women are trafficked to China and sold as brides.
Vorleak*, not her real name, is one of them; she comes from a poor farming family in rural Cambodia, and is helping her widowed mother to support a family of ten. 

One day, a stranger approached her family offering her work in China as domestic help for $1,000 USD a month. Like most young, out-of-school women in rural villages lured on the promise of a better income and brighter prospects, she jumped at the opportunity, only to find out that she had been sold and forced to marry a Chinese man.

For many months, Vorleak had been in domestic servitude under the close watch of her husband and his family. They controlled her movements, finances, and banned her from communicating with her family in Cambodia. When Vorleak found out she was pregnant, she was distraught. However, undaunted, she made a plan to escape. One day she found her opportunity to run away and made it to an embassy where she was assisted to come back to Cambodia.

Pregnant and ashamed to go back to her village, she was referred to MHO by the Provincial Office of Social Affairs, Youth and Veterans affairs in Battambang province. She was immediately given medical and social support.

During her pregnancy break, Vorleak was provided food support by one of our local partners, Hope for Justice. Her family, upon learning of her situation, came to her aid, something that doesn't happen often to a single, pregnant woman in Cambodia. Through counselling and home-visits, regular maternity check-ups, and by her participation in maternal education classes, we began to see a marked change in her. She began to smile again and engage with those around her. When she gave birth to her baby, we saw those changes in her continue. Our midwife is happy to note that baby’s growth is on track and that Vorleak was doing everything needed to ensure her baby is healthy; the baby is meeting important developmental milestones.

These days, Vorleak is back in her village. She continues to receive support from Mother’s Heart for her continuing life journey and personal recovery. You can find her there taking good care of her baby and, at the same time, managing a small but thriving home-business she set up with the help of World Vision Cambodia. 

There are many other stories of vulnerable women like Vorleak who are facing crisis pregnancies in Cambodia. Without intervention, they would have faced pregnancy isolated, alone and with limited options that would put both them and their babies’ health, safety, and even their lives, at risk.

Vorleak is taking steps toward stability and increasing independence and these wouldn’t be possible if not for your generosity.

*Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

 ***

We also would like to thank our local partners, local authorities, business establishments, and those supporters who continue to be actively involved with Mother’s Heart’s beneficiaries and program. To those who gave their support to us in the recently-concluded 2020 GirlFund Campaign, we are truly grateful.

Young mother and baby, Battambang
Young mother and baby, Battambang
Reflecting on their life experiences, anger mngt
Reflecting on their life experiences, anger mngt
Mar 19, 2020

Changing lives, one mother and baby at a time

Mother's Heart Organization 2019, at a glance
Mother's Heart Organization 2019, at a glance

Mother’s Heart  has just closed a challenging but very rewarding 2019, with a total of 101 women supported and 84 babies born in our care. Your generosity has impacted their lives and ensured mothers are healthy, stable or working towards stability, and their babies have a better start in life.

The impact of Mother’s Hearts’ works are, perhaps, best measured one mother and baby at a time. The value is even higher when the community recognizes the importance of the services we provide and gets involved to ensure that a woman gets their further support and services so she can start her new life as a mother.

Here is one example of how our partners and community rallied behind one of the women in our care.

***

Stories straight from Mother's Heart
Our clients come from all walks of life. The beginnings of their stories are all different, and so are the endings. But one thing each woman has in common is this: when she comes to Mother's Heart, she is in the midst of a crisis.

Each year, dozens of Cambodian women are trafficked to China and sold as brides. 

Vorleak*, not her real name, is one of them; she comes from a poor farming family in rural Cambodia, and is helping her widowed mother to support a family of ten. 

One day, a stranger approached her family offering her work in China as domestic help for $1,000 USD a month. Like most young, out-of-school women in rural villages lured on the promise of a better income and brighter prospects, she jumped at the opportunity, only to find out that she had been sold and forced to marry a Chinese man.

For many months, Vorleak had been in domestic servitude under the close watch of her husband and his family. They controlled her movements, finances, and banned her from communicating with her family in Cambodia. When Vorleak found out she was pregnant, she was distraught. However, undaunted, she made a plan to escape. One day she found her opportunity to run away and made it to an embassy where she was assisted to come back to Cambodia.

Pregnant and ashamed to go back to her village, she was referred to MHO by the Provincial Office of Social Affairs, Youth and Veterans affairs in Battambang province. She was immediately given medical and social support.

During her pregnancy break, Vorleak was provided food support by one of our local partners, Hope for Justice. Her family, upon learning of her situation, came to her aid, something that doesn't happen often to a single, pregnant woman in Cambodia. Through counselling and home-visits, regular maternity check-ups, and by her participation in maternal education classes, we began to see a marked change in her. She began to smile again and engage with those around her. When she gave birth to her baby, we saw those changes in her continue. Our midwife is happy to note that baby’s growth is on track and that Vorleak was doing everything needed to ensure her baby is healthy; the baby is meeting important developmental milestones.

These days, Vorleak is back in her village. She continues to receive support from Mother’s Heart for her continuing life journey and personal recovery. You can find her there taking good care of her baby and, at the same time, managing a small but thriving home-business she set up with the help of World Vision Cambodia. 

*Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

***
There are many other stories of vulnerable women like Vorleak who are facing crisis pregnancies in Cambodia. Without intervention, they would have faced pregnancy isolated, alone and with limited options that would put both them and their babies’ health, safety, and even their lives, at risk.

Vorleak is taking steps toward stability and increasing independence and these wouldn’t be possible if not for your generosity.

We also would like to thank our local partners, local authorities, business establishments, and those supporters who continue to be actively involved with Mother’s Heart’s beneficiaries and program. To those who gave their support to us in the recently-concluded 2020 GirlFund Campaign, we are truly grateful.

Mum and baby, attending a maternal education class
Mum and baby, attending a maternal education class
Reflecting on their life experiences, anger mngt
Reflecting on their life experiences, anger mngt
Dec 23, 2019

Empowering women one (maternal education) class at a time

Educational Classes and Training
Educational Classes and Training

Mother’s Heart Organization Highlights:

From September to November, Mother’s Heart Organization has accepted a total of two new clients, one each from our Phnom Penh and Battambang provinces. Between the same period, a total of eight babies were born with seven girls and a boy. In total, we now have 81 women and 79 babies receiving life-saving support and services under the Crisis Pregnancy Counselling and Support Program.


What's making us busy: Maternal Education Classes

A. Food and Nutrition

Ten mothers and child carers in Battambang recently participated in the food and nutrition class taught by our social worker and midwife in our office there last November. They were re-introduced to the concepts of food and nutrition and the different food groups. One of the tasks for the participants was identifying nutrients-rich vegetables that are grown locally. There was also a participatory cooking demonstration in which they learned how to prepare a multi-ingredient porridge using vegetables available in the local markets. Other things discussed were food hygiene and safety practices. Our staff will conduct follow up home visits to check on the mothers and carers and observe any changes in their practice. 

B. Money Management

Twelve young mothers in Phnom Penh office attended the money management class in October. In order to achieve empowerment, Mother’s Heart equips our clients with the basic financial literacy, which includes budget planning and saving, and how to live within their means. The women who attended this class are already employed and since they are young they easily spend beyond their means.  Hence this series of money management classes are conducted. To give the women a good understanding of what budgeting and savings mean, Mother’s Heart staff use a learning-by-doing methodology where the women are given real-life scenarios and, with the use of play money, do some budgeting and savings exercises.

Staff News:

A. Mother’s Heart staff receives First Aid Training

The two-day course was attended by our staff from the social work, medical, and day care departments and covered basics such as choking, burns and shocks, wounds and bleeding, drowning, common allergies and illnesses, and CPR with focus on babies/children. Also emphasized during the training was the importance of the safety of the responder by assessing the scene first before doing anything else.

The knowledge and skills were put to a practical test when the trainers, who are medical professionals from our partner organization Chab Dai Coalition, quizzed the staff on what to do by providing different scenarios and required each one to perform Heimlich maneuver for choking and CPR.

Mother’s Heart works with pregnant women and babies/children alike and it is important that our staff are capable of providing immediate aid when a child or a pregnant woman has suddenly taken ill or has been injured while waiting for medical help. Trainings such as first aid equip them with the knowledge and skills to handle emergencies in the work place and beyond.

Savy, one of our staff said, “I need to know how to help if someone has an accident. Now that I have some knowledge, I feel I can do that.” We are looking forward to the next level of first aid training in the coming months.

B. New Staff:

Mother’s Heart is pleased to inform our supporters and donors that we have a new staff addition. She is Kim SreyMach, our new Women’s Home mother. She provides support to the women and babies staying there – many of the women have intellectual disabilities while some are teenagers so they need a safe place to stay where there is a house mom looking over things and helping them be independent. She has years of experience in a similar capacity and we know that she is very capable of taking care of the residents there.

Thank you!

This year’s GivingTuesday was a success and we learned a lot of lessons from our experience. On top of our list, we would like to thank our supporters and donors who participated in our GivingTuesday campaign. Our work would not be possible without you. We are already looking forward to next year’s campaign.

 We would also like to thank our friends everywhere for always thinking of the mothers and babies in our care. We regularly received donations of clothings and toys.

We are truly grateful and thankful to you all for sharing your blessings with us.  

 

Money Management Class
Money Management Class
First Aid Training
First Aid Training
 
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