Mother’s Heart does crisis pregnancy care well. However, we don't do medical care, mental health counselling, drug prescriptions, job search, vocational training … the list goes on. These are things for which we dependent on the work of our deeply respected partners.
SreyTouk*, three months pregnant, suffering from extreme morning sickness and a UTI, was referred to Mother’s Heart by the government maternity hospital. Mother’s Heart has become well known to hospital staff as we use them for all our client’s antenatal, delivery and post-natal care.
SreyTouk had been in hospital ten days yet was without any of the essential care (meals, bathing, purchasing medicines) that, in Cambodia, is the role of the family to provide. SreyTouk was surrounded by broken relationships. Lying, desperately demanding attention, experiencing emotional and mental health issues, claiming a black being was there to torment her, her family had had enough and although her older brother had dropped her off, none of her family had been seen since.
SreyTouk told Mother’s Heart counsellor that she had been gang raped. It was only later that Mother’s Heart staff found out the truth. In reality, SreyTouk had lived together with her boyfriend who she met while working in a factory. When she was three months pregnant, she left him, calling him abusive and saying she no longer loved him. SreyTouk was too ashamed to admit this to her family hence the story about gang rape.
Because none of her family wanted to help her, Mother’s Heart partnered with a shelter where SreyTouk might stay during her pregnancy. However, when she became suicidal Mother’s Heart called on two more partners; a shelter that had a mental health counselling program and a facility that was able to assist SreyTouk with medication for her mental health issues. SreyTouk’s emotions were all over the place. She said she saw ghosts. Sometimes she would yell and swear at staff, other times she was very cooperative. At the shelter SreyTouk was able to stabilize, she stopped seeing things, and even worked at sewing for the three months preceding delivery.
Following three months maternity leave, SreyTouk began work for an organization that had a day care attached where she could remain close to her baby while she learned how to make paper flowers and greeting cards. It was here that she connected with a man from another province who wanted to marry her. Unfazed by the presence of a baby, this man took her to visit his family where his mother really liked her and invited her to join their family. So SreyTouk married and moved to his province.
Now SreyTouk works with the family selling sugar cane juice with her baby girl nearby. Her new family are even helping the couple to buy a house. Five partners together with Mother’s Heart were part of this happy outcome!
*All client names are changed to protect their identity.