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May 14, 2019

What we accomplish together

Nymol is a Social Worker and Counsellor. She joined our team over a year ago. She is sharing with you her experience with a young woman named Kunthea*. Kunthea joined our program through referal from a partner organization. When we receive calls for suypport, our Case Manager, Ruthie Giovas, assigns cases to one of our Social Work Team. Here is Nymol's story:

"My name is Nymol, and I have been a social worker and counselor at MHO for almost 2 years. I joined MHO to support women who were shunned from their families for being pregnant and single. My work helps women like Kunthea*, who was referred to us by the Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC). 

I was her counselor, and met her on her very first counseling session. She told me about her situation: she was living with a man who said he loved her. He gave her a home, money, and found her a job. He said he wanted to marry her, and soon after,  he moved in. She felt respected and looked after. 

After a few months, she was getting sick. She visited the doctor, who told her she was 5 months pregnant.

 When she shared the news with her fiancé, he asked her to get an abortion. She was upset and confused asking why he was not happy. That is when she found out he was already married with 3 children. 

She felt hopeless. She was ashamed and embarrassed, she couldn't tell her friends or family. 

Her "fiancé"’s wife found out about the affair, and threatened to kill Kunthea. The man’s family eventually paid Kunthea $1,000, with the promise not to see him again, and to disappear. 

Her ex-fiancé kept trying to contact her, and wanted to continue seeing her. When she refused, he told her employer that she was pregnant, and single. She got fired, lost the apartment she lived in, and ended up isolated and vulnerable. After she moved out, her ex-fiancé stopped calling. 

MHO took her in, helping with food and housing. She was provided with counseling sessions, and joined our Pregnancy Support Program.

Four months later, as she felt labour was starting, she called her family. She was scared, but she really wanted to share this special moment with her mother. Her mother came. It was lovely to see them reunited. Kunthea’s mother thanked us for helping her daughter, but part of her still didn't know how accept her daughter. They talked, but she didn’t offer for Kunthea to come back home.

After maternity leave, my colleagues and I helped Kunthea find a job as a teaching assistant, and she was happy. Unfortunately she had to miss work when her child was sick, and her employer dismissed her. She is a hard working woman, and after being laid off, she slipped into depression, questioning everything. I was there to answer her calls when she needed her spirit to be lifted.

I also started family mediation, and after a few months, her mum changed her mind and decided to take her in. She moved back with her family, and applied for a good government job. She got hired.

She still works there, and is very happy to have found a good job. She is glad both her family and our team are there to support her. 

I am very proud of her, for never giving up and how she kept her focus despite her circumstances. I liked working with her, to let her find her inner strength. I am honored to have been by her side and to have helped her get to a place where she feels happy."

Feb 21, 2019

Thank you for another incredible year

Bonding
Bonding

2018 was the start of a new chapter of our story. 

With the support of 2 major donors, Ratanak and Beltway Church, we opened a new center in Battambang. The region is one of the poorest in Cambodia.

We currently have 20 women in our program in Battambang. Our staff has been in contact with local NGOs, and village chiefs, and the 20 spaces in our pregnancy support program have been filled. 40% of women in the program are underaged, and need to be closely monitored. Thanks to our midwife, social worker, program manager and tuktuk driver, all of them have been given the proper medical care. Your generosity allowed them to remain safe from trafficking, and made sure their babies remained in a loving family.

Our operations in Phnom Penh are still at full capacity with 90 women currently benefiting from our support program. 

93 babies were born last year under our care. They have been provided with life-saving baby baskets, community mediation, support services and medical care during their pregnancy. 

In Phnom Penh, two counsellors joined our team, and protocols were put in place to diagnose post-partum depression better. Our women come from a vulnerable background: violent partners, trafficking, rape victims, incest survivors, and they need to be closely monitored to make sure they can bond with their babies. 

Many of them feel alone, isolated, and the support given by our social work department is vital for their well-being.

Women like Chantrea*. 

Chantrea* was just 16 when she was referred to us by her village leader. She lived in a small rental room with her mother and step-father. They had no bathroom, and cooked outside of the room on a small stove. Her mother was a massage worker by day, and worked in beer garden at night. Sh came from a violent family, and after her long hours at work, she abused Chantrea* physically. She saw her as another mouth to feed, and lashed out on her very night. 

Chantrea* was taken out of school at a very young age, and her mother made her work at the massage parlour with her. Chantrea* had no choice but to obey, but she missed her friends, and she felt sad every time she came back from work. She longed to study and her dream of becoming a nurse just slipped away from her.

One day, her mother told her: "I found a husband for you". He was 30 yers older than her, Chantrea* refused. She left the parlour, and started selling goods at the market. The hours were long, from 7am until 9pm everyday. But she was eager to make an honest living.

Coming home from the market one night, she was assaulted, and a few months later realised she was pregnant. The abuse from her mother got worse. She insulted her everyday. The beatings didn't stop. Every night, Chantrea* cried herself to sleep. She was alone, isolated, shunned from her community. One evening, her mother kicked her out of the house, but not before telling her about her plans to sell the baby once it was born.

Chantrea* had nowhere to go. Fortunately, her neighbour took her in, and reported the abuse to the village leader. He called us, and our social workers responded quickly. Social workers went to visit her to offer encouragement and let her know she was not alone. We accepted her into our program where she received on going emotional support, food and medical assistance. 

She has now safely delivered a baby girl who is healthy and well. We’ve seen many changes in her since she’s been in our program. She is doing much better emotionally and physically. She’s a wonderful mom, taking active care of her child. Following our midwife’s instructions well, she is breastfeeding her baby who is growing quickly. This is what she has to say:

"I love my child very much. She is very lovely and pretty. I deeply thank MHO staff who helped me to have a safe delivery and have offered many kinds of support. Without MHO and the local authorities my child and I would be dead or trafficked because my mother did not allow me to live with her and was forcing me to sell my child.”

We are proud to have given her support when she had nowhere else to turn to. We are amazed at her resilience, and none of it would be possible without our many supporters, donors, sponsors, without you, none of it would be possible. Your generosity has allowed Chantrea* to become a loving mother, you have kept her baby from being sold, you have a kept a little girl from being separated from her mother.

Thank you.

*Names have been changed to keep our beneficiaries' anonymity

Riding with baby
Riding with baby
Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding
Feb 21, 2019

Thank you for another incredible year

Bonding
Bonding

2018 was the start of a new chapter of our story. 

With the support of 2 major donors, Ratanak and Beltway Church, we opened a new center in Battambang. The region is one of the poorest in Cambodia.

We currently have 20 women in our program in Battambang. Our staff has been in contact with local NGOs, and village chiefs, and the 20 spaces in our pregnancy support program have been filled. 40% of women in the program are underaged, and need to be closely monitored. Thanks to our midwife, social worker, program manager and tuktuk driver, all of them have been given the proper medical care. Your generosity allowed them to remain safe from trafficking, and made sure their babies remained in a loving family.

Our operations in Phnom Penh are still at full capacity with 90 women currently benefiting from our support program. 

93 babies were born last year under our care. They have been provided with life-saving baby baskets, community mediation, support services and medical care during their pregnancy. 

In Phnom Penh, two counsellors joined our team, and protocols were put in place to diagnose post-partum depression better. Our women come from a vulnerable background: violent partners, trafficking, rape victims, incest survivors, and they need to be closely monitored to make sure they can bond with their babies. 

Many of them feel alone, isolated, and the support given by our social work department is vital for their well-being.

Women like Chantrea*. 

Chantrea* was just 16 when she was referred to us by her village leader. She lived in a small rental room with her mother and step-father. They had no bathroom, and cooked outside of the room on a small stove. Her mother was a massage worker by day, and worked in beer garden at night. Sh came from a violent family, and after her long hours at work, she abused Chantrea* physically. She saw her as another mouth to feed, and lashed out on her very night. 

Chantrea* was taken out of school at a very young age, and her mother made her work at the massage parlour with her. Chantrea* had no choice but to obey, but she missed her friends, and she felt sad every time she came back from work. She longed to study and her dream of becoming a nurse just slipped away from her.

One day, her mother told her: "I found a husband for you". He was 30 yers older than her, Chantrea* refused. She left the parlour, and started selling goods at the market. The hours were long, from 7am until 9pm everyday. But she was eager to make an honest living.

Coming home from the market one night, she was assaulted, and a few months later realised she was pregnant. The abuse from her mother got worse. She insulted her everyday. The beatings didn't stop. Every night, Chantrea* cried herself to sleep. She was alone, isolated, shunned from her community. One evening, her mother kicked her out of the house, but not before telling her about her plans to sell the baby once it was born.

Chantrea* had nowhere to go. Fortunately, her neighbour took her in, and reported the abuse to the village leader. He called us, and our social workers responded quickly. Social workers went to visit her to offer encouragement and let her know she was not alone. We accepted her into our program where she received on going emotional support, food and medical assistance. 

She has now safely delivered a baby girl who is healthy and well. We’ve seen many changes in her since she’s been in our program. She is doing much better emotionally and physically. She’s a wonderful mom, taking active care of her child. Following our midwife’s instructions well, she is breastfeeding her baby who is growing quickly. This is what she has to say:

"I love my child very much. She is very lovely and pretty. I deeply thank MHO staff who helped me to have a safe delivery and have offered many kinds of support. Without MHO and the local authorities my child and I would be dead or trafficked because my mother did not allow me to live with her and was forcing me to sell my child.”

We are proud to have given her support when she had nowhere else to turn to. We are amazed at her resilience, and none of it would be possible without our many supporters, donors, sponsors, without you, none of it would be possible. Your generosity has allowed Chantrea* to become a loving mother, you have kept her baby from being sold, you have a kept a little girl from being separated from her mother.

The baby baskets you gifted make sure mother and child are healthy and strong, and are given all the necessary items, along with regular midwife's visits.

Thank you.

*Names have been changed to keep our beneficiaries' anonymity

Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding
Baby baskets
Baby baskets
 
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