On March 8, for International Women's Day, we asked you to support our cause.
Some of you have recently discovered the work we do, others have been faithful supporters for a long time.
So many of you answered our call and you made it possible for us to support a woman throughout her pregnancy and until her child turns 18 months. You made it possible for that child to have a great start to life with a team of dedicated professionals providing the best care available. We receive your letters of encouragement; know that we value your contributions.
Your donation made it possible for us to support a woman like Sreydy.
Sreydy is a very young woman who was referred to us by a partner NGO. She still bears the looks of someone who is barely out of childhood. Her cheeks are still full, her eyes the colours of ebony. Her hair rests on her shoulders.
Her shoulders seem to engulf her neck as if they could hide her entire body. Sreydy is shy and she carries her story with her.
Sreydy was 4 months pregnant when she was referred to Mother’s Heart. Many of the women who are referred to us at a young age have been victims of predators.
Sreydy was no exception.
She was no longer safe in her community. She felt threatened. She needed to leave. For the first time in her life, she had to leave her community, for something she was not guilty of. Leave behind her friends, her mother. She was heartbroken, isolated, lonely, and sad. She begged us to take her away from home. She was feeling unsafe, scared. The trauma was still fresh, like an open wound.
In the West, we would call that PTSD, here, there is no name for it. It is only seen as shame and weakness.
Our staff made the long journey to her community and escorted her to Phnom Penh.
They took her to a safe place, where she would not be alone. They surrounded her with care. They listened.
In a matter of weeks, she grew accustomed to her new life and the homesickness slowly went away. A smile grew back on her face. Even her stiff shoulders seemed to relax.
At first, she didn't feel she could keep her baby. She was young and had no experience with children. But as she spent more time with other young mothers, her new friends taught her how to care for a crying baby, change nappies, and wash them.
She grew in confidence. She could feel the baby kicking and growing. While holding other women’s children, she started imagining herself becoming a mother. Her mind changed. She was longing to feel the warmth of her baby in her arms. To be able to smell baby shampoo and talcum powder on the baby’s skin.
She carried her pregnancy to term. And she gave birth to a beautiful baby. She held him close. She loved him from the moment he was put in her arms.
He is now 2 months old and growing in size. His cheeks are like little hills that surround his face. His smile is heart-warming.
She is a proud mother and takes wonderful care of her baby.
Your donation made it possible for our team to go to her community. Our social workers talked to her mother. They did family mediation, and the community accepted her back. They understood the trauma she had been through.
In a few months, she will return home to her community.
None of this would be possible without you. Not only are you giving us the means to support Sreydy, you also give us constant moral support. Your messages, your love is being spread. You are the stars that radiate, and spread warmth.
Thanks to you, Cambodia is being made a better place for young women. You allow them to go through their crisis pregnancy. You empower them in becoming mothers. Their children are loved and not shunned. You make it possible for them to have vocational training, job placements and be financially independent.
Please, continue to support us. You make a difference.
By clicking on the donation button and donating, you will be changing the lives of numerous women. And for that, our staff will be forever grateful.