Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the education, health, and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world. Lotus Outreach achieves its mission by supporting effective grassroots projects in vulnerable communities.
Dec 1, 2016

Project summary report

Below is a brief summary of the Counseling and Reintegration Program in 2016:

  • 25 survivors (Domestic Violence =2, Sexual Abuse =9 & Human Trafficking =14) and 8 relatives were referred to safe shelter. We added to 12 survivors (DV=5, SA=1 & HT=6) and 5 relatives from the previous period.
  • Total = 37 (Domestic Violence=7, Sexual Abuse=10 & Human Trafficking =20) and 13 relatives stayed at the safe shelter in the first semester of 2016.
  • Of 25 cases, 21 are under 18. The high number and % ratio of youth and children being served is something we are making a point about.   

A summary of the activities coducted by the counselors in 2016:

  • The counselor had spent 47 hours providing 77 individual counseling sessions to 24 survivors who stayed in the CWCC's safe shelter. Of 24, 17 were survivors of human trafficking, 4 were survivors of sexual abuse and 3 were survivors of domestic violence.
  • The counselor provided 9 small-group counseling sessions to 19 clients at the CWCC's safe shelter. Of 19 survivors, 14 survivors of human trafficking, 4 survivors of sexual abuse and 1 survivor of domestic violence which spent 9 hours and 25 minutes.
  • The counselor provided 21 big group counseling sessions to 22 survivors and 2 relatives at the CWCC's safe shelter which spent 29 hours and 20 minutes. Of 22 survivors, 15 were survivors of human trafficking, 4 were survivors of sexual abuse and 3 were survivors of domestic violence.
  • There were 17 survivors of human trafficking, 4 survivors of sexual abuse and 3 survivors of domestic violence and 2 relatives (totally 26) participated in 5 weekly meetings in the shelter for a total of 5 hours.

The (24) beneficiaries of individual counseling sessions are as the following:

 a)    Under 18: (totally 21)

-       Domestic Violence : 1

-       Sexual Abuse: 4

-       Human Trafficking: 16

b)    From 18 to 22: (totally 1)

-       Domestic violence: 0

-       Sexual Abuse: 0

-       Human Trafficking: 1

c)     Over 22: (totally 2)

-       Domestic Violence : 2

-       Sexual Abuse: 0

-       Human Trafficking : 0

We hope that this report displays the continued progress of the Counceling and Reintegration Program. Thank you to all of the donors who faithfully believe in the healing of these girls and women. It is with your support that the beneficiaries may heal from their traumas and seek bright futures.

Art work done by the women/girls.
Art work done by the women/girls.
The counselors at the center
The counselors at the center
A counselor with two survivors.
A counselor with two survivors.
Nov 28, 2016

Suman from the village Durgapur

The Blossom Bus program continues to grow. Data from the Aharwan secondary school where we have 205 students in the program show that while many schools in the area are losing students, the schools in which we send most of the Blossom Bus girls has increased in numbers of girls from 180 in 2008 to 340 in 2016. These numbers are entirely reliant on Blossom Bus.

The Headmaster of the Aharwan school told us with pride that 45 out of the 54 girls in grade 10 have passed the exams in the 2015-16 school year which is vastly different from the 40% pass rate in the state. Blossom Girls attend school almost 100% of days in a school year which enables these kinds of results. Below is a story about a Blossom Bus GIrl named Suman. 

Suman is from the village of Durgapur and is studying in tenth grade at the Aharwan school. She has been travelling on the Blossom Bus for the last year after passing eigth grade from Durgapur school. She does well at school and wants to study as much as possible.  Suman said that she wants to be independent even after marriage. When asked why she is so keen to study until college she became silent. We asked, “Will your parents send you to school if there is no Blossom Bus?” She did not respond directly but only said, “please do not stop Blossom Bus or many girls will be out of school and will lead a bad life.” It was a serious statement and we wanted to know why Suman was so interested in education.

After a lot of persuasion, Suman opened up and told us, “My mother is illiterate and my father is a drunkard. He does not treat my mother nicely”. We asked her if she is confident that she will get a job after studying until grade 12. She said that she may or may not get a job but if married to a drunkard, she may not have to face domestic violence as it will be difficult for a husband to beat an educated wife. She said further that she knows about the helpline number 1091 for complaints against domestic violence and will call the police if subjected to such behaviour by her husband.

We asked her then why she does not ask her father to stop drinking. She said that she has seen her father drinking since she was a toddler and has many times asked him to stop drinking alcohol but he doesn't listen. He says that he will keep drinking as long as he is alive.

Suman is worried about her family as her two younger sisters are studying in grade three and five in the village school. The whole family is dependent on the earning of one brother and Suman wants to help her brother and earn more so that her sisters can also complete school education. We hope that her younger sisters will ride the Blossom Bus once they are of age.

During this discussion, Suman kept repeating “Please never stop Blossom Bus as this is the only hope for hundreds of girls who have reached grade 10 and 12".

Thank you to all that have supported this program. The beneficiaries are forever grateful! 

Suman is pictured far right
Suman is pictured far right
Nov 11, 2016

Our first Getting Well post!

In rural Cambodia, access to clean water is severely limited. This reality has a very real impact on the health and well-being of an already impoverished population. Women and children are particularly affected, as they are forced to walk long distances to remote sources to collect water from streams and ponds. More often than not, this water is not safe for consumption. Poor water quality, coupled with the residents’ general lack of education regarding waterborne illness, results in the spread of typhoid, diarrhea, and myriad related maladies that not only pose immediate health risks but also trigger cascading financial burdens.

Life is especially tough during the 7 to 8 month dry season. While many of the villagers have been there forever, a good percentage of the villagers are poor Cambodian migrants that have newly arrived from Kampot and other provinces. While looking to make a fresh start, many of migrants build themselves roughhewn shacks that are without water or electricity. In the mean time they scratch a living from the land while getting their small farms established.

Over the past year, Lotus Outreach has been able to establish 13 new wells. The following is a short account of a visit to a newly established well in Monosok, Takaen Commune, Dist.Chhukk, Kampot Province (known locally as ‘Phnom Tom Point’ - as it’s at the foot of a big hill).

There are 15 members of the Well Committee in Monosok, one from each of the 15 families served by the well. The well will serve up to 100 people as the dry season lengthens. Houses of the 15 families are spread up to 600 meters from the well location. The well was established near the home of the village head. We were originally concerned about the misuse of power in the making of this decision so we asked the village head why we were directed to build the well next to his home. The village head said “I’m the only one at home all the time. My children are away in the forest gathering produce (bamboo, wood, forest seeds) for livelihood, as are members of most other households. If placed in the middle of town, there would be no one to keep an eye on the well and take care of the well. The nearest pond is 1km from the new location and the water in it is yellow and muddy. It never gets dried up but the water is horrid”.

The village head continued, “we are so happy and thankful to have a well with clean water so close to home."

The Getting Well program staff brought the community together to form the Well Committee and educate the community about office bearers and managing such a committee. Getting Well Committees are most often overwhelmingly women but in this case most are men. Each committee has a head, deputy head, and a treasurer. There were 7 of the 15 family heads at the meeting, all of the rest were in the forest working.

We are confident that we will see a decrease in water-borne diseases within the Monosok, Takaen Commune, and an increase in school attendance by the local children as we have seen in the community’s past. We fully expect the health, wealth, and education of the local populations to establish a positive feedback loop, a prosperous synergy that will drive this commune forward towards a brighter future.

Thank you to all that supported this program. Your generosity will have an exponential impact on the communities we work with in Cambodia. 

Bath time!
Bath time!
The Getting Well Committee!
The Getting Well Committee!
 
   

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