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Jan 15, 2019

An exploited laborer seeks shelter.

A group counseling session in action.
A group counseling session in action.

The goal of this program is to provide a safe-shelter, counseling, and supportive services to victims of domestic violence, rape, trafficking, other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Since December 2018, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center has served a total of 69 survivors and 32 relatives. This program continues to be successful in the counseling aspect, but also the reintegration process which serves as a pivotal point in a survivor's life. Through the different counseling disciplines used at the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, this program works to shed the sense of shame and guilt that is often associated with abuse and exploitation. Below is a story of Kimly*, a survivor of labor exploitation and sexual abuse.

Kimly’s mother passed away when she was young and her father later married. Her changing family dynamics forced her to live with her grandmother who was very poor. After sometime, her grandmother could not afford to feed her, so she told Kimly to work to support herself. She worked very hard as laborer. Laborer jobs are often unregulated and can be a dangerous place for young women. Kimly was sexually assaulted several times at the workplace. Unfortunately, she didn’t report it.

Kimly’s grandmother was no longer able to look after her so she gave her to a neighboring family. Her neighbors were also poor and there she still had to work as laborer. After some time, she decided to migrate to work in Cambodia-Thailand in Poipet where she worked for 20 months as domestic helper without receiving any wage. In addition, her Cambodian house owner also confiscated her belongings. Kimly decided to flee and went to report her case at Migrant Reception Center (MAC) where she met and reported her case to an anti-human trafficking police officer. She was then referred to CWCC to stay at the shelter in early November 2018 awaiting for her case to be solved.

At the shelter, she first felt fearful and unsure of her new environment. She was depressed and experienced difficulty connecting with others. The counselor started spending time with her in efforts to build trust and confidence. They encouraged self-reflection and interaction with the other clients. Eventually Kimly felt more comfortable and was able to develop supportive friendships with the other clients through group counseling and participating in shelter activities. She has experienced great improvement at the shelter.

Currently, Kimly is still residing in the shelter waiting for her case to close. She has good overall health and and has been attending hairdressing and beauty salon courses outside the shelter sponsored by Lotus Outreach. The CWCC staff will continue to assist and follow up her case.

Thank you for believing in this program’s mission. Your generosity is changing lives.

Kimly* is a name given by the writer. Her real name is hidden to protect her privacy in accordance to child protection policy of CWCC.

 

 

Jumping for joy!
Jumping for joy!
Jan 9, 2019

Getting Well January 2019

Wells bring joy and health to communities
Wells bring joy and health to communities

We are very excited that the 2019 Getting Well project is now underway. Twelve villages have been chosen for establishing wells after months of surveying. All villages selected meet the criteria which includes being a remote high need village that has at least 15 families residing in it (or 75 people).

The chosen villages are located in three communes, Snay Ancheta, Srae Khnong, and Srae Cheng in Chum Kiri District of Kampot province. It’s expected the twelve pump wells will serve some 233 households consisting of 967 people including 489 women and 334 children. There are also 13 disabled persons getting direct benefit from the project.

Fetching water adds to the already difficult lives of these poor villagers, most of which have settled from other areas and provinces of Cambodia to avail of cheap land where water sources are few and far between and dwindle to muddy ponds during the long dry season. Life is extremely hard in these villages. Men toil as laborers or travel deep into malarial forests foraging for bamboo and various types of forest produce. Women and children are left to cart water for drinking, cooking and bathing, long distances and which uses up many productive hours of every day and keeps children from school attending school regularly.

Once the wells are established, villagers will have clean, potable water close at hand. Life will be much easier for each of the 233 households under the program which will set free hundreds of hours of back-breaking labor each month. There will be more time for productive work and children will attend school more regularly. Villagers will also learn about sanitation and hygiene leading to a reduced incidence of bacterial stomach infections and typhoid. Quality of life in the chosen villages will improve drastically. In addition, the well will save villagers time and money.

Thank you to all of the donors who have contributed to the health and wellness of thousands of Cambodians. 

A map of the new wells!
A map of the new wells!
Dec 10, 2018

Lotus Pedals update

In 2018 Lotus Pedals plans on providing 328 bicycle packages to vulnerable girls in Cambodia to assist them in commuting to school. So far, the program has given 267 bike packages to girls in different locations such as Siem Reap Province, Pursat Province, Kampot Province, Svay Rieng Province, and Phnom Penh Capital City. Another 61 bicycle packages are going to be distributed in December to Battambang Province and Siem Reap Province.

Each bicycle package includes:

  1. A Bicycle
  2. A Pump
  3. A Lock
  4. A Repair Kit
    • A set of double open-ended spanners (5 pieces)
    • A hex key
    • A screwdriver
    • A set of puncture repair kit

The latest bicycle giveaway ceremony was held on November 15 at Svay Rieng Province, where 80 bicycle packages were distributed. These photos show the beaming faces of the new bike owners! A couple of the beneficiaries share their stories with us below.

Ravy is 15 years old, studying in 10th grade. She lives around 8kms from school. She was very excited and delighted to get a bicycle from the program. She recalled how difficult it was without a bike, “I used to ask my neighbor for a lift to school, but sometimes I had to miss some sessions as my neighbor’s timetable is different from mine—her class starts at 8am whereas mine at 7am. Now that I have a bike, I will never ever be late for school again”, Ravy said determined. Ravy aspires to be an English translator in the future.

Leak is 16 years old, studying in 11th grade. She lives around 10kms from school. When being asked if she has any difficulties getting to school, Leak responded, “I used to have a bike that broke down twice a week, so I was often late for school. This new bike is a precious gift that encourages me to study harder to become a teacher and I will not get to school late any more”, Leak added.

Thank you for supporting Lotus Pedals riders like Ravy and Leak. It is with your help that these students are given hope. 

Ravy, a Lotus Pedals Student
Ravy, a Lotus Pedals Student
 
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