A young beneficiary on one of her ANC check ups.
Dear donors, supporters, and friends,
It’s always a pleasure to share Mother’s Heart Organization’s report to all of you.
At the end of 2021, Mother’s Heart has a total of 109 women and 96 babies and children in our Crisis Pregnancy Support Program in our Battambang and Phnom Penh offices. Fifty (52) of these women and girls entered our program in 2021, and we also have a total of 43 babies born during this year. We have had in our program many girls under 18 who were pregnant. These strong, courageous young girls face many physical and emotional challenges. But we know it is such a privilege to be able to support and walk along side them through their crisis through your generous support to us via GlobalGiving. Working with very young mothers who are still children themselves prove to be a greater challenge and Cambodia still has a great way to go in terms of supporting children in this circumstance. We work closely with the girls' parents, relatives, or caretakers, and take into consideration their decisions regarding their health and parenting choices, what they want and what they need in order for them to have a stable life with additional support from our partners in the community.
One of the examples of community working together is the number of women (and their children) that were reintegrated to their families during this period. This period we have seen that our family mediation efforts are paying off. We are happy to see the women and their babies (who were in foster care) return to their families (four cases) and welcomed back into their ommunities and, at the same time, their return to their families mean foster mothers can accept new babies while their mothers are still undecided or are unprepared to parent for the time being.
The commune leaders such as the commune chiefs and the members of the commune committee for women and children have also stepped up in their involvement in Mother’s Hearts reintegration activities. Not only that, they were also instrumental in the procurement of civil documents for the women in our program, such as birth certificates, family books, and also in securing ID cards for the women to have access to the government’s COVID-19 subsidy. Our goal for the coming years is to secure these government ID cards for all the women in our program before they leave our care so that they are able to access government subsidies and assistances on their own.
We have also seen some cases of women slowly taking steps towards empowerment, especially our more complicated cases of beneficiaries who have disabilities. With our partner NGOs, these women and girls received specialised support and intervention. In addition, and one of the important things for Mother’s Heart Organization, we are working on our Child Safety Organization accreditation. We expect to undergo the Child Safety Training and Audit in the first quarter of 2022.
COVID-19 continues to pose a challenge in our operations (four of our frontline staff fell ill with COVID-19 in the second half of 2021), we had to find reative solutions, and managed to do so, to continue serving our beneficiaries especially during this time. Three of them were taken to the government-assigned treatment facilities in the city while one was given the go-signal to have home quarantine/treatment. It took them at least a month before they were allowed to return to their homes and work. Operations in the office returned to normal only in November, 2021. However, the number of staff allowed to go back the office on any given day is still limited (there is a schedule), so were the number of visitors and beneficiaries due to the concerns about the omicron variant.
Our Annual Report for 2021 is currently being processed. We will be including stories of women exemplifying empowerment in this report so please watch out for it. In the meantime, we welcome you to check out our Annual Report for 2020, if you haven’t already.
We’d like to thank you all of you for continuing to suport Mother’s Heart Organization. Without your support in 2020, we wouldn’t be able to suport all 109 women and 96 babies and children during this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to walk alongside us this year 2022.
Team Mother's Heart
Our midwife performs routine infant check.
Our staff in Battambang province on a house visit.