Seu and her family
Thank you for supporting Women's Resource Center with our project to support women and girls with informal education and life skills in Cambodia. Here is Seu's story of how her life changed through everything she learned with WRC...
Seu is 34 years old, she is married to Meth and they have three children. In 1990, she was forced to migrate from Takeo to Siem Reap to find work. She has started her fruit stall at home and Meth is a construction worker. After Seu married she faced many struggles, including physical and emotional abuse and violence by her husband, especially when he drank. At one point he also abandoned her – but now they are reunited. She also received discrimination by her family in-law and the community. This was hard for Seu and caused her response to be aggressive towards her husband, mother-in-law and her children. She said: “My husband always listens to his mother and he believed what his mother told him about me. When he comes home, he always complains and blames me, and sometimes beats me and he never listens to me or my reasons.”
In 2016, she was told by her neighbour about WRC. She first joined the Community Outreach Program on Women’s Rights and Gender and later other topics about Women’s Health, Family Planning, Positive Parenting, Financial Literacy and other activities organised by WRC. After the workshops Seu reported feeling more motivated and empowered by the WRC team. She gained more knowledge and became and stronger person. She can openly discuss problems with her husband and mother-in-law, she feels they have all changed and now look for positive solutions and engaged with one another to solve problems. She can manage her anger and find the ways to negotiate and talk with her husband about what she likes and does not like and how they can support and understand the needs of each other.
What she has learned about financial literacy helps her to better manage the families money as she practices saving and tracking the expenses to manage the budget, Seu also discusses and shares knowledge of family planning, reproductive health, domestic violence and gender roles with her husband. Seu and her husband also received counselling support while she struggled with her family and her health. She was very sick and WRC referred her to the Provincial Hospital and referral NGOs who provided medical treatment and now she is back to full health.
Our WRC social worker has visited her family and met with her mother I law and her husband a few times and referred them to join community talks, conducted by our ambassador in the village. Her husband and mother-in-law have changed their behaviour, they respect her and have stopped looking down on her, or using violence and discrimination towards her. Since they attended sessions and listened to information Seu shared from WRC they understand the impact of violence and now support her and use positive discipline with the children. She said: “My husband has changed his behaviour toward me and the children now, he gives me all the money he earned - not like before when he used it for alcohol and never gave me enough. My mother-in-law also stopped discrimination against me and now he is nice to me and supports me.”
The neighbour also said that her husband has changed a lot. They never thoughts he could change his aggressive behaviour and drinking alcohol, but he did.
Sue continues that: “My husband is happy that I have gained more knowledge and supports me to join more workshops and she knowledge with him and my children.” She mentioned that “when women have knowledge it really helps us to think, reflect and better deal with the problems or struggles we face in life. When we have enough knowledge and information, we can make good decisions about our lives.”
Seu is happy that her family now has a good relationship that she always dreamt about. She has become one of our Community Ambassadors and is confident to participate in society to share her knowledge. She has reached more women and encourages them to join the workshop.
She sends a message to other women: “I wish more women joined the workshop to get more knowledge and apply it in family life. When they have enough information and knowledge they can make better decisions about their lives.”
“Thanks to the Women’s Resource Center for providing knowledge and information to empower me and other women to be string and confident to make decisions and realise my strength to deal with problems. This program intervention is really useful for people and I hope the WRC still continues their mission to support other women and families.”
Seu and her baby