Provide women and girls education in Cambodia

by Women's Resource Center
Vetted
Elimination of Violence Against Women Campaign
Elimination of Violence Against Women Campaign

Dear friends,

49% of women in Cambodia believe there are times when it is okay for a husband or partner to hit their wife. Yes, you read that correctly. It is not only men but women who also believe violence toward them is, at times, justified.

Source: World Health Organisation, National Survey on Women’s Health and Life Experiences in Cambodia, 2015

This belief needs to be challenged!

With your generous support, you have given us a voice and standing in the community to partake in the 16-day Elimination of Violence Against Women campaign, from November 25 - December 10, 2016. We aim to stimulate community dialogue and community awareness that violence against women is ABSOLUTELY NEVER OK.  

Our public activism began this week with an opening event at WRC, accompanied by the presence and genuine support from our local Village Chief and representative from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. It was here that local community members were already rallying one another to take action - to speak to their family and friends about the issue and to set an example with their lives about valuing and respecting women. 

Each of the #16days encompasses an activity to ignite conversation amongst the community, including reaching out to individuals in public spaces and facilitating workshops at Universities and other tertiary education facilities. It is throughout this engagement that we inspire a call to action with a question - ‘what can we do to help end violence against women?’ One young man responded ‘We have a responsibility and opportunity, especially as the young generation, to set an example with our lives’.  

Thank you for helping us to fuel the energy for action far and wide!

Year-End Challenge and Opportunity

As we welcome in the holiday season, you have the opportunity to contribute to expanding our impact into 2017, allowing us to empower more vulnerable women to transform their lives for the better. 

We are committed to reach our goal of $40,000 by the end of December 2016. 

We are almost there and we need your support to achieve it!

Not only does money have value in how you partner with us, your voice, your hands, your time and your resource are all equally important to making a tangible difference. It is with your partnership that this is all possible. 

Please share this with your friends, family, colleagues and encourage them to do the same.  

Thank you for standing with us!

WRC Say NO to Violence Against Women
WRC Say NO to Violence Against Women
Campaign motorbike ride around Siem Reap
Campaign motorbike ride around Siem Reap
Our local village Chief supports WOMEN!
Our local village Chief supports WOMEN!

Links:

In this update, we would like you to meet Kunthea, a girl we met during one of our workshops and als we would like to introduce our new campaign to you.

Meet Kunthea

In one of our School Workshops held earlier this year, we met Kunthea (not real name).

“I am 15 years old. I study at Hun Sen Kruos Secondary school in grade 8. I am the youngest daughter of 4 children. At my school I was given the opportunity to attend a workshop from the Women's resource Center.

The things I learned helped me to reflect on my own family and how my parents treat and disrespect each other. After attending these workshops I have spoken to my mum and dad about how important the understanding of women’s rights is, to prevent domestic violence. Because it’s not just the impact to the family, children are also impacted from violence in their home. As well as others who live in the community. I talked to them about the importance of trusting each other, helping each other with the housework, managing anger and the effects of alcohol on anger and violence.

I have noticed a difference in my parents behavior towards each other. They talk more, try to understand and communicate in stead of fight. This makes me very happy. It makes me feel safer.

I would like this workshop to be delivered to other schools as well as it’s a very important topic for our country. Women and girls should know how to protect themselves from all kind of abuses and know their rights. And boys should learn how to respect girls."

Launch of a new campaign

Did you know that currently, 50% of women and 27% of men in Cambodia believe that a husband is justified to beat his wife in certain situations? Siem Reap holds the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, with almost 60% of women experiencing physical, emotional, sexual or economic violence from their husband or partner. Furthermore, alcohol and drug abuse is rampant throughout communities in Siem Reap with participants of our 2015 community survey identifying alcohol use and gender issues as root causes of violence.

One of the workshops the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) provides is the workshop we give at schools in local communities. We educate both girls and boys on topics such as Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Gender Equality & Equity and Domestic Violence as these are very current subjects in a life of a Cambodian.

At Women’s Resource Center we are always looking for new opportunities to get our message and workshops out there and we are looking forward to giving our workshops at more and more schools in the local communities. To make sure we are able to do that we’ve launched a new fundraising last week. You can read more information or donate here.

Phanny maintains her vegetable garden
Phanny maintains her vegetable garden

Dear WRC supporters,

It’s hard to believe September is already here. Our in-center workshops are coming to a close this month (meaning lots of workshop graduates!), and October will see us piloting a new multi-media workshop on internet safety, photography and community research in the two local high schools we work with.

Today I want to share with a wonderful story about Phanny*, who has just completed our financial literacy workshop, 'Riel Change'.

Phanny is a mother of two children, wife and small business owner. Phanny runs a small vegetable stall at her local market, selling vegetables she buys from a local farmer. Before attending our workshop, Phanny was unaware how much money she was earning – or losing  – in her business, and how much she spent on her family and business expenses, as she combined her personal and business finances.

Phanny’s vision board of her short-term goals to achieve during and shortly after the workshop firmly stated the following:

1)     To save money to buy a bicycle for my son

2)     To negotiate with my husband about his alcohol use

3)     To grow my own vegetables to sell at my market stall

We are thrilled to report that Phanny is now managing her daily income and expenses and running a personal and business budget. Phanny said to us, “learning about saving, budgeting and how to track my income is really important for me as a small market seller.” Phanny learnt how to increase the value of her product and is now growing her own vegetables to sell at her stall, which has increased her profit margins!

We recently visited Phanny at her home to follow up on the impact she sees attending Riel Change has had on her life and she excitedly announced to us, “I have achieved my goal because I have saved to buy a bicycle for my son, as I promised him.” Phanny is happy and proud as now her son can get to school on time.

Equally as exciting is that Phanny’s husband is so impressed with her new knowledge and how much her business has improved, he has reduced his drinking and in Phanny words, “he respects me more”.

Phanny’s goals were both professional and personal, which many women's are, as family is as important to women as business and profit margins. Our financial literacy workshop facilitates development in both areas, to support women to be able to improve aspects of their lives that they deem important. That is what we call empowerment!

Thank you for your continued support and enabling Phanny to improve her son’s education, her relationship with her husband and to expand her own business. We know Phanny sends a special thank you to you, too.

To support more women like Phanny to empower themselves to be able to improve their lives, please consider making a recurring donation to our project.

*Name changed to protect the anonymity of our beneficiary.

Phanny
Phanny's vegetable garden is expanding
We provide emotional support to women and girls
We provide emotional support to women and girls

Dear WRC supporters,

It's been a busy year so far and I'd like to take a moment to share a success story of one of our counselling recipients in the community.

Sreymom* came to the Women's Resource Centre for counselling support. Prior to seeking counselling with us, she was living in a situation of domestic violence and her family were hesitant for her to report it to the authorities. Things were very bad and after another encounter with her husband, Sreymom went to the police; battered and bruised and with two black eyes. The police intervened but unfortunately due to pressure from the family the husband was then released again! The family felt that the family unit was more important but Sreymom continued to suffer from the violence of her husband.

When Sreymom talked to our counsellor, things began to look better! She received the support and care that she needed to confirm that she was taking the right action and making the right choices for her and her children.

Sreymom is no longer living with her husband and she now feels really strongly that she's made the right decision not to live with him any longer. She has 3 kids and a job that ensures she can look after them well. She didn't want her children to live in those conditions any longer. The family are doing so well; their family unit is closer than ever and they're very happy. Sreymom feels thankful that she now has a basic knowledge of women's rights and legal support. 

Thanks to your generosity and commitment to our programs, Sreymom sought our counselling support 5 times throughout this troubling period.

I'm sure you're as thrilled as we are that Sreymom is now empowered and able to support herself and her children. And no longer suffering at the hands of her husband.

As always, thank you for supporting WRC and enabling our team to support women and girls in Cambodia. Slowly but surely, we are making progress and making an impact on women and girls' lives in Cambodia. And your support really goes a long way in helping us achieve a stronger impact.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of our client.

With gratitude,

Pisey Khim
Managing Director
Women's Resource Center, Cambodia
 

WRC
WRC's Women's Health Workshop

Dear friends of WRC,

We're very excited about the upcoming International Women's Day celebrations. We have a lot planned! We are so happy with the progress Cambodia has made these past couple of years and we are especially proud of the accomplishments of our previous workshop participants.

Our post-workshop testing and follow up sessions have shown that our workshop participants are indeed practicing and sharing their newly acquired knowledge with their community.

For example, our previous Women's Health Workshop participants reported sharing their knowledge about ensuring safe and healthy pregnancies — a long-term sustainable method of decreasing the current rate of 1 in 200 women at risk of dying during childbirth.

Speaking of our Women's Health Workshops, I would like to share with you the story of one woman, in particular, that caught our eyes.

Srey Meas attended the second group for the Women's Health Workshop last year. She was just 15 years old at the time and was already married. She didn't know how to take care of her health. When she became pregnant, she never went to see a doctor.

After the third workshop session, she went to see a doctor, began taking iron supplements for her pregnancy and had a tetanus shot. By the end of the eight workshop sessions, she started seeing the doctor regularly. She knew to how to better look after herself and to check for danger signs during her pregnancy.

Srey Meas confidence increased and she began talking with her husband about family planning. Her son is now two-months old and her and her husband have decided to try for another child when Srey Meas turn 25.

We are so happy to have been able to support Srey Meas and we know she and her son will have a better life as a result.

Of course, on International Women's Day next Tuesday, we will not only be celebrating our participants' achievements, but we will also be advocating for gender equality. Gender is a new word for us in Cambodia and so our free event will have a strong focus on what is gender and what does it mean for Cambodia. First you have to help people identify the situation and then help them solve it.

You can help us with our advocacy and informal education work by donating during the International Women's Day celebrations. GlobalGiving UK will be matching any donations to WRC by 50% (from 2pm GMT on 7 March - 2pm GMT 14 March). UK supporters will need to add Gift Aid on top of their donation for WRC to receive the bonus support.

Please give generously and help us continue our work throughout 2016.

As always, thank you for supporting WRC and enabling the team to support other women and girls in Cambodia. Slowly but surely, we are making progress and making an impact on women and girls' lives in Cambodia. And your support really goes a long way in helping us achieve a stronger impact.

Stay tuned for updates on our International Women's Day activities on Facebook.

With gratitude,

Pisey Khim
Managing Director
Women's Resource Center, Cambodia

Our agenda for IWD 2016
Our agenda for IWD 2016
 

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Organization Information

Women's Resource Center

Location: Siem Reap, - - Cambodia
Website: http:/​/​wrccambodia.org
Project Leader:
Pisey Khim
Siem Reap, Siem Reap Cambodia
2016 Year End Campaign
Time left to give
$37,284 raised of $40,000 goal
 
646 donations
$2,716 to go
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