Our two university students
This is an email to say thanks so much for your support over the last four years - your generosity has enabled the young women we've worked with to be nurtured, healthy and achieve their potential - and also to announce the closure of this project.
In recent months, CWDA has reviewed and revised our provison for young women who are at risk of being traffiicked. This is to ensure that we're complying with best practice in childcare and education. Simply put, children are best looked after in family situations and shelter care should only ever be the last alternative.
We've assessed the families of children we support and worked out what needs to be put in place for them to guarantee that the children are safe, healthy and remain in school. We are in a position to now support 14 families of children who have been identified by the local authorities as at risk of being trafficked or dropping out of education. This might be because their families have suffered bereavement, illness or disabilty. The village which we're concentrating on is 36km from Phnom Penh, but the roads are in bad condition so it's actually quite hard for families to access all the opportunities available. We're ensuring that local authorities safeguard these children appropriately and will provide ongoing financial support and education to care-givers.
CWDA will also continue to support our two previous residents who now attend university.These two young women are the first of our residents to attend university, and are studying Management and Accountancy - two careers which are in demand in Cambodia's developing economy.
We're excited about the new opportunity to support children and families in the best way we can. We're also very proud of the progress which the young women who've accessed our provision have made. Take Chanda, a girl who arrived with us at the age of 9. She hadn't attended school for some time as her Mum was suffering from mental health issues which meant she relied on Chanda to look after the younger children. Not being in education, being a young carer and having a difficult home life are real 'push' factors for being victimised by traffickers. When she first lived with us Chanda found it hard to listen to advice and information and struggled to concentrate at school. Years of patient care, and encouragement has meant that she is now achieving her potential in lessons and has good friendships with peers and healthy relationships with adults.
Other highlights of the Safe Shelter programme have included "Girls Speak Out" - a project which we've collaberated with several other NGOs on. Through this the young women have gained confidence and knowledge to enable them to be peer-educators on topics like positive relationships, safety and gender equality. Your donations have also enabled young women to access much-needed lesiure and cultural activities - a field trip to Ankhor Wat, weekly swimming, skateboarding and yoga lessons and English lessons with native-speaking volunteers.
If you'd like to continue your support for the work of CWDA - please visit our other projects on the Global Giving website. These projects will include supporting the 20 families we've identified and continuing to provide for the education of our two young women who attend university.
In the meantime - thanks a million - and we wish you all the best.
Playing in the Olympic Stadium