AFESIP Cambodia 

Acting for Women in Distressing Situations 

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Let’s congratulate Kandieng (PP-3158), who had successfully completed her sewing skills training from Tom Dy shelter of AFESIP, has been starting to open her seamstress business in her home town in a province located a long Cambodian and Thai border.

She had forcibly been stopped studying by herself at grade 3 of primary school due to poverty because her family could not afford to support her school cost,in order to help her family in farming. She got married to her rapist and divorced later since her husband took a second wife and so often her family had domestic violence.

In 2011, she had found out AFESIP through her older sister, who was one of residents whom had been raped by foster father and referred to AFESIP by provincial department of Women’s Affairs received care and training in Tom Dy shelter, and she made a decision to undertake vocational skills training in sewing in Tom Dy shelter. While she stayed in shelter she had received psychosocial counseling, health care, other life skills, Khmer literacy, basic English and computer…

She had completed her sewing skills training in 2014 and took internship with her older sister. She reintegrated to her hometown with an initial support of sewing business starting kit of $700. She is very happy with business by utilizing the skills she was trained in from AFESIP and gets favorable support from family and community. “I have been receiving a good support from my sister and parents; I feel proud of standing here with my promising new life” she said. The father has also expressed his delight and support to her. The support she has been receiving from AFESIP is not yet ended we continue follow-up her on her business progress, psychology, health and support her on a regular basis when needed.

This is one of the cases that many women and children, in Cambodia, are facing. The victim or high-risk women and children that AFESIP works with have had their basic human rights violated and have been subjected to some of the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, both physically and mentally. The vast majority comes from backgrounds of extreme poverty and many already have histories, which include domestic violence or rape before the event of trafficking took place. All of them are female and have struggled against gender-based discrimination most of their lives. Consequently, support, resources and opportunities available to them are extremely limited and socially, they are marginalised by their societies.

We would like to thank you very much to our supporter and donors, without your contribution and support we could not reach our goal. Your generosity is contributing to make a difference for many lives of women and children who are in need of special protection. We need your ongoing support at any way of your capacity to keep our programs operate. We cannot change the world but together we can make a better place and peace to free these women and children from abusive and vulnerable situation.

Congratulation to National Committee for Counter Trafficking in Persons (NCCT) for official launch of its 5-year National Plan of Action on Counter Trafficking in Persons on February 10, 2015 at Ministry of Interior (MoI), presided over by H.E Sar Kheng, Minster of MoI and Chairman of NCCT. Approximately, 200 representatives from all relevant ministries, 25 provinces, embassies, UN and I/LNGOs attended the event. It is a pleasured of AFESIP Cambodia to be part of the launching event.

The new phase of this 5-year NPA is focused on 4 broad key strategies on (1) Strengthening Law and Policy Enforcement and Enhancing Cooperation; (2) Enhancing prevention; (3) Enhancing Criminal Justice Response to Human Trafficking and (4) Protection Victims with Gender and Age Appropriate and Qualitative Support.

This NPA had also been reviewed its operational structure of NCCT national mechanism at national and sub-national levels, roles and responsibilities of all relevant governmental institutes. In last 2 years of 2013 and 2014, Cambodia was classified in Tier 2 Watching List in TIP reports of US States Department because Cambodian government did make enough significant affords to combat human trafficking. We hope that this 5-year NPA will be an effective road map to combat human trafficking in Cambodia in the next 5 years to provide better protection and prevention to women and children.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Dan Austin, the Co-founder and Executive Director, and the entire team of 88bikes. The 88bikes is a great partner of AFESIP Cambodia since 2012 and this is a 4thyear long that AFESIP Cambodia has been partnering with 88bikes.Every year, 88bikes endows a bike to each of the young women and girls we work with within the 3 shelters and those reintegrated into community at large across Cambodia. Each bike donation is a mean of supporting transportation for the girl to go to school and or business operation of the reintegrated young women and girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides bike endowments, 88bikes has been supporting the 2ndsession of 5-day seamless workshop in Siem Reap shelter of AFESIP Cambodia from February 4-8, 2015. The 1st seamless workshop was conducted in Tom Dy shelter in March 2013 for 38 young women, who were in-sheltered and reintegrated young women. This is the 2ndSeamless Possibilities Dressmaking Workshop which has been supported by88bikes for 29 in-sheltered and reintegrated young women of AFESIP Cambodia anda few young women from our partner Banteay Srei organization.

The activities of the workshop are to design, sew and model beautiful gowns for themselves. These young women show their excitement and eagerness to be involved in the workshop. Many of them have expressed their interest incommon that they would benefit from that workshop to some extent in term of their existing sewing training and businesses. “I am committed to doing my best to make a piece of dress at the end of the workshop; I will use what I learn to improve my sewing business,” one reintegrated young woman said. Regarding the sponsor and organizer, 88bikes Executive Director Dan Austin emphasized “We’re so excited to curate this program again in Cambodia. The impact on these heroic young women is huge and we hope they have a great time making dresses for themselves.” Katharine Andrews, workshop instructor, said “I am very impressed with the skills, natural ability and creativity that these young women are showing in pursuit of their art.”

The New Somaly Fund:  Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) believe that the most powerful voices for change come from empowered women who have achieved their financial independence.  Through quality vocational training, emotional support and reintegration assistance, the graduates of The New Somaly Mam:  Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia)’s centers become those voices as they demonstrate how an empowered woman can be an inspirational part of her community.

One of our graduates, Jasmine, is an incredible example of how this works.  After leaving our center several years ago with beauty skills training, Jasmine set out to work in a successful local salon.  Although very determined and hard working at her first job in Phnom Penh, Jasmine was discriminated against because of her background so she left to open her own small shop outside her small roadside home in Siem Reap.  When Jasmine heard about The Somaly Mam Beauty+ Salon that The New Somaly Fund:  Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) were opening with support from The Estee Lauder Companies, she made sure she attended every training offered.  She arrived early and was often the last one to leave after helping to clean up.  Her incredible work ethic and talent got her noticed by the salon team and led to her being offered a job to work at the new salon full time.  Now earning a stable salary and having medical benefits, Jasmine’s confidence and talents continued to grow.  She became the salon’s most requested stylist and an inspiration to other young women in the program.

In December 2014, Jasmine made the bold decision to continue to grow her career and left the salon to open her own business.  With many of her existing clients following her to her new location and her incredible energy to market her business, Jasmine closed her first month of operation with a profit!  Even better, she employs two other young graduates of The New Somaly Fund:  Voices for Change’s (AFESIP Cambodia) program who are starting their own journey. 

Jasmine’s success and determination demonstrates what Voices for Change is all about.  Today Jasmine is not only a successful, aspiring beauty professional, but she is an inspiration for every woman she meets. Determined that women deserve their equality and should never be exploited, Jasmine uses her voice and success to motivate others that change will lead to a better tomorrow.  Jasmine’s next goal?  She wants to earn enough from her salon to pay for her attendance at an international beauty school and she wants to develop one of her trainees to be strong enough to run her salon for her while she is away.

The New Somaly Fund:  Voices for Change (AFESIP Cambodia) have enabled many women like Jasmine.  It is the model of economic empowerment coupled with a loving network of supporters who provide opportunities, not welfare.  We welcome you to join our network and support us to do more.  Invest in a woman and watch your investment grow!  We accept donations at http://www.newsomalyfund.org  or http://www.afesip.org

Vocational Training from the National Employment Agency

On 21st Jan. 2015, AFESIP-Cambodia has cooperated with Siem Reap Job Center under National Employment Agency (NEA) of Cambodia to provide 13 in-centered residents with the preliminary orientation on the environment of vocational skills training and jobs available and meeting the current market demand. Two representatives from the above agency spent the whole day to introduce the respective information and self-assessment test focusing on four areas: Skills, Likes, Work Values, and Personalities. Be noted that NEA’s job center takes a role as a front office where plentiful labor market information service is provided to its users including job seekers, employers and training providers and all market demand-and-supply information is offered accordingly.

Following the day, it is observed that the participants realize their potentials further, notably their optional choices of vocational skills training besides sewing and hairdressing available in the center though most of them are still likely to select sewing or hairdressing as the first option. Additionally, more are interested in employment for others rather than self-employment. Since this stage is followed by the Survey on Vocational Skills and Personal Career Plan to be done the following day, the exact data will be shown later.

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