AFESIP Cambodia 

Acting for Women in Distressing Situations 

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Sona, a 19-year old girl, a victim of human trafficking, was brought to AFESIP Phnom Penh Clinic by AFESIP social worker, who stations in Stung Treng province. Sona agreed to choose the service when the provincial police invited AFESIP representative for a presentation of AFESIP activities especially at the center. AFESIP and the police also invited the parents to make a trip to Phnom Penh and meet their daughter. Sona lives in Kompong Cham province, but why she is in Stung Treng province at Cambodian-Lao Border ? To understand more about her, please follow this story, interviewed by our counselor at AFESIP Clinic in Phnom Penh as follows:

She said: “ My poor family with 6 members lives in Kompong Cham’s Kang Meas district. I stopped my study at grade 7, when I was 14, that is to say one year after I graduated from primary school, because my parents could not support me anymore. At home, I helped them in their daily work or did private business to generate income to support my family for nearly 4 years……. I had a boyfriend and lived together for a couple of months, then separated.”

Festival of the Dead, known as Pchum Ben is the most important festival in the Khmer religious calendar. The Cambodian people consider Phchum Ben Festival seriously and have faithfully observed it every year. They pay their respects to deceased relatives and try not to miss a visit to the pagoda to dedicate food and offerings to the dead. They traditionally meet together at the pagoda, more importantly on the 15th day of decreased moon.

Banteay Meanchey, Pailin, Pursat Battambang, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom and many other provinces have been reported by various media that they are being massively affected by the flood. By the morning of October 09th, 2013, the National Television known as TVK reported that Pursat the province that has never had such huge flood is facing the immeasurably flood almost as much as Battambang. Also, from the same source of the news, thousands of families and their possessions such as poultries, cattle and some belongings moving to temporary safer places until the water recedes.

A Karaoke club in Kompong Speu province, on National Road 4 was raided on 8 August 2013 by the police of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in collaboration with the provincial authorities, witnessed by prosecutor and AFESIP officials. The effort made following the complaint by AFESIP information gathering and legal team after the information gathered around the case. After a few days of serious work on the issue, the team decided to send the information gathering report to the police for further action.

As done in previous year, Somaly House, former Kompong Cham Rehabilitation and Basic Vocational Skills Training Center celebrated its 64th 1nternational Children Day. Since early morning, the children in school uniforms, dark blue skirts and white short sleeved shirts with nice shoes seemed to be so happy to welcome this special event. We could see their smile and laughter, hanging around the premise at their will. The decorated multi-colored roofs to shelter the children and honorable guests were built a day before the event. A long table full of children gifts was seen to distribute to all the children, center and school. In the office space, some 10 matured girls were wearing dancing uniforms to be ready for a dance, 5 worn in male and the other 5 in female dancing uniforms. They were ready to perform a dance called “Coconut Dance” trained by Ms. Kheng Sochenda, Somaly House Manager and who was the core person to lead the program.

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