For almost two years now, our SI President’s Appeal, ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’, has been delivering tangible benefits and positive change to the livers of women and girls living in Cambodia. In partnership with the Cambodia Community Dream Organisation (CCDO), this project focuses on empowering rural women and girls in the districts of Prasat Bakong, Angkor Thom, and Banteay Srei.
This project recently completed the third quarter of the second year of activities, during which remarkable milestones have been met throughout. From empowering women and girls through targeted training sessions in communication, as well as Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) skills, to fostering resilience in the face of multifaceted challenges – this project has been a catalyst for positive change.
Advocacy initiatives, public seminars, and impactful media campaigns have amplified the voices of women and girls in leadership roles, leading to tangible outcomes such as the issuance of identification poor cards for 1,856 beneficiaries (out of 2649 in total) and notable shifts in local leadership dynamics. These achievements, coupled with the meticulous evaluation of impact through satisfaction surveys and financial transparency, underscore the project’s commitment to not just meeting but exceeding its goals.
Objectives in Focus: A Recap
From June to September, the project diligently pursued its primary goals for this period, shaping a comprehensive approach toward the holistic empowerment of women and girls. These key objectives encompassed:
- Communications Proficiency: Aiming to enhance the capacity of women and girls, the project prioritised communication skills.
- Economic Empowerment through SME Training: Recognising the pivotal role of economic sustainability, the project invested significantly in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) training.
- Self-Empowerment for Vital Life Skills: Simultaneously, self-empowerment training sessions formed a cornerstone of the project’s strategy. These sessions were designed to instil confidence and resilience among 496 participants, providing them with vital life skills essential for navigating challenges and seizing opportunities in various aspects of their lives.
Empowering through Education and Training
At the heart of this quarter’s success, the strategic training initiatives coordinated by the CCDO have been fortifying the capabilities of women and girls. Two main training topics focusing on communication and SME were conducted, engaging 682 participants in 41 SME training sessions. The empowerment journey further unfolded with 31 self-empowerment training sessions, directly impacting 496 women and girls. These sessions delved into subjects ranging from goal-setting and self-image to resilience, negotiation, and refusal.
Advocacy in Action: Catalysing Positive Change
Beyond the classroom, the project orchestrated advocacy and community engagement. Three public seminars, a community forum, and two media campaigns echoed through the target communities, fostering leadership aspirations among women and girls. The ripple effect of these efforts manifested in 1,856 women receiving identification (ID) poor cards, affirming their status as beneficiaries of the transformative project. Importantly, the ascent of one of the project’s SMART women to the position of village chief, and the selection of 40 women as village volunteers, underscores the profound impact on local leadership dynamics.
Nurturing Resilience: Addressing Challenges Head-On
Acknowledging the multifaceted challenges faced by women and girls, the project team undertook home visits, reaching 174 families. These interactions not only ensured access to services but also ignited a wave of positive change. Through dedicated efforts, the project tackled issues such as domestic violence, pregnancy-related healthcare, and financial support for vulnerable women, exemplifying a commitment to holistic well-being.
Media Campaign: Spreading Awareness Far and Wide
A further two impactful media campaigns, leveraging the iconic Tuk Tuk, reverberated with the message of women’s rights, leadership, and access to public services. Reaching approximately 11,425 individuals, these campaigns serve as a beacon, illuminating the path toward gender equality and community development.
Measuring Impact: Satisfaction Surveys and Financial Expenditure
As the project progresses, thorough evaluations, including a Knowledge Attitude Practice (KAP) survey, affirm its positive impact. Impressively, findings reveal high levels of understanding and positive practices among beneficiaries, reinforcing the efficacy of the initiatives. The financial report transparently details the meticulous allocation of resources, emphasizing accountability and efficient utilisation.
In closing, as we reflect on the triumphs of this quarter, the ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’ initiative emerges not just as a project but as a catalyst for enduring change. It’s a narrative of empowerment, resilience, and community solidarity, with each endeavour propelling us closer to a brighter, more equitable future. Together, we stride forward, empowering women, shaping futures, and opening doors to a bright future in Cambodia.