First Hand Service Trip to Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek November 2018

First Hand Service Trip to Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek November 2018

Service Trip Report by Melita Gerber, First Hand Volunteer. Trip dates: 5th – 10th November 2018 Service Trip Participants: Tanaz Byramjee, Gitte Faldmo, Melita Gerber and Annette Woschek. Service trips are an important part of First Hand’s programmes as they offer the opportunity to meet our partner organizations face-to-face to get a deeper insight into their work, to check on the projects we support and to be inspired to be their advocates on our return to Singapore. This trip we visited both Mother’s Heart and Damnok Toek, our two partners in Cambodia. Firstly we met Emily Scott, who is the country director of Mother’s Heart, and her enthusiastic team of social workers at the head office in Phnom Penh. A big THANK YOU goes to all our generous supporters in Singapore for the suitcases full of baby equipment that we delivered. Mother’s Heart is the first, and currently only, crisis pregnancy centre in Cambodia. It started off with a pilot project in 2010. Currently there are two main programs offered by Mother’s Heart to women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies: Crisis Pregnancy Counseling: it enables every woman to make informed decisions about their options e.g. parenting, alternative care, legal abortion, etc. Pregnancy Support Program: offers women access to support if they want to have their baby e.g. medical care, housing services, vocational training and job placement, day care services, education classes, foster care/kinship care, etc. 20 % of pregnancies in Cambodia are a crisis pregnancy. Crisis pregnancies have many backgrounds – the most common ones are rape, domestic violence, sex work, trafficking and incest. In Cambodia being pregnant and...