Thursday, September 25, 2014

My favourite part of the training? The poo calculation tool!

By Martina Tomassini

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Martina Tomassini
In Damrei Chhlang village, health focal point Theara (23) is learning how to help others
in her community prepare for and respond to floods.
SIEM REAP, Cambodia, 18 September 2014 – In Damrei Chhlang village, Theara, a young lady with a gentle smile and a strong commitment to community engagement, giggles when asked, “what part of the training did you enjoy the most?”. Then, without hesitation, she replies, “The poo calculation tool!”. The importance of using toilets is one of the key components of the training she is completing along with 15 other village health focal points in Siem Reap province.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Village health volunteer educates pregnant women on antenatal care and birth

By Navy Kieng

Kampong Thom, Cambodia, 2 September 2014 – In the remote Cambodian village of Porproak, mothers and pregnant women sit quietly on the ground under a wooden house listening intently at a session organised by village health volunteer, Mrs. Sophy. On a chair in front of the group she holds up pictures and explains what antenatal care services are, and how to prepare for birth. When she asks what the women learned from the session, it is amazing to see her audience enthusiastically engage with each other to provide the answers.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Navy Kieng
Mrs. Sophy, the village health volunteer, explains pregnancy to women in her village.

Porproak is a hard-to-reach village in Kampong Thom province, three kilometres from Protaong health centre and 78 kilometres from the provincial town. Most families in this medium-sized village of 516 people are farmers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Providing safe water and livelihoods in Cambodia

By Anne-Sophie Galli

© UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Anne-Sophie Galli
Song Vannara found a stable daily job: He distributes tanks with clean water to his community.
KANDAL, Cambodia, July 2014 –When Song Vannara was 23 years old, he stopped believing in his future. After repeating many grades at secondary school, he eventually dropped out. His classmates were sometimes ten years younger than him. “I always had to work in sugar cane fields to support my family”, Song Vannara says. “So, I never had time to study.” He thought that, just like his parents and three siblings, he would be a labourer for the rest of his life, struggling to survive on $5 a day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cambodia’s religious leaders promote positive parenting to end violence against children

By Molika Meas

A religious broadcast on the radio led to a complete change in the parenting style of grocery seller, Thorn Veasna*. The 48 year old, with his wife, regularly listens to the ‘Seeking Happiness Through Buddhist Spiritual Advice Progamme’, a daily show hosted by Buddhist monks.

In late 2013, one of the radio shows was about positive parenting. Noting that according to Buddhist principles violence against other people is a sin, the programme emphasised the importance of raising children with love through encouragement, listening and explanation, rather than through beating, yelling and blaming. To Veasna it was a revelation that violence was not an effective form of discipline. He and his wife used to beat their children with a branch from a tree to exert their authority. “I thought that when raising children we must be strict with them, otherwise they will not listen or respect to us,” said Veasna. The radio show messages convinced them otherwise. “When we use violence with them, they are scared and afraid of us. But when we treat them with love and care, there is much more happiness,” said Veasna who no longer hits his children.

©UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Molika Meas
Thorn Vaesna at home with his wife

Monday, September 8, 2014

Community preschools give children the best start in life

By Rowena Campbell

Beng village is a small, rural village in Kampong Trobek District, in Prey Veng province. 741 people live here growing rice and raising cattle. A Community Preschool (CPS) has been built on the teacher’s land and here teacher Nak Sokhom has been teaching 3 to 5 year old children since 2005.

Ms. Sokhom’s preschool classes are held for two hours a day, five times a week in a colourful and bright room, built and decorated with UNICEF support and funding from IKEA and the Australian Committee for UNICEF. Drawings created by the children hang on the walls, bright paper bunting is strung across the room and two big bowls of water sit in a corner below a bright pink towel. With ample space, the pupils can play and learn freely and safely.

©UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Rowena Campbell
Teacher Ms. Sokham teaches 3-5 year olds at Beng Community Preschool