September 29, 2014

Dear friends and partners,

Last week I went on a site visit to one of our communities in Kep. The visit started out so very well as we celebrated some of the changes made is the lives of our families. It was also a holiday week of Pchum Ban and so everyone tended to be at home – an unusual occurrence as family members have work in the fields, or factories or construction, etc.

I met with the Sonkrea family – 10 members who live in one home – five members were young ladies between the ages of 21 and 27. The two older girls looked very tired and as we talked the state of their health was discussed – surprisingly because the husband of Ches, the 27 years old was truly concerned. He said his wife was no longer the same – she could no longer do the household and farm work that she had done before. 


I asked her what the problem was and she began to share her problems – she has a vaginal discharge and that discharge was not only smelly but had turned from white to yellow with lumps in it – she had gone to the provincial hospital and had been given medicine – medicine that ate up all the salary from her husband’s construction work. Her belly ached all the time, her back was painful and she was hot in her chest – the doctor then told her she had heart problems but she said that was not true – it was her belly that was the problem. Her youngest son clambered to be held and finally she bent over and picked him up – I cannot wait – she said- until he is old enough not to be carried anymore – it hurts so very much.

Everyone was silent as she shared her sadness and then the next sister started to speak – I work in a factory in Phnom Penh she said – I have to go back on Sunday – but I am so very tired – my belly aches and I can no longer breathe properly – my husband left me several months ago because I could no longer bear the pressure of being a wife.


Other families began to join us and the stories started to come – women, young and old talking of pain and despair – their bodies betraying them – not knowing where and who to go to for help– what was available in terms of medical help had been sought out but their situation just became worse. Pon and Srie – Tabitha staff who were with me were growing agitated – too much sorrow – too much pain –every family Janne, every family. When can we help them all.

I felt so very helpless – there was so little that I could do – words didn’t ease the pain – it just made the pain real. But I am a woman of faith and my helplessness turns to hope – the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital has begun and we are reaching out to people all over the world to stand with us – to stand with the women in Cambodia.  Some say that what I ask is impossible but I believe that its possible – 1 Million people standing with us by doing the 1 in a Million challenge. And people are responding from different parts of the world – that gives me hope.

So I ask all of you to stand with us – be the 1 in a million – go on our web site and read our about our hope at  - click on the 1 in a Million Challenge – go on our face book at Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital and like it – ask three of your friends to do the same.  Doing so will change the lives of millions of women here in Cambodia.

I love going on site visits – I enjoy meeting with the people we work with – lately, my joy is diminished by the pain that I see – by the sadness engulfing so many of our women. I am so grateful to my God that I have options – that I am strong physically – that I can make choices – help us to stand with the women here.


Stories of Cambodian Women


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