Children’s Success Center Opens in Battambang Province

Strey Khmer is very pleased to announce the launch of  the Children’s Success Center (CSC) in KsachPoy Village, Sangkat WatKor,  Battambang Province. The early childhood development center was opened in response to limited educational resources in the community, and is focused on providing a safe and inviting learning space for children to explore and grow in preparation to enter public school. The program is supported by a private donor  in collaboration with Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE).

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Tents for Borei Keila Community

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In Partnership with Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE) and Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Strey Khmer donated 40 tents to the Borei Keila community. The tents will serve as temporary housing for families who are still dealing with loss of their land and homes. The Borei Keila community would like to express their gratitude towards WAVE, SKO and HRTF for their continued support of their fight for justice!

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Happy Belated International Women’s Day

March 8th was a busy day for Strey Khmer! The SKO team joined in several events to help advocate for women’s rights.

1) Strey Khmer helped to fund women’s activities across the country. Locally we helped support communities that have lost their land including: Boeung Kak, Borei Keila, Boeung Chhouk and Tmor Kol as they joined peace walk  around the US and French embassys and walked to submit letters to the Ministry of Women’s affairs for the release of Boeung Kak land activist Bopha.

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Peaceful protestors gathered together near the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh

Peaceful protestors gathered together near the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh

Petitioning at the Ministry of Women's Affairs for the release of Bopha

Petitioning at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the release of Bopha

2) Some of our staff also attended the release of a new documentary about the efforts of the Cambodian sex worker’s union to challenge trafficking laws in Cambodia to not name sex workers as victims, but allow them to pursue the work of their choice without discrimination.

3) The Women’s Voices, Women’s Choices radio team also organized for over 70 participants from Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, and Kampong Speu to join together to celebrate women and publically address key issues such as health, migration, trafficking, livelihood, and political participation in regards to the interest of women. The goal of the event was to urge attendees to work to disseminate the information

WV WC participants gathered to learn about women’s issues

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WV WC participants joining to march for women’s rights.

Strey Khmer hopes that all of our readers also celebrated International Women’s Day, we are hopeful that 2013 will bring more positive change for women across the globe!

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“Women’s Political Participation at the National Level”

Last week our program manager, Polet, participated in a workshop hosted by Women for Prosperity. The panel showcased stories from indigenous people,  Members of Parliament, and various female leaders.

Participants shared the struggles and triumphs they experienced during the process of  joining politics at the national level.

The main takeaways were:

1) Leaders in all political parties should work to help promote women to high leadership roles within politics.

2) Elected female leaders have a great responsibility to help their people. They should work to learn what their communities need and find ways to address these issues.

3) Elected leaders top priorities should include: health, land security, and alleviation of poverty.

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Research Launch: The Psychosocial Impacts of Land Evictions on Women in Cambodia

27 February 2013, Phnom Penh – Strey Khmer launched the findings of its 6-month research project “They Took my Land, They Took My Life: A report on the psychosocial impacts of land evictions on women in Cambodia”. The event was attended by members of local NGOs, human rights activists, media representatives, and women from the communities interviewed by the organization.

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For this baseline study, Strey Khmer researchers interviewed a total of 40 women from 4 provinces (Phnom Penh, Kampong Speu, Battambang and Kampong Thom) who had been affected by land evictions. From that data, we analyzed the economic and psychological impacts, in addition to surveying support services available in each of the interview locations.

Overall, all the participants in the study experienced a worsening standard of living as a result of the loss of land and livelihoods. Additionally, women reported symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression. It was found that no therapeutic or counselling services had been available to any of these women, and very little NGO support in general was available in the rural locations.

Emotions rose as 5 women representing 5 of the communes interviewed came to the front to share their experiences with the audience. Women from Phnom Penh discussed violent arrests during peaceful protests, women from Kampong Speu and Battambang shared their heartache from their losses. The women from Kampong Thom continue to be threatened with arrest to this day for their opposition to the land grabs.

Despite their struggles, the conference ended with women from all the provinces gathered together, sharing their stories, and wishing one another luck as they continued back to their homelands.

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Below are attachments to Strey Khmer’s summary report, policy brief, and research summary:

SKO Summary Report (English)

SKO Policy Brief (English)

SKO Research Brief (English)

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“They took my land, they took my life”

After 6 months of hard work, Strey Khmer will launch our research “They took my land, They took my life: A report on the psychosocial impacts of land evictions on women” tomorrow! A big THANK YOU to all the women who courageously shared their stories, and to all our partners who helped make this possible.

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T-Shirts and Tents for Borei Keila and Boeung Kak

Alongside Housing Rights Task Force, Strey Khmer Organization distributed fifty-five t-shirts with pictures of land rights activists Yorm Bopha (Boeung Kak Lake) and Tim Sakmony (Borei Keila). These two women were unjustly sent to pre-trial detention for their peaceful attempts secure land titles through demonstrations. The community is gathering to petition the Royal Government of Cambodia, ASEAN, and President Obama for the release of these two female community activists.

10 tents were also purchased and distributed to the Borei Keila Community. A big Thank You to Urgent Action Fund for their generous contribution to this cause.

More information on Yorm Bopha and Tim Sakmony can be found on this Civil Society Statement calling for their release. Click Here.

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