One of these partners is First Step Cambodia (FSC), an organization focusing on the male victims and survivors of sexual abuse and their families and communities. FSC provides direct services to children and families, expands organizational training on child abuse and conducts research on Sexually Harmful Behavior (SHB), as well as related gaps in social work practice. In the first few months of partnership with GHR, First Step Cambodia began collaborating with other GHR partners, including M’lup Tapang, M’lop Russey and Angkor Hospital for Children, to support services for children affected by sexual abuse and SHB. This relationship has already resulted in referrals, the co-management of complex cases, collective effort to support cases and the sharing of resources and expertise. Interventions provided by FSC have brought positive changes to clients’ lives. Eight cases were closed during the first half of 2016, and significant improvements were made in helping children cope with fear, communication, difficulty at school and isolation. FHC has witnessed families who fully support their children instead of blaming them, and communities which welcome victims back instead of discriminating against them.
Another partner demonstrating early impact is Bethany Christian Services, which is working in Cambodia to increase the number of children placed from orphanages into long term foster, foster-adopt and kinship care families. They are doing so by building a platform of services, including networks of churches and non-governmental organizations that provide alternative care services to children. During the first half of 2016, Bethany placed 20 children in kinship care. Eight children were placed in new long term foster homes, and 20 families have undergone training and preparation to be foster families. In addition to providing direct services to families, Bethany is training four other organizations to care for vulnerable children and orphans within families. They plan to expand this training program to include ten partner organizations.
The inspiring progress of grantees like First Step Cambodia and Bethany Christian Services is indicative of the change that is possible in Cambodia. Each child they serve brings us closer to a world where all children—especially those at risk of losing or without parental care—are living in a stable, positive, long-term family or family-like environment. To learn more about GHR’s work in Cambodia, contact us.