Culture4Change & Banteay Srei in Cambodia

C4C is developing an operational relationship with Banteay Srei (BS), a Cambodian NGO that supports vulnerable women to enjoy their full rights and dignity through social inclusion, gender equality and sustainable development.

C4C and BS work together with a focus on women, gender-based violence, and economic empowerment. C4C assists BS with technical support, based on needs as prioritized by BS, and together we build the evidence of what works well and why through (action) research. We also support BS in development of funding proposals.

A fieldtrip took place in May 2022 to some target areas of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces to get a right & comprehensive understanding of how BS operates and to understand their specific needs in more detail. This trip was made possible by our private donors.

We visited different project sites, spend extensive time with both beneficiaries and staff members, and had long discussion about challenges and opportunities. The Executive Director of BS is a very skilled, young and dynamic woman. Staff members are enthusiastic and dedicated. Their team spirit fits with modern management standards, and they make active use of social media. The combination of services (economic development & empowerment of women) seems to be an excellent combination to bring forward change. Major challenge is a lack of funding to ensure the sustainability of efforts. Donors have changed their policy due to the Pandemic and the war in Ukraine which has a direct impact on the funding for BS.

Between October 2022 and January 2023, C4C will:

1.   Conduct a review and an assessment among BS staff about mental health & psychosocial needs and priorities required to help victims of GBV;

2.   Develop a set of cultural appropriate materials and interventions on mental health & psychosocial topics to be used by BS staff;

3.   Build the capacity of BS staff on mental health & psychosocial topics, in combination with

4.   Train community networks/groups in mental health & psychosocial related issues.

Supporting tailors in Cambodia

Banteay Srei is capable to do great things with small amounts. The Tailoring Training Centre in Trongbat Village of Siem Reap Province, for example, has been stablished in 2015 by a network of BS. The Centre provides a 10-months training per year to some 20 women that come from very poor families and have been the victim of sexual violence or mental abuse. At the end of their learning journey, they receive a certificate that permits them to set up their own small businesses. The centre is also used for psychosocial consultations with survivors, to regain confidence and control over their lives. Unfortunately, it’s not sure yet whether there will be new funding for the Training Centre to continue to exist after this year!

Any donation to continue this successful initiative is welcome!