About the Project
A small group of women suffering the effects of HIV and AIDS in a rural Cambodian community gave life to Flourish Cambodia in 2011.
These women had been shunned by their family and their community. Unable to work and support themselves or their children adequately that had all moved into one home, yes, 9 women and 22 children all in one small house. They only enjoyed the benefits of living in this home thanks to the kind support of Nuth Pich and his wife, Ravy. This caring Khmer couple became aware of the plight of these women and could not sit by and watch them fall deeper and deeper into despair. It was difficult for the women to support themselves or their children as the 'beliefs' in the community prevented them from participating as sellers in the local markets, and physical labour in the fields proved to be difficult due to their ill health.
Health treatment in the form of ARV drugs is provided free of charge to all in Cambodia, but being able to get to the hospital to receive this medication is the problem for most in the rural villages.
On our first visit to this village, only 1 1/2 hours south of Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, it was heartbreaking to see the seemingly hopeless lives that these women lived. Their children were outside wanting to play with the village kids, but if they ventured too close to their game a physical line was drawn in the sand and they were not allowed to pass over. Unfortunately, this helpless situation was not isolated to this small group of women and the same story can be retold and retold throughout hundreds of Cambodian villages, the story of desperation, hopelessness and despair.
A passionate group of Australians developed Flourish Cambodia with the principal goal of strengthening and empowering at-risk women whilst not developing aid-dependency. Flourish Cambodia offers jobs and training to those in our program so that they can change the direction of their own lives. The project site at Flourish Cambodia offers fair-trade conditions, a pleasant and safe working environment, better than average salaries, continued training and life skill classes. Furthermore the children associated with our program are encouraged to gain a good education to prepare them for a brighter future.
The sale of products made by the women support the ongoing running costs and development of the project. Not only do the proceeds from these products directly support the women and their families in the projects but training and development programs also reach out into their surrounding communities.
The work of Flourish Cambodia is very much in progress, stay posted to see changes.