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Supporting others, even through a crisis

True female leadership emerges amidst the floods crisis in Cambodia

By Daro Chheang

In early October 2020, Banteay Meanchey province​, found in the northwest of Cambodia, was severely damaged by flooding. The project area of Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC), a Voice Influencing grantee, was particularly hit hard with the rightsholders community facing job losses and extensive crop damages.

A photo showing residents trying to save their crops after a flooding incident in Banteay Meanchey province​, northwest of Cambodia.

Meet Mrs Kao Rim. Before she was part of this project, she was a housewife in a home where the husband was the sole breadwinner and a survivor of domestic violence. In 2018, she joined CWCC’s Voice project “Women’s Empowerment for Social Transformation” and worked as a team leader of the women group in the community. CWCC chose her to be a team leader because of her courage in taking up the role despite her educational background.

Moreover, she had experience and passion for advocating for women who suffered from domestic violence. Since joining CWCC, she continues to bravely advocate on providing safe migration information, especially during the flooding period, for women in her community. Her work has resulted in dramatic benefits for her community, including support from the local commune authorities on groceries, rice, blanket, mosquito nets, temporary shelter, and health care.

Nothing can stop her from doing the job that she loves. She still actively leads meetings with different families amidst the flooding.

She says, “The reason for my advocacy during the flood is because I want my community to be able to get updated information, avoid flood-prone illnesses or any diseases and gather support or funds to see them through this period.”

Moreover, she foresees that after Covid-19 and the floods more people will resume their migration activities. Therefore, she will continue to advocate for safe migration even then.

Mrs Kim leading one of the meetings recently

Community members and villagers are also willing to join the meetings despite the floods. More so now, because COVID-19 has restricted migration to Thailand for work and people have no choice but to stay with their families. The villagers are pleased with being involved in the project because they now understand more on Covid-19 and safe migration.

Even if they all lead busy lives, community members believe that their time spent on these meetings is precious.

One of them said, “The meeting lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour, but we gain a lot of useful information and ideas from each other.”

Nothing but positive energy during challenging times!


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