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Extreme Poverty, Huge Financial Responsibilities, Few Choices, Sexual Trauma, and Violence.
Trauma, Broken Spirits, Total Dis-empowerment, Social Ostracism, and Lifelong Poverty.
Safety, Comfort, Choices, Community, Empowerment, Enjoyment, Embodiment, and Employment.
Cambodian culture expects daughters to support their families. Imagine your young daughter with the responsibility to provide for your family's financial needs. Young women bravely shoulder the burden of family debts, medical bills and younger siblings' education in a society devastated by war and poverty. Many choose sex work or are forced into it. Either way, they will routinely endure violent clients, police abuse, and gang rape. In Cambodia, virginity defines a woman's primary value so when a woman leaves this work, she faces tremendous discrimination and greatly diminished chances to earn a living or marry and raise a family of her own
Along the river in the quiet town of Kampot, Cambodia lies an oasis known as the Banteay Srey Project. It is a refuge for young women recovering from sexual trauma. At the project, they can cultivate a renewed sense of self and are also taught job and entrepreneurial skills, giving them better life-chances. We believe these young women deserve a better future; you can help us give them the support and skills that they need to achieve this better life.
In Khmer, Banteay Srey means "Women's Temple" or "Citadel of Women". The Banteay Srey Hindu temple, located near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, was built in honor of female deities. The temple, covered with ornate carvings, is extremely beautiful. Some believe it was built by women or was reserved for women only. Today, for Cambodian women, the temple represents strength, unity, safety and empowerment.