Story by Neak Sokuthea | Assistant to the Country Director | Heifer Cambodia
Edited by Keo Keang | Country Director | Heifer Cambodia
Photos by Teong Rothy | PM&E Officer | Heifer Cambodia
Heifer Cambodias efforts toward mobilizing external resources for project expansion through partnerships with local and international NGOs, donors and government institutions is paying off. Recently, a joint project proposal from Heifer Cambodia and local leading non-governmental organization (NGO), Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC), was awarded 1,101,208.00 (Euros), or about $1,441,720, by the European Union to implement the three-year project, Promotion and Protection of Womens Rights and Socio-Economic Empowerment, which aims to promote gender equality and womens empowerment to participate in sustainable socio-economic development in Cambodia.
The project was honorably launched on February 22, 2013, at Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh, and presided over by Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain, head of the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Cambodia. More than 100 people attended from various stakeholders, including national and sub-national government institutions, the community's core groups of this project and local and international NGOs and donor agencies, as well as journalists from broadcast, print and online media.
Cautain said, "I am delighted to support these two local NGOs in working hand-in-hand to help vulnerable Cambodian women. It is not only to improve women's lives, but also to empower them. This extra support reaffirms our commitment to promote gender equality and womens empowerment in Cambodia."
During the event, Keo Keang, country director of Heifer Cambodia, introduced the overall project approaches and strategy, as well as efforts to seek collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. Through an integrated strategy of GADC and Heifer Cambodia, and with the support from relevant stakeholders, hand-in-hand, we believe that our achievements this time will have more impact on the lives of women, including increasing womens self-confidence in practicing their rights and more equal access to and control over economic resources. We also expect that mens, their families' and communities' behaviors will change and benefit from the project.
Pal Yeourn, director of the Provincial Department of Womens Affairs, Kampong Chhnang province, expressed her appreciation and acknowledgement to the European Union, Heifer Cambodia and GADC for this great initiative to promote gender equality in Cambodia. She also committed to strongly support the project implementation and to ensure the success of the project. I am so happy to see such a project designed in line with government strategy and policy in promoting gender equality and reducing poverty in the country. The two organizations will be great partners to support each other in improving womens conditions in Cambodia. On my behalf, I am strongly committed to support the project implementation in the province where I am working, said Yeourn.
After the press conference and project presentation, participants were invited to ask questions and share their impressions about the project. The event participants, including provincial judges, provincial governors, chiefs of relevant departments in the three provinces and commune chiefs shared experiences and issues related to gender inequality in Cambodia and expressed their strong support and collaboration. Thirteen Cambodian media organizations (TV, radio, and newspaper) attended this important event to disseminate the information throughout the country.