Sponsorship program training fights poverty and disease

By June 22, 2011

Cambodia (MNN) — Could you live on 45 cents a day? According to World Hope International, nearly half of Cambodians living in rural areas do just that. Poverty, lack of hygiene leading to disease, and sex trafficking are just a few of the major hardships women in Cambodia face. World Hope International started the Adelphe sponsorship program to aid the women of Cambodia, and according to their latest newsletter, they are seeing tremendous results.

The Adelphe sponsorship program connects women from the United States with Cambodian women. For just $32 a month, women in the U.S. can provide their Cambodian "sister" with a means to support her family, send her children to school, and receive training on subjects such as hygiene and agriculture.

Nadine of Pennsylvania sponsors her Adelphe "sister," Sokhom, in Cambodia. Nadine and Sokhom are able to communicate by sharing letters. In a recent letter, Sokhom spoke of how the Adelphe sponsorship program has been impacting her life.

"I attended a workshop on basic health care and hygiene which gave me the knowledge on how to live hygienically," says Sokhom. "As a result, my family's health problems [are] reduced because we now know how to take care of our health. I am happy to see my community participate and learn from the trainings."

Women in rural Cambodian villages struggle in day-to-day living to take care of themselves and their families. Sicknesses, disease, and even death could often be prevented by something even as simple as washing your hands. Unfortunately, the means to educate those in rural Cambodia on simple hygiene have not been available in the past.

Rural Cambodia is also a central target for human traffickers. Women of Cambodia often don't even know what human trafficking is, and families are easily lured to give up their children or women for promises of jobs in urban areas. According to WHI, nearly one-third of women in the sex industry of Cambodia came from the rural areas. Poverty is a significant driving force for sexual slavery in Cambodia.

This is where the Adelphe program comes in. Their hygiene and health care training includes hand washing and sanitation instruction, disease prevention techniques, pregnancy wellness, and postpartum care, and immunizations.

Also, Adelphe educates women about human trafficking and involves families and the community in this education, as well. This, paired with livelihood training, gives Cambodian women the more dignified means to care for their families through agriculture and farming, for example.

Throughout Adelphe's training programs, the Gospel is an essential part as women are uplifted in their circumstances while being shown the love of Christ. If you would like to become a part of this unique ministry and share Christ's love with a Cambodian "sister," you can visit www.worldhope.org and find Adelphe under "Our Work."

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