Sotheary “Terri” Ly

Executive Director

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Executive Director’s Report

It has been almost three years now since my appointment as the Executive Director of HCC. I have had the chance to review the operation of Healthcare Center for Children (HCC). It is with great pleasure that during this review I was able to take stock of HCC’s successes achieved through our prevention and protection programs.

During the past year, HCC has been able to reach over 50,000 community members and 40,000 school children living in rural provinces and in the city of Phnom Penh through awareness raising activities forming part of the prevention program.

The prevention program integrated the establishment and support for community and school based prevention networks in order to raise awareness of the dangers of sexual trafficking and other forms of exploitation, with health education and reintegration of children back into schools. As human rights violations frequently stem from poverty, prevention strategies are only effective if corresponding actions on income earning or livelihood concerns are addressed. Accordingly, HCC worked directly with families to provide income generation opportunities to complement awareness raising and education programs. These alternative community support options included scholarship provision, animal bank, micro-credit programs, the establishment of savings and loans groups, agriculture technical skill training, the provision of threshing machines, pumping stations, wells and dams and the building of latrines in schools and villages.

This holistic and multi-dimensional prevention program has been a great success in addressing the myriad of factors that increase children’s and women’s vulnerability to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

Unfortunately prevention has not been enough; direct intervention has been required where children are already caught in the web of sexual traffickers or are at elevated risk. During the past two years, HCC was able to rescue, protect and rehabilitate over 200 children from the exploitation and dangers of sexual trafficking. To prevent these children falling between the cracks HCC has provided a protection program.

As part of this protection program, HCC operated two shelters - the Good Day Center in Kandal province and a temporary shelter in Koh Kong – that were safe havens, both literally and metaphorically, where health care, trauma counseling, rehabilitation, education (including both non-formal and vocational skills training) and reintegration were provided to the children. Once the children left the shelter, follow up was provided including reintegration and assistance with job opportunities.

It is important to remember that these achievements and HCC’s future success are built on HCC’s most under-rated asset – its experienced and committed staff – both working from HCC central office and out in the field.

HCC is in a strong position, with good staff, successful programs and is on the brink of gaining greatly improved facilities. With new management, a new governing board and effective leadership, HCC looks set to build on the achievements of the past and continue to create a brighter future for thousands of disadvantaged Cambodian women and children.

Best regards
Sotheary “Terri” Ly
Executive Director