Support Our Programs
Small Business Start-ups
For two decades, our center trained women to work as weavers, spinners, and silk dyers; cooks, gardeners, and teaching assistants; and even business managers and accountants. Since 2021, we have shifted our focus from weaving to providing funding and training for women to start small businesses.
This initiative was initially part of a mental health support program for women to treat their depression and mental illnesses. We quickly learned that many of the mental health issues stem from poverty. By providing funding (anywhere between USD 300 to USD 900) to the women, they are able to support their family financially and are in less risk of mental health problems.
Kindergarten and Childcare Program
SWDC operates two kindergartens: one for Sre Po village kids and another on our campus. On the tranquil grounds of SWDC, you’ll see and hear children everywhere—the youngest napping in hammocks by their mothers’ spinning wheels, toddlers ambling among the looms, and pre-school kids swinging in the playground, chasing dogs and chickens, or learning songs with their kindergarten classmates.
Both kindergartens offer a standard pre-school curriculum, including instruction in health care and nutrition, crafts and songs, creative free time and storytelling.
Children receive two healthy meals a day and have access to a shower, and if a child gets sick, we can offer basic care or take them to a nearby hospital. Hundreds of kids have come through our child care program since 2002, giving their mothers the freedom to work without worrying about hungry children left at home, and offering a strong start to a child’s education.
Every child who graduates from our kindergartens automatically qualifies for our public-school sponsorship program.
School Sponsorship Program
SWDC supports our employees’ school-age children (ages 5-15) and a number of village children who attend local public schools. Each student receives a kit containing textbooks, notebooks and paper, a school uniform, sandals, school fees, and a bicycle, if the child lives far from school. We also encourage academic excellence and reward children who receive high academic achievement.
In 2016, SWDC sponsored 100 underprivileged students in Sre Po public schools, thanks to the generous funding of Pulsar International.
Computer Literacy and English Classes
At SWDC, we offer English lessons and introductory courses in computer literacy, including word processing software, spreadsheets, and the Internet.
Our goal is to add skills to our employees’ repertoire, in case they choose to look for skilled work outside the center. We believe that every additional skill the women acquire is one more tool to help them break the cycle of poverty and become economically independent.
Kindred Heart Medical Clinic
We offer free medical care to our employees and their families at an on-site clinic, which is equipped to deliver check-ups, initial diagnostic services, and basic treatment, as well as pre-natal and post-natal care for mothers and newborns.
In Stung Treng, many families have little or no access to good medical care. Some in remote rural areas may have no way of getting to a clinic, and no one to help with the farm work or child care if they did make the journey—a tragic practicality. Many poor families cannot pay the fees. Sadly, some doctors let patients who cannot pay go untreated—and the results can be fatal.
Offering care on site at SWDC—and financial support/transport for employees who need life-saving treatment in a hospital—not only protects the health of the women and their families; it cushions them from the financial disaster of a medical emergency, which can send a family into catastrophic debt.
Free Lunch Program
SWDC provides a free healthy lunch every day for the staff and their children. Food insecurity is high in Cambodia’s rural areas; in small-plot rice farming communities, many families subsist on little more than rice and occasional small river fish. Quantity isn’t the only issue. Many mothers know so little about nutrition, they feed their toddlers rice gruel, not understanding that it lacks the nutrients necessary for their children’s brains and bodies to grow properly. That’s why rural Stung Treng has one of the highest rates of malnutrition in Cambodia, with 36% of children underweight and 56% showing evidence of stunted growth.
At SWDC, providing a nutritious daily meal containing vegetables and protein is a high priority and a crucial piece of the puzzle for women lifting their families out of poverty. Special thanks to Ms. Ann Walling and Mr. Reber “Mitch” Boult for their ongoing support of this program.
MAKE A GIFT & TELL US WHICH PROGRAM(S) YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT
UPPORT A CHILD THROUGH OUR kindergarten PROGRAM FOR A YEAR
SUPPORT A CHILD THROUGH OUR SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM FOR A YEAR
SPONSOR A CHILD/WOMAN THROUGH OUR ENGLISH & COMPUTER PROGRAM FOR A YEAR
SPONSOR A WOMAN THROUGH A VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM FOR A MONTH