Cambodia is a beautiful country. We have been blessed to be a part of it and to get to know the community within it, full of wonderful people. As a part of this ministry, we thought you would like to know a little more about the country itself. So, here are 10 important facts about Cambodia- to allow you to step into their culture and see a piece of the past and present.
1. Cambodia has been through many name changes.
Whenever a new government has come to power, the country’s name has changed.
Here is a breakdown of name changes:
The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1953-1970 (ruled by a monarchy)
The Khmer Republic: 1970-1975 (ruled by President Lon Nol’s government)
Democratic Kampuchea: 1975-1979 (under Pol Pot’s terrible Khmer Rouge regime)
The People’s Republic of Kampuchea: 1979-1989 (under the rule of the Vietnamese sponsored government)
The State of Cambodia: 1989-1993 (under the United Nations Transitional Assembly)
The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1993-present (under the restored constitutional monarchy)
2. Cambodia has a very young population
A compelling fact about Cambodia is that it has a very young population with 68% of its people are between the age of 15-30! There is a small percentage of people over the age of 50. The unfortunate reasoning is because of Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 70’s.
3. Cambodia is the only flag in the world featuring a building
The building, of course, is the country’s famous world wonder: Angkor Wat. It is the main reason tourists travel to Cambodia. It is the world’s largest religious building and considered one of the wonders of the world.
4. Birthdays are not traditionally celebrated in Cambodia
Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia particularly in the rural areas. Recently, the youth have started celebrating birthdays because of western cultural influences. Many of the girls CGI works with, don’t know their birthdays.
It’s interesting to believe that older people may not even know their exact birth date.
5. Cambodia has seen much sorrow over the years
During the four-year rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979), one-fifth of Cambodia’s population was killed. These people were mostly the educated, priests, and monks.
6. In Cambodia, the head is considered the highest part of the body and shouldn’t be touched- even if it is for good intentions.
7. Traditional Cambodian weddings are quite involved and can last for up to three days and three nights.
8. Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s largest city, and it’s capital. Roughly 20% of Cambodia resides here.
9. Buddhism has been the state religion since 1989. About 93% of all Cambodians practice either Hinayana or Theravada Buddhism. Less than 1% of the population is Christian.
10. Center for Global Impact has been working in Cambodia for 7 years
CGI has had the privilege to walk alongside many families in Cambodia and share the Good News of Jesus. Ever since we were called to this mission, we hope to bring education and vocational training to women and families who have been effected by poverty. Our vision is to hope and pray for a future in which those we serve experience the freedom, dignity and fullness of life that comes when we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you would like to receive more information about what we do, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. Become Educated
A great way to start is to read a book about human trafficking.
Learning with a community is beneficial and there are strength in numbers. Establish a book club, talk with your Sunday school class or your small group about reading or watching a movie on human trafficking.
3 Books we would recommend about human trafficking:
1. Terrify No More by Gary Haugen
2. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn
3. Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade by David Batstone
Another way to become educated is to click through a few websites of organizations that are involved daily in fighting trafficking.
Click through this digital booklet— You will learn the “story behind every barcode.” Are you wearing something that could have been made by a slave?
Or here: Slaveryfootprint Does your lifestyle impact people in a negative way?
We can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of those suffering simply by becoming aware of human trafficking and changing habits in our lives, right here at home!
2. Get Involved
You have been blessed with unique skills and gifts that you can use to empower the poor and protect the innocent. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the fight right at home. We encourage you not to do it alone either. There are plenty of organizations that are in need of help. Choose one that best fits you and your group of friends!
Here are a couple that we have partnered with and know they are doing great things!
Purchased– Local organization. Purchased realized that not much was being done to fight sex trafficking locally, so they narrowed their focus to Indiana. Since that time, they launched curriculum that they take into schools and churches in an attempt to educate and raise awareness. Get Involved…
Destiny Rescue– It is a grassroots, internationally recognized, Christian based, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation. They help rescue the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor and are a voice for those that can’t speak up for themselves. Get Involved…
Center for Global Impact has some was to get involved as well. Learn More!
- Host a Trunk Show or Fashion Show, raising awareness of byTavi purses and clothing
- Volunteer your time at our office in Greenwood, Indiana
- Create your own awareness event in your community
- Host a sponsorship weekend at your church to financially invest in the future of these women
Pray for victims of human trafficking and everyone involved. Pray that God may liberate those that do not have a choice. May their lives and spirits be free.
Pray for the lives of the survivors. May they heal spiritually, emotionally and physically. As they return to their community, may they be safe from worry and disappear.
And lastly, pray for CGI and our families, as we work with our friends in Cambodia, may come to know the true hope of Jesus Christ.
Want to get involved with CGI? We are passionate about bringing the Good News of Jesus to those in the grip of poverty and bondage. Please contact us if you would like to know more and get involved: email@example.com.
My two weeks of travel in Cambodia came to an end a couple of weeks ago. It was great to be home and reunited with my family. But I do already miss being with the CGI staff & participants in Cambodia. It was a great trip and fruitful in many ways. I really enjoyed spending time with everyone there and deepening our relationships as a team. I thought about what I would consider my top three highlights from the trip and I decided to share them with you. So here goes–
1) The Culinary Training Center graduation ceremony was incredible. If you received my last update you recall I shared how wonderful this ceremony was. The eight girls who completed their training in our 3rd culinary training class graduated on March 12th. Several of their family & friends came to see the girls receive their certificates of completion. Through the smiles and the tears of joy, you could see this great accomplishment meant a lot to not only the girls graduating but also their families. The 70+ people in attendance got to eat lots of food the girls had prepared for everyone to show off their cooking skills. Best of all, prayers and the Good News of Jesus was a central part of the ceremony.
2) A big focus of this trip was to figure out what to do with the Culinary Training Center & Green Mango location. We learned a few months ago that our lease on the current property could not be renewed long-term. Thus we were looking at a new property to move to. The new property was a former school and is twice as big as our current property for less monthly rent. This new location has great potential and we believe it is also in a better location for restaurant customers. There are obvious build-out costs and operational issues for which to consider and plan. We are trusting that God will provide the needed financial resources and leadership staff to make the move a reality. Please pray that we would have wisdom & clear discernment in this decision.
3) Before I left for this trip I had the idea of sharing about how Jesus is the light of the world with the CGI staff & participants in Cambodia. And so I purchased several small LED flashlights and I prepared a ‘light of the world’ devotion and took them with me. I had several opportunities to share them with everyone there. I explained how Scripture tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. And how light always overcomes darkness. We looked at the invitation from Jesus to follow Him, and if we do we can walk in the light instead of the darkness. And the coolest part – like Jesus – we become the light of the world too! I explained how we let our light shine by doing good works that point people to Jesus, the one true God. I gave everyone a flashlight and explained how it is powered by the battery which gives it the ability to shine. And as followers of Jesus we are powered by the Holy Spirit which enables us to shine. And I told them to think of Jesus every time they used that flashlight, how He is the light of the world and how they too can be a light in this dark world if they choose to follow Him. I also told them that is why CGI exists – to share the light of Jesus!
Every time I have been to Cambodia I have a moment (usually many moments) where I stop and ask myself – “How did I end up here?” This trip the answer was crystal clear. I ended up in Cambodia because that is where Jesus led me. CGI is there to do good works in the name of Jesus. We shine the light of Christ in Cambodia through the programs we operate and relationships we build. To God be the glory!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]
Since CGI first began in 2008, our byTavi project has been at the core of our ministry’s mission. It’s one tangible way we’re able to empower the poor, protect the vulnerable and share the Gospel with at-risk women in Cambodia.
It is because of people like you who have supported byTavi through volunteer efforts and/or product purchase that over 40 women along with their children & families have been kept safe and experienced hope. The byTavi project continues to grow, allowing us to reach new Cambodians every year!
It is because of the unwavering dedication and support of our byTavi network that we come to you with our greatest need for 2015: your sponsorship of the Imprint Project.
The Imprint Project is a reintegration program for previously trafficked and at-risk girls. Our goal is to create opportunities through the skill of sewing, giving them employment options other than returning to the sex trade. The Imprint Project staffs social workers and Bible teachers to help the young women heal from a past of violence and slavery so they may see the light of Jesus. It is a holistic approach to changing these young women’s future and hearts. The Imprint Project is younger than byTavi, and we want to see the same success and hope spring from this project as we see from byTavi each year. Our first class of Imprint students just graduated in March, and we’re poised to welcome our second class, beginning in July.
Previous students of this program are now byTavi seamstresses that make the products you have seen or even purchased.
We want to invite you in on the ground level. We have 12 students available to sponsor at $250 per girl for 18
months. This is a total cost of $54,000. This sponsorship will go towards:
- Individually focused social workers and counselors
- Student stipends for basic living needs and family support
- Seamstress instructors, teaching facilities and sewing materials
Will you consider becoming a monthly sponsor or making a financial gift by April 30th to fund these 12 students?
We know if anyone can help us reach this goal, it’s our faithful network of byTavi supporters! A gift of any amount is appreciated. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!