On behalf of Reaksmey, Sinuon, Director of Phnom Penh Operations, shares her story. Because she tells the story beautifully, we did not change many of Sinuon’s words and phrases.
From Kampong Cham province on Cambodia’s east side, close to Vietnam, Reaksmey turned 15-year-old for this year and studied at grade 8 when she was home. She has two siblings and her father died when she was really young age. Reaksmey was not able to receive love or care from her biological father like other kids. She had to look after younger siblings since she was really small kid.
Her mother had another man, her stepfather, that destroyed her life.
The girl, who under 15-years-old, has faced so much broken life journey. Her stepfather raped her and threatened to kill her if she told to others. She was so much scared and lives in the darkness life and keeps this abuse of her stepfather until she was pregnant.
The relatives and community security have known about this abuse by her stepfather and they have saved her life from this painful and dark situation. He was arrested and sent to the prison for these bad things.
Reaksmey was two months pregnant and decided to keep this baby until the day she gave birth.
She has been taken out from her province to live in Phnom Penh city by one organization that partners with Center for Global Impact. Because she was too young, she couldn’t give a birth to her baby like other women did so the doctors needed to have cesarean section for this girl. That was another bad and scared experience in her life.
She said, “I suffered a lot whenever I saw the wounds from the surgery of my delivery. It has kept me reminded of a painful situation and made me think about my past darkness of life.” The doctor told me the scar would stay with me for about two or three years. I still not being confident to see the wound until the day I had joined with Imprint Project.”
Reaksmey joined with Imprint Project after she has given birth to her baby in 2019 July.
During this time, she lost self-esteem, didn’t want to talk to anyone, wanted to be alone and we did not even see a smile from her. She wasn’t confident to stand in front of the mirror to look at herself and was so much scared of all the men.
The Imprint Project Team has tried the best to build a relationship and show her about our love, care. We are here to support and help her always.
The Imprint Project Team has been with her in individual meetings 3 to 4 per month. Somehow it was just sit down and listen to her broken things that she was passing through and sometimes she has just cried out and didn’t really say anything. She has just wished to have someone that she can trust and stay close to her.
We have been practicing this about half year when she had started healing little by little and has now accepted God to be her personal life Savior.
God has been healing this beautiful girl after she had accepted Him to be her Father. Reaksmey has started to show a beautiful smile to other people with more confidence. She has asked and prayed: “Teacher I wants my life to be brave and strong person once again, but I’m so much shy and so afraid to start it. I really don’t know what I should do?”
The Imprint staff has supported and helped her with some ways. She has tried to read the textbook that we call the Daily Bread and is more confident to speak it out and share during every morning devotion. Little by little the miracle has been working and changed her life day by day.
She has also worked really hard with the sewing training in the Imprint Project as she wants to be a real tailor.
There were many obstacles during the training such as forgetting the lessons as well many trouble issues of her life background that it wasn’t easy for her to forget it or move forward. However, she has never missed class or give up with her studies. She was the one that was patience and working hard for the studies. As a result she had become the top one in the class. She has often spent her free time to create her own designs and make the clothes for herself, for CGI staff and also for the customers that CGI’s partners with during the training.
After one-year training with the Imprint Project, her dream has become true.
She passed all the exams and successfully received a graduation certificate from Center for Global Impact. On the graduation day she had been shared to all the teachers, staff, participants and Center for Global Impact partner during this special day that without the Center for Global Impact support and help she couldn’t stand here. She would living in the darkness life, hopeless and won’t have a chance to learn the things that she likes. Without Center for Global Impact, she won’t have today.
Reaksmey graduated from Imprint Project program the end of July 2020.
Due to her age, most of the business tailor shops do not accept staff who are under 18 year. Center for Global Impact wants to support and keep blessing Reaksmey. CGI wants to help the vulnerable and victims of human trafficking by providing education, health care, food, support for the living, vocational skill and providing employment. Center for Global Impact decided to support her by providing a work that now she can make face masks to donate to countries during this pandemic. She is so happy that she is able to make the masks as she can bless them with this beautiful way by making the mask from her. She has enjoyed being with Center for Global Impact, the place she could call family and the place that has given her new hope in life and bright future.
Reaksmey has believed that in the future that she will be able to be a good tailor with her own small tailor shop in her hometown that could look after her kid and work with her mother. She has also wished that in the future she would use her sewing skill that she had learned from Imprint Project to help and teach another people with this knowledge or skills.
There are currently significant floods in both Battambang and Phnom Penh that are affecting CGI’s students and staff. Many across the country have been evacuated from their homes, roads and bridges have been washed away, and places of employment have been closed due to high waters and destruction.
Staff and students of CGI have also been affected. The photos shared are from one staff members home in Battambang. Flooding is also making it hard for staff and students to get to the CTC/Green Mango, and has been keeping customers away, although the new building is not itself suffering any flood-related damage – praise God!
I would like to ask you for two things as you digest this news:
- First, please pray for our friends and colleagues in Cambodia, especially for those who have experienced flooding and damage to their homes.
- Second, if you would like to help by making a donation, we have set up an Emergency Relief fund to make it possible for you to help ease the burden of flood cleanup and provide relief for those affected by the flood.
Thank you very much for your prayers and help during this difficult time!