The Women Development Association (WDA) (our amazing partner organization) is an NGO based in Phnom Penh City, Cambodia that was founded in 1994. After the first election was held in Cambodia, a group of women who wanted to improve the lives of their friends, neighbors, and community living in the slums of their village sought out to create an organization that works to accomplish just that through its core values of faithfulness, transparency, strong commitment, participatory approaches, solidarity, open communication, respectfulness, and innovative idea.
The official WDA Mission Statement is as follows:
“In order to improve the living condition of the poor people, especially the women, children and youths from the disadvantaged & vulnerable families, WDA is working actively through strengthening the capacity of community-based people and garment factory workers to function self-help structures for community organizing, community development, primary health education, STD & HIV/AIDS prevention & Reproductive Health Education, Vocational skill training, child-educational promotion & campaigns, women & children rights, peace building for out-school youths, research with different topics, Gender promotion and advocacy towards a long-term sustainable community development.”
WDA believes in prevention through education. They strive to equip families with ample information to improve family health, and they work to assure that AID/HIV patients are able to seek care for themselves. They also work to improve the chances children have to receive basic education. Overall, WDA aims to promote sustainable community-development to the most vulnerable groups in slums and rural areas through peace, security, and prosperity.
The main goals of the WDA are clearly outlined on their website as follows:
• Promotion of Children education of Child labor/Child illiteracy of vulnerable children;
• Promotion of Women’s rights and leadership to reduce all violence against women and gender issues;
• Promotion of Health status of the poor & vulnerable people especially women and youth workers in the communities and garment factories and children
To promote their vision and mission statement and to attain their goals, the WDA has a number of different projects that the organization focuses on. The website lists out some of the amazing stuff that each of these programs does specifically, but here are the names and brief descriptions of the programs! (check out the website because the accomplishments of these programs are amazing!)
Sexual & Reproductive Health Education: http://www.wda-cambodia.org/sexual.php
• “Good Health, Good Work (GHGW)”
• “Health for Future Work (HFW)”
• “HIV/AIDS & Drug Prevention”
• Reproductive Health (HDPR)”
The reproductive education programs have diverse objectives. First, the projects work towards improving the capacity of factory health service providers by focusing on counseling, testing, mother-to child transmission, quality sexual health services, and nutrition counseling. They also work to increase awareness of sexual health in 12 garment factory workers project sites; in addition to this, WDP encourages supportive networks of sexual health and education services for 20,650 works—85-90% of whom are women.
Child-Educational Promotion (SSC Project): http://www.wda-cambodia.org/child.php
• “Study Stops Child Labor (SSC)
The WDA works to reduce child-illiteracy, which has been a great contributor to poverty in the Prey Veng province. The project works directly with 330 young, vulnerable children in 22 villages of 4 communes and 2 different districts of Prey Veng giving them the opportunity to be able to graduate primary schools.
Peace Building for Youths: http://www.wda-cambodia.org/peace.php
• “Peace Building for Youths (PBY)”
Some of the main objectives of this program include working to reduce the number of youth in gangs in several targeted rural areas through awareness raising and capacity building.
Primary Health Care Education: http://www.wda-cambodia.org/primary.php
• “Health and Well-Being (H&W)”
The main objective with this program is to improve primary health care and prevent common diseases by educating through classes in target primary schools of the Saang district.
Researching and Networking: http://www.wda-cambodia.org/research.php
• “Short Term Research Activity”
The objective of the research activity is to gather data and information that will promote both new and existing projects and activities of the WDA as well as other NGOS.
The structure of leadership that the WDA uses is outlined in this graph from their website. (It may be kind of small here-but go check it out on the website it’s pretty interesting!)
Basically, our partner organization is incredible and clearly makes a successfully sustainable effort to improve the health of their Cambodian community. If you want more details and pictures check out the website (http://www.wda-cambodia.org/index.php).