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You and I know how inconvenient the timing of labour can be. In the lead up to Christmas, MH had three very vulnerable women in labour.

I was torn between the festive activities that I value; parties, wrapping presents, making eatable treats for the family, and the intense needs of women in labour and preparation for the MH Christmas party for the clients. My ‘Christmassy’ activities were shoved aside. I could feel myself slipping from “joy to the world and peace on earth” to simply resentful.

Christmas is many things to many people. It is Good News, maybe a festive time with friends and family, but for Mary, a 14-year-old teenage girl who found herself with an unplanned pregnancy, it was surely also a scary time.

Being pregnant before marriage in many cultures brings stigma and judgement. As I ponder on the girl Mary, in labour on a day that changed the course of history, it is easy to think of the women and girls we serve at MH. It is a privilege to be part of their lives and to see their precious babies being born. I rediscovered Christmas in the mess of labour and birth and somehow thankful once again, I was ready to be a part of God giving Himself in love. Two of the babies were born on Christmas day.

By the way I did make the parties and festive activities, so I was doubly blessed this Christmas.

Two Board members speak of Christmas with the staff, mothers and babies of Mother’s Heart.

For God so loved the world that he GAVE......

Margaret Posnett

Sharing the Christmas celebration with the staff, clients and other board members of Mother’s Heart was a wonderful experience. It was a simple time, like spending time with family.

Philip Scott

One of the board members shared the story of Jesus’ coming, staff and clients told stories of Mothers Heart and motherhood. Mr Nara tied everything together by reiterating that we are family; together we’re here to help one another, for that that is what brothers and sisters do when they love one another.

It was a good Christmas experience where the core was love, listening to and respecting each other’s stories, giving presents to mothers and babies and of course eating together!!!

The babies were beautiful; handed around and admired by everyone and very much a reminder of our awesome God...He gives.

Christmas Eve at Mother’s Heart

Bob Toan, Chairperson of MH board

As a Board member we usually meet at 'meetings'. But here I was on Christmas Eve with 33 women cross-legged on the floor and 28 babies on their laps.

It was a real privilege to hear the women speak of their appreciation of what MH staff had done with and for them – especially a woman with a physical disability who spoke so clearly with enthusiasm and tears.

The Christmas story of Mary - the 'engaged' girl who became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and her cousin Elizabeth, was just right for these women.

Katrina Gliddon, Country Director

We are so excited this year to have the opening of our new childcare facility called “Little Lambs Daycare”.

Our new daycare provides sustainable childcare options for the women in our program.

We are also proud to have received official approval from Cambodia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, and are up and running in a beautiful facility.

Being a single mom in any country can be financially difficult. In Cambodia, it can be quite overwhelming. Because of the cost of daycare in Cambodia, most of the moms could spend between a third and one- half of their entire salaries to childcare expenses. As a result, the majority of them would be unable to earn enough to pay for housing and food for themselves and their baby.

Short-term, Little Lambs allows the women/girls in our program to place their infants at the daycare while they are receiving vocational training. Long-term, Little Lambs allows them to work and maintain their jobs. By providing them with sustainable childcare options, their self-esteem is strengthened because they are financially independent in the community.

" Directors Note" Mothers Heart has been blessed by amazing individuals and organizations who have given generously to support little lambs day care , who have also given their time, talents, gifts and experience to make the day care a reality for the women and their babies. We would like to acknowledge these people and give them the appreciation and praise they deserve. Mother's Heart recognizes that being in partnership with others and working together is a wonderful privilege. So thank you to all involved.

When Tivea first came to Mother’s Heart in June of this year, she was desperate to find a hope for the future.

She was single, pregnant, and alone without a stable income.

She shares her feelings, “What do I do with myself? I am sad because I have no solutions from my family or friends. I want to keep my baby, but I have no money.”

Tivea heard about Mother’s Heart from a friend in the community. “I was scared to call, but I wanted to keep my baby”. Tivea did contact Mother’s Heart, and immediately we were able to provide her crisis pregnancy counseling.

Tivea is now receiving access to free pre-natal care along with housing and food assistance from Mother’s Heart. We asked Tivea how she feels now. Smiling she says, “I have solutions now. The staff at Mother’s Heart is taking me to the medical clinic for my pregnancy and they are helping me to keep my baby. Everything is good now and I’m happy and feel good about everything!”

Tivea is also excited about her future. She has recently begun vocational training at a local business. She continues to share “I enjoy learning how to work at a beauty salon shop, and working at a place where there are a lot of girls. I feel relaxed now and have solutions for my future!”

Mother’s Heart provides the women in our program with access to free vocational training of their choice which long term will help them obtain higher paying jobs. MH has partnership agreements with vocational training centers and fair trade organizations throughout Phnom Penh which allows the women in our program with many choices such as sewing, hospitality, cooking, and micro-business. (For the purposes of client confidentiality, client names & facial photographs are not used)

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