The Importance of Partnership
Mother’s Heart does crisis pregnancy care well. However, we don't do medical care, mental health counselling, drug prescriptions, job search, vocational training … the list goes on. These are things for which we dependent on the work of our deeply respected partners.
Srey Touk, three months pregnant, suffering from extreme morning sickness and a UTI, was referred to Mother’s Heart by the government maternity hospital. Mother’s Heart has become well known to hospital staff as we use them for all our client’s antenatal, delivery and post-natal care.
Srey Touk had been in hospital ten days yet was without any of the essential care (meals, bathing, purchasing medicines) that, in Cambodia, is the role of the family to provide. Srey Touk was surrounded by broken relationships. Lying, desperately demanding attention, experiencing emotional and mental health issues, claiming a black being was there to torment her, her family had had enough and although her older brother had dropped her off, none of her family had been seen since.
Srey Touk had lived together with her boyfriend who she met while working in a factory. When she was three months pregnant, she left him, calling him abusive and saying she no longer loved him.
Because none of her family wanted to help her, Mother’s Heart partnered with a shelter where Srey Touk might stay during her pregnancy. However, when she became suicidal Mother’s Heart called on two more partners; a shelter that had a mental health counselling program and a facility that was able to assist Srey Touk with medication for her mental health issues. Srey Touk’s emotions were all over the place. She said she saw ghosts. Sometimes she would yell and swear at staff, other times she was very cooperative. At the shelter Srey Touk was able to stabilize, she stopped seeing things, and even worked at sewing for the three months preceding delivery.
Following three months maternity leave, Srey Touk began work for an organization that had a day care attached where she could remain close to her baby while she learned how to make paper flowers and greeting cards. It was here that she connected with a man from another province who wanted to marry her. Unfazed by the presence of a baby, this man took her to visit his family where his mother really liked her and invited her to join their family. So Srey Touk married and moved to his province.
Now Srey Touk works with the family selling sugar cane juice with her baby girl nearby. Her new family are even helping the couple to buy a house. Five partners together with Mother’s Heart were part of this happy outcome!
Thary – Social Worker
“I heard about MH from Somphors, a social worker at MH, as we attend the same church. I wanted to work for MH, because my mom was a single mother raising me. I interviewed and got the job – starting two mornings a week as I was still in the fourth year of my psychology degree. I became full time staff after graduation.
“Working at MH has given me a greater appreciation of what my mother went through as a single mom. Knowing I’m helping women like her is what pushes me to keep going everyday. I want my clients to be strong and independent – I want them to know they can be good moms even if they don’t have husbands.
“As to my own future, I don’t know what it holds. MH is a good fit for me. I like MH and the work I do here and trust God wherever he wants me to go.”