Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More on AFESIP Cambodia...

I love this comment by Somaly Mam, former child prostitute and founder of AFESIP Cambodia which helps rescue child prostitutes:- "You've suffered what you've suffered. Now you take that pain and you help others."

This article about AFESIP Cambodia, written by a lady reporter who lost her own husband to terrorists, details so well the pain and suffering that the child sex slaves of Cambodia, and around the world, suffer:- http://www.vitalvoices.org/files/docs/Glamour%20article%20on%20Cambodia%20and%20Somaly%20Mam%20SEP06.pdf

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best-est celebration

Oh my goodness, I had the most awesome birthday celebration yesterday! God, why do You always do these beautiful, loving, surprising things for me, just when I feel tired and down-ish? I love You!!!!

Auntie Wai Wha took me and a few other birthday ppl - Auntie Ean her family, Auntie Sylvia and her family and Auntie Wai Wha's family and Pst Kim and Uncle Mak also came and Sue Jan too - and we went to Bangsar Tea House which is a lovely, quiet, serene place.

Of course not so quiet and serene once everyone got going! *lols*

Uncle Mak brought his laptop and showed us the NZ photos. I had LOTS of food (I did! I ate it! I did sooooooo!!!!) and was terribly full! I was really grateful to the waitress for clearing the ... uhm.... bowls with some ... uhm.... well, I couldn't finish ALL the food right?! Sure got some excess left, right?! Luckily she cleared it because the 'aunties' were threatening to wait until I finished!

Pst Kim bought a big choccie cake from Secret Recipe - yummies!

Ooh... and I was SHOWERED with prezzies yesterday! Lots and lots of prezzies from Pst Kim and Uncle Mak (*biggest hugs*) and they were my FAVOURITE prezzies too - 3 DVD's of musicals, Wormy the furry worm, choccies amongst others.... Book from Timothy by a great author (so happy!!!!!), prezzie from A. Ean.... *sigh*

And a big, big celebration from Auntie Wai Wha as the cream over everything (as if I wasn't spoiled enough!)

I can't remember the last time someone arranged a celebration like this for me... I was so touched! It was just too sweet. I am blessed with wonderful friends...

*happiest smile*

Friday, September 4, 2009

Helping Women Survivors of War

Me birthday coming soon :> and so is Christmas. This year, think of the great alternatives there are out there to buying presents from a normal store.... Women for Women International helps women survivors of war to rebuild their lives and one of ...the ways they do this is by selling the products made by these women survivors. Buying their products can be one of the ways you help make a difference in their lives.

This is a link to their online store:- http://www.womenforwomen.org/help-women/online-store-supporting-women.php

This is a letter from a woman in Congo detailing her ordeal
Furaha Mirindi, 34, single mother of seven
"I am from Kavumu. I got married when I was 15 years old and he was 18. We did not have an official ceremony, but we lived together as a married coupled. Together we had 6 children. While I had no formal educational training and cannot read and write, I successfully ran a small business selling peanuts and palm oil to feed my family before we were directly affected by the war.

In 2002, there was a great deal of insecurity in Kavumu. My family left the village for a more secure place nearby. The village chief gave us temporary refuge. The first night we spent in the new house, we were attacked. There were more than six military men that entered the house that night. My mother, my younger sister and my sister-in-law were all raped. I was raped by at least three of them. I cannot remember. I was numb. I tried to stop them, not only because I did not want to be invaded, but I did not want them to rape me in front of my children. In my struggle with them, they hit me on my right eye, which is now damaged. After the incident, I spent six months in the hospital because of my eye and other injuries. In addition to the physical damages of the rape, I got pregnant. I gave birth without even realizing it. At the time I was in so much pain physically and emotionally that I could not distinguish the pain from my eye and the rape from the pain of giving birth. The child had to be forced out of me because I did not have the courage or the energy to push. Ironically, the child is born with a damaged left eye, similar to the damage of my right eye. The doctor says it is because the position I was in during the eight months I was in the hospital. It seems like a curse to me.

My husband supported me throughout the time I was in the hospital. He sold all of our possessions to pay for my medical bills. But he left sometime after the child was born. He left me because he simply could not deal with the cost of the aftermath. The burdens were too heavy for him to carry. He told me that I had made him poor. The little girl I gave birth to after the rape is always sick. She needs more than we can provide. Although we were not officially married and he had never paid the customary bride fees, before he left me he went to my family and paid the bride fees and told them that he was returning their daughter. He said that he no longer has the means and resources to continue to support me.

My little girl is now one and a half years old. She cannot walk, crawl or sit up. I came to Bukavu with the hope that the Centre for Handicapped Children would take this child and treat her and provide for her. I am not able to attend to her needs. I love my baby even though she is a product of being brutally raped. I would like for her to have a normal childhood, to be like other children, and to one day walk and play. The Centre did not take my baby they only take handicapped orphans. I hope to find an opportunity to care for my children, all of them. I feel like I have no value. When I see my child crying because she is hungry and there is nothing that I can do about it, it's painful. It hurts at the core of my being. Every day is more and more difficult, especially with this baby. While I am no longer active in a church like I used to be, I continue to put my faith in God. I have to believe that I will one day reconstruct my life and provide for my children and perhaps find a husband again."