Beauty In Muddy Waters

Beauty in Muddy Waters

The mud comes up to mid-calf height. It is thick and sticky, leaving a dark brown coating on every surface it touches. We step hesitantly, searching for a firm footing, but our feet only sink further. Fortunately, the muddy path only lasts about three meters. Unfortunately, it is the only way in and out of the house we are visiting. Cambodia is heading toward the end of wet season, and the evidence of months of rain is everywhere. For the…

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Meet Damy: Caring For Children By Caring About Numbers

Meet Damy: Caring for Children by Caring about Numbers

Have you ever donated to Children in Families and wondered who received the money at the other end? Someone has to make sure it gets to the right people, right? Our administration department is staffed by two wonderful ladies, Damy and Phalyn, who faithfully do the paperwork needed to keep CIF running smoothly. Today we had the opportunity to sit down with Damy, our finance manager, and talk to her about her experience working for CIF. Damy grew up in…

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You Know My Name: The Journey To Belonging

You know my name: the journey to belonging

Last month we introduced you to Courtney, one of our ABLE Technical advisers. This month she reflects on her experience of accompanying one of our ABLE children to  a medical appointment. We arrive at the hospital and wander around the massive grounds until we find the pediatric therapy center. Long is a high-energy 12 year-old that loves to play and explore new places. As we wait, his curiosity guides him to the green grass, thorn-covered flowers, and puddles of newly…

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Staff Retreat: Values, Ownership, And Why We Do It

Staff Retreat: Values, Ownership, and Why We Do It

What values guide us and our work? It’s a question that goes to the heart of an organization and its workers. And it is a question that the CIF staff got to ask themselves and each other recently. Last month we gathered as a whole-staff team for our annual retreat. This retreat was financed thanks to the money CIF received from the Stars Impact Award at the start of the year. This is the major time each year that staff…

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A Chat With Courtney: How Occupational Therapy In Making A Difference In ABLE

A chat with Courtney: How Occupational Therapy in making a difference in ABLE

“So why did you end up volunteering for our ABLE program?” Courtney, the newest member of the ABLE team, pauses for a brief moment before she answers: “What impressed me most about the ABLE program was not only the excellence of the work they are doing, but their dedication to contextualize therapy and treatments for Cambodia, to have Khmer staff leading the program, and to incorporate the whole community into caring for these children.” She continues: “I am excited about…

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Learning To Stand On His Own Two Feet: A Day In The Life Of ABLE

Learning to stand on his own two feet: A day in the life of ABLE

The air is cool, much cooler than expected in July.  We are on a tuktuk, heading out to the Cambodian school of Prosthetics and Orthotics. We have a follow up appointment for one of our foster care children, Leak (pronounced Lay-ak). Like many of our foster care and kinship care cases, Leak has special needs, and is part of our ABLE program. ABLE (Accepted, Belonging Loved Empowered) is a broad-range, overarching program to assist children with special needs or chronic…

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Celebrating ‘Anne With An E’ Part 3: Family- Based Care In Fiction

Celebrating ‘Anne with an E’ Part 3: Family- based care in Fiction

Myth #2: Kinship Care and Foster Care harm children. Hi, welcome back for Part 3 in our series on myths of orphan care in popular fiction. If you missed them, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 on the blog. In our previous posts we discussed the way that our popular culture has embraced stories about orphans and how it shapes our attitudes and beliefs about vulnerable children. Today we’re looking at the second big myth: Kinship Care…

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Celebrating ‘Anne With An E’ Part 2: Resilience And Reintegration

Celebrating ‘Anne with an E’ Part 2: Resilience and Reintegration

Myth #1: Orphans are inherently resilient and institutionalised children can easily reintegrate into society. Last post we introduced the idea that orphans are a central part of Western popular culture.  If you missed it, you can find it here. We talked about how the words often used to talk about orphans evoke a strong sense of resilience. The resilient orphan. People love orphan characters because: They overcome lots of adversity. They are imperfect and need friends. They are brave and…

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Celebrating ‘Anne With An E’: Orphans In Popular Culture

Celebrating ‘Anne with an E’: Orphans in Popular Culture

Part One: An Introduction to Orphans in Popular Culture Ludwig Wittgenstein once said “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”  Our language shapes our perceptions of what life is like, what our values are and the way we understand the world. The language we use matters. The way we tell stories matter. The way we discuss major issues matters. At Children in Families, we believe that how we respond to vulnerable children is shaped by the…

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A Case Management System – What’s That?

A Case Management System – What’s That?

The Case Management System Last week we linked to a post from M’lop Tapang about a trip some of our staff made to Sihanoukville. Our CMS team went to deliver six laptop computers, and begin the process of helping the M’lop Tapang Social Workers migrate their work flow to the CIF Case Management System. Back in December we posted a short note about the beginnings of the Case Management System, and promised an update. Well, this is that update!  …

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