Meet Leakena. This amazing, 28-year-old Khmer woman started at CIF as our Outreach to Orphanages Manager in January 2016. She was previously a teacher’s assistant for toddlers at an international school. She also volunteered at Raven’s Hope International as a Liaison helping build spiritual growth, leadership development, and mission opportunities to young women from around the world. When Leakena heard about CIF through a friend, she thought it might offer a job that would fit well with her degree in Sociology.
As CIF’s Outreach Manager she is breaking ground with our newest program, which is geared to work closely with orphanages and institutions around Cambodia. The goal is to help them transition away from providing residential care, and toward delivering high quality family-based care. Leakena will work closely with the leadership of interested orphanages, training them in the administrative and program-related realities of family-based care.
CIF’s first orphanage has come on board, and is expected to transition over the next 18 months or so, working with the children already in their care. Their existing staff will receive training on how to teach child development, hygiene, and other important parts of giving children a healthy, well-rounded home life. As we develop the Outreach Program, Leakena hopes to streamline the process, so the program can have a greater impact on many orphanages across Cambodia.
She told me, “I love my job, because if I work with one child, I can change the life of one child. But when I work with an orphanage, I can help many kids, and the results of my work are multiplied.”
As always, the ultimate focus is to make sure all Khmer children end up in a loving family. Leakena’s work with CIF will make that goal a reality for more and more kids, which is what it’s all about.