A Message From CIF's Executive Director
CIF has spent the first half of the year restructuring our programs and has been developing and implementing our standard operating procedures, which are expected to be effective and better serve our clients in terms of support services and co-case management from the local authorities and NGO partners.
Apart from that, the CIF team, along with the board, has been increasing our efforts to establish our fundraising channels through several churches both in Cambodia and Australia in aiming to generate more long-term support for reaching out to more vulnerable children, including children with disabilities as well as families in Cambodia.
From its inception, CIF built our policies and programs around the inclusivity of children with special needs. We knew children with disabilities deserved to be in families like everyone else.
When children with special needs are placed in orphanages, they are deprived of a healthy family, and their communities are robbed of responsibility toward them. We have found that when these children grow up in their families, it also shifts the paradigms of neighbors and friends.
While we love that our families get support to keep their children, we recognize that being a full-time caregiver for a child is a tremendous job that deserves a break. So, one aspect of the ABLE program is providing respite care for our parents and guardians.
About once a week, local community volunteers and CIF staff look after their children so that they can have a respite. We celebrate our generous volunteers who seek to learn what it means to care for these children and develop their understanding of disabilities. We are seeing communities in Cambodia grow in inclusivity.
Respite care also allows the children to play with others they can relate to while learning and growing together.
One of our volunteers shared, “I enjoy doing this job. I am learning how to respond to children who have problems with behavior or self-control. I am learning to adapt to a child’s situation and gaining new experiences in care, like modifying some of their daily routines. Another benefit is that my child has the opportunity to spend time with children with disabilities.”
Due to a grandfather with chronic illness and a father struggling with addiction, Chantry’s family condition was vulnerable to separation.
Community members made Children in Families (CIF) aware, and we intervened. After enrolling in our FOR-1 program, Chantry’s family received monthly financial support for food and education from CIF. The monthly stipend has greatly released the financial burden of her grandmother, who supported the entire family. Besides financial support, our family-based care case worker has also provided her with regular case management.
Chantry is now studying grade three in primary school and happily rides the CIF-provided bicycle to school daily. CIF’s social workers’ support and regular training has positively impacted and preserved Chantry’s family.
Around the CIF web
Please keep your eyes and ears open for the release of our book, coming later this year.
Thank you for your continued support of the work of CIF.
Erin & The CIF Team