Putting moms and their families first

Putting moms and their families first

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By Stephanie Chen, CARE Policy Communications Manager

It’s not often that policy makers get to tell the stories of the moms and families they meet when they travel to see U.S. foreign assistance investments.  Last November, the poverty-fighting organization CARE brought Reps. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., to Cambodia to hear from moms firsthand about their healthcare challenges.  We let the policy makers tell us what they saw – and thought.

Photo credit: Josh Estey.

The Congressmen visit this garment factory where a majority of the workers are women. CARE and Levi Strauss are working to improve the knowledge and access to basic healthcare for these women. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

Rep. Crenshaw was inspired by how micro-savings programs have helped women mobilize and save funds for transportation to hospitals and doctors’ fees.

Rep. Crenshaw meets with a young woman named Uy Phon who is the president of her village’s savings group. She used the savings to pay for a motorbike ride to the hospital to deliver her second child. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

Rep. Crenshaw meets with a young woman named Uy Phon who is the president of her village’s savings group. She used the savings to pay for a motorbike ride to the hospital to deliver her second child. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

Giving birth remains a deadly risk for many moms around the world. Every day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.  One of the biggest challenges for women in getting maternal healthcare is the access to the facilities, particularly for women in rural areas. On the trip, he echoed the value of foreign assistance and the importance of focusing efforts on women and girls. He tells their story  here.

Rep. Quigley spent time in the capitol of Phnom Penh where he explored the health challenges facing women living in cities. Many of these women live in poverty.

Rep. Quigley spends time with Pich Navy at a CARE and Levi Strauss partner program to give garment factory workers access to health information and services. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

Rep. Quigley spends time with Pich Navy at a CARE and Levi Strauss partner program to give garment factory workers access to health information and services. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in the world; the World Bank reports more than 40 percent of the population lives under $2 a day. He met with a group garment factory workers, and many were mothers who weren’t accessing routine health check-ups for themselves or their children. But corporate partners like Levi Strauss and groups like CARE are changing that. He saw how NGOs and the private sector are working together to get women access to health information and services. He met a dynamic Cambodian woman named Pich Navy, and recounts her story here.

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This is the savings box where the women in the village keep their money. Some businesses the congressmen heard about included pig farms and small food stores. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

This is the savings box where the women in the village keep their money. Some businesses the congressmen heard about included pig farms and small food stores. Photo credit: Josh Estey.

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