I was lucky enough to visit Senhoa's programs in Cambodia this past year. These children and their families have very few opportunities, and I am so proud to be a part of the team that is making such a big difference in their lives. I met with many of the parents of the children who are a part of Lotus Kids' Club, and they expressed their gratitude for their children being able to go to school and also for the help we give their family, such as rice packages and micro loans, which helps them to continue to send their children to school. Senhoa is a great organization doing great things in Cambodia!
I love that this organization continues to adapt to the changing needs of those that they are working with. They collaborate with other organizations to research what is the very best for those they are serving. They want what is best for those who are at risk in the community. They are not trying to cover up problems, but to fix the heart of where the issues are at. The work they are doing with the prevention programs is affecting an entire community and bringing options where before there were none. The employment that they provide is thought out and executed with such professionalism and instruction that it leaves other training organizations far behind in regards to the quality of the product. I love the work that they are doing and look forward to seeing them grow.
Senhoa is a great organization on many levels. There is a great company culture for staff and volunteers, they sell beautiful products (amazing statement jewelry) that helps change girls' lives and are helping combat a huge social evil (human trafficking) and serving some beautiful at-risk children and their families and young women in Cambodia. I first started volunteering for Senhoa in 2011. I was drawn to it because it was unique. I liked their ethos of utilizing fashion as a vehicle to achieve humanitarian goals. I love that it wasn't about the usual guilt-marketing that can sometimes go in hand with promoting the work of a nonprofit. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend 6 months this year in Cambodia working with the amazing field team and meeting our incredible, resilient service users. I got to see firsthand the incredible ways in which we are transforming these people's lives.
I am honored to serve an organization such as Senhoa. Not only does the organization impact the lives of women, children, and families abroad, we raise local and international awareness while maintaining an ethical and sensitive approach in all that we strive to accomplish.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the 3 individuals who was there from day one as this idea came into fruition. The passion that exudes from the the founder Lisa Nguyen was extremely contagious and I found myself continuing my volunteer services ever since. We noticed that aside from the rescue of vulnerable woman and children from sex trafficking there was a gap within the rehabilitation process and reintegration back into society. This is truly where Senhoa was born and how we came to be; to fill this void and to make a strong impact (emancipate) on the lives of those who have been saved out of the industry at the same time educating and empowering the vulnerable ones to not get tricked/ sold or trapped into the industry. As a young organization we started with one focus in the beginning which was the rehabilitation process of these beautiful human beings and as we continue to grow we have now introduced the Lotus kids club where we provide education and school for kids age 3-5 and even a preventative program by aiding the families with vitamins and rice to stop them from selling their kids for nutrition and survival of the rest of the family members. The greatest thing about Senhoa is we have a team of extremely passionate individuals from all walks of life around the world that genuinely wants to do as much as possible for those who are incapable of helping themselves without any accolades but just out of the kindness of their heart and that I am grateful for. It truly is an amazing organization to volunteer for and I hope that we can grow our organization by generating more sponsorship so we can mirror our efforts in other parts of the world. A wise person once said "The best index to a person's character is how he treats people who can't do him any good." Why wait until you are financially stable to do something good for someone; why not start today?
All of my basic needs are met: I have a warm roof over my head, warm food to eat, love from friends and family and a career that I am passionate about.
In "paying it forward", I am honored to be part of a dedicated and passionate group of staff and volunteers who believe in the mission of Senhoa Foundation. With utmost integrity and tenacious spirit, each person at Senhoa Foundation gives it their all towards the goal to Educate, Empower, and Employ at-risk women and children in Cambodia. Working for Senhoa Foundation has been deeply rewarding. Seeing the smile on the faces of the women and children at the end of the day makes the work worthwhile.
My first introduction to Senhoa was in 2012 where I worked in their women's shelter. The dedication of their staff touched my heart! I thought to myself, 'here is an organisation that cares deeply about their work and this country!'. Senhoa changes the lives of the girls they work with, by providing safe accommodation, education, and safe employment. One year on from my departure in Cambodia, I still think of Senhoa and the girls on a daily basis. The work that Senhoa does leaves a lasting impression for all those who are passionate about ending violence and exploitation.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Hire a dedicated researcher, to conduct ongoing evaluations and analysis of the local community's needs and successful programs.
Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
Will you tell others about this organization?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
I was a police officer for over 20 years and didn't know how prevalent the problem with human trafficking and sexual exploitation is until after I retired. Law enforcement simply was not educated. To find out that human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar per year industry tore my heart. It's growing every year and is only second to the drug industry.
SENHOA is such a great organization, because the volunteers and staff have such a huge passion to help these victims. SENHOA has created partnerships with key organizations that help meet the needs of the victims they serve. In my opinion, the singe most important attribute of SENHOA is their transparency. There are a lot of great non-profits in the world, but there are also many that are deceptive and hide behind smoke and mirrors. You will NEVER find this with SENHOA. This organization is very organized, diligent, and fiscally responsible! No smoke and mirrors here!
Senhoa has so many amazing attributes. Here are a few of them...
1. Senhoa sticks firmly to it's mission of empowering disadvantaged communities and individuals to take control of their lives and make positive choices. The formula is simple: education + economic empowerment = poverty alleviation = reduction in vulnerability of women to sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
2. Senhoa is a 'Can Do' organisation! We are always thinking of creative ways to strengthen and improve existing programmes and exploring opportunities for new projects.
2. Senhoa's approach is to build partnerships with other strong organisations to achieve it's goals - we believe that it is only working collaboratively that we can achieve our dreams. Two heads are always better than one!
3. Senhoa has the most amazing team of staff and volunteers who are the most passionate, dedicated and talented individuals you could hope to meet.
4. Our true inspiration is drawn from the children, women and men we work with and serve in Cambodia. Our organisation is built from their resilience and passion for life and this motivates us all in our daily working lives.
I could write so many experiences and good things about Senhoa but I want to be brief. I have worked at Senhoa's Lotus Kids Club for over 3 years as adviser/consultant. A small NGO committed to helping the most disadvantaged families in Siem Reap. From the folks in the California HQ to the staff in the field in Cambodia, where I work, the dedication, commitment and caring is so palpable you can almost taste it. I am very proud and feel lucky to be a part of Senhoa.
We have grown quite a bit over the last few years and will continue to help more and more families achieve a better life for them and now and in the future. Please check the blogs on the website about our work at the Lotus Kids Club. Thanks.