Missions, Outreach

Plan to give Cambodian girls a better life

Emmaus Women’s Centre enhances teaching programmes

AUGUST 1, 2008 marked the beginning of the 8th annual training session at the Emmaus Women’s Centre (EWC) in Angsnoul, outside the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

EWC’s manager, missionary Carol Ong from Toa Payoh Methodist Church, welcomed 16 new girls to the centre. Ranging from 14 to 25 years of age, they travelled from towns and villages throughout Cambodia to participate in this 18-month residential training programme. The overall mission of the Methodist Women’s Ministry in Cambodia is to nurture women in biblical discipleship and livelihood skills in the communities where we serve. The role of EWC is to support this ministry by equipping selected women to serve as Christian leaders in their local communities, and teaching skills that will enable them to earn a living.

In order to achieve these objectives, the curriculum at EWC was recently enhanced to offer spiritual development, and educational and vocational training. The spiritual development programme, based on Bible study and personal and group devotions, aims at equipping the girls to lead small groups and disciple others.

The educational curriculum includes Khmer literacy, basic mathematics and English. Vocational training has been expanded beyond the existing sewing programme to include instruction in baking and beauty care. Workshops in life skills such as first-aid, hygiene and infant care will be offered as well.

The EWC facility is also being upgraded to host retreats for Christians from Cambodia as well as from abroad.

The purpose is two-fold: to enable EWC to become self- sustaining and to train girls who wish to be employed in the country’s growing hospitality industry.

For the first time a student sponsorship programme is being launched at EWC. For the past several years, caring sponsors have enabled poor and needy children at COSI and the Methodist School in Phnom Penh to receive proper education. Now, through the generous contributions of sponsors in Singapore, young girls will have the opportunity to be nurtured in Christ and equipped to provide for themselves and their families.

If you are interested in sponsoring a student or teaching a life-skills workshop at EWC, please contact me at teresa. wilborn@methodist.org.sg or call 6478-4797 for more information. Your support will make a significant contribution to the welfare of young Christian women in Cambodia.

Teresa Wilborn is Coordinator of Women’s Ministries – Cambodia.