Det Net is a young mother who has bravely taken on the role of a volunteer Caregiver. In this capacity, she teaches other parents in her village of O Romdul (Tropeang Prasat-D) how to creatively engage their toddlers with early childhood development techniques at home and encourages them to take their preschoolers to school. With a four-year-old daughter and two-month-old son at home, she has plenty of opportunity to practice what she teaches! Her husband supports the family on his policeman’s salary, which they supplement with raising chickens and growing a home garden.
“Before FH came, I was not active in community activities. I was a full-time mother and wife. I had my first baby and was focused on her and my husband. I didn’t think I could do something for others; being a volunteer was not on my mind. I was also shy because I dropped out of school in Grade 8. I did not push my parents to let me continue to study at a higher level. In their time, education was not important, especially during the [Khmer Rouge] war because it could endanger their lives.
“I was invited to attend a meeting in the community and for the first time I was happy that I went. FH staff grouped us and facilitated the selection of volunteers for different sectors: Agriculture, Health, and Caregiver. I was surprised that my group selected me to be a volunteer Caregiver. FH then trained us on our roles and responsibilities as volunteers, and on topics about why education is important, how to help in the cognitive development of our younger children, and how to be resourceful in creating the materials for these activities at home. This was very timely because I have two babies, a four-year-old and a two-month-old! It really changed my mindset about the value of education and how it will help us later in life.
|Det Net attends a volunteer meeting with others from her community where they learn skills
and knowledge to help them be amazing caregivers!
|The volunteer caregivers at a community meeting, brainstorming ideas together.
“It’s really interesting for me to apply what I learn to my own children. It helps me become familiar with the topic and how to share it with my neighbours in an interesting way. Since we have a preschool in our community, I bring my daughter there and let her mingle with other children and learn in a fun way. We also do fun things at home that increase our bonding, our mother-daughter relationship.
“Before, I seldom participated in community activities because I was fearful others might ask me a question I don’t know the answer to, and I would be embarrassed. But it’s very different now that I learned a lot of new ideas and knowledge. I’m excited to share with my neighbours; it’s become a sort of bonding for us, that we learn from each other. We are happy to do reading and play days in our group for our children.
“We are excited for the future of our children. I like what I see in our community, people helping one another. Our community is starting to look different – in our children’s education, in our health practices, in agriculture, and many more. I enjoy seeing us altogether creating these positive changes. It strengthens our relationship and I believe that whatever issues and problems may arise in the future, we will overcome them."
|“Net is very dedicated. Her willingness to learn and her patience are commendable.
She’s the kind of volunteer that we dreamed of having.”
– Kang Nary, FH Caregivers Facilitator