GlobeMed at Rutgers University is working closely with the grassroots organization, Cooperation for Social Services and Development (CSSD), located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. CSSD is an organization that fights for the health and human rights of marginalized, at-risk communities in the capital.
The organization was founded in 2008 in response to the number of communities in Phnom Penh at high risk for HIV/AIDS. These communities include women entertainment workers, men who have sex with men, and intravenous drug users. These groups are highly discriminated against as there is a large amount of stigma surrounding them.
Our Project for 2013-2014
This year, GlobeMed at Rutgers University aims to raise $5,620 for a project that will directly affect the lives of women entertainment workers in Phnom Penh. The project, “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Health Education Program among Women Entertainment Workers” will serve as an outreach program that will reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS infection among entertainment workers by promoting safe sexual practices. Through discussion groups led by peer facilitators from within the Entertainment worker community, women will discuss HIV/AIDS and other health related issues and the obstacles they face in getting access to healthcare. Entertainment workers, along with CSSD staff, will have quarterly meetings with stakeholders to discuss the position of entertainment workers in society, the issues they face, and the steps to achieving equal opportunity for access to health care services for entertainment workers.
The project will also create a support system for these young women and a space for them to express the deeper psychological and emotional struggles they face. This support system is so crucial for these young women who, having left their families in poor provinces behind, sacrifice so much to provide financial aid for their families and struggles with these emotional burdens alone. Investment in these women and their children has the potential to improve the lives of those who make up a substantial community in Phnom Penh.
This year, our project has been modified to include a health education component. This program, which will be created in tandem with CSSD, utilize culturally sensitive and scientifically accurate sexual health education modules. Outreach workers will incorporate these modules, which cover health education about topics such as unexpected pregnancies, abortions and hygienic practices, into group discussions with the entertainment workers.
GlobeMed at Rutgers University and CSSD hope to decrease stigma and discrimination surrounding women entertainment workers in Phnom Penh. Through our program, we are determined to provide a supportive community where EWs can discuss the issues they face, learn about sexual health and hygiene practices, and reduce their risk for developing HIV/AIDS and other sexual health related conditions (STIs and general sexual hygiene issues) as well as mobilize members of the community, such as entertainment establishment owners and health care providers, to come together to discuss how to get entertainment workers access to health care services.
For more information on recent events, projects, and events click here to view our main page.