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Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng cuts the ribbon for the opening of Caritas’s Vocational Training Center for Women and Young Mothers with children in Battambang province.
  The official inauguration ceremony of Caritas Cambodia’s Vocational Training Center for Women and Young Mothers with Children took place on Tuesday, 21st March 2017 at Sneung commune, Banan district of Battambong province. The inauguration event was  presided over by Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and with the presence of honored guests from the Cambodian senate and parliament, in-line government Ministries, provincial departments, donors , NGO partners, parents, students, local community, the Catholic Church-Battambang and staff of Caritas Cambodia.
The vocational training center for women and young mothers with children in Battambang, among the other programs in the province-provides the support to women from the poor and vulnerable families and young mothers with children who suffer from human trafficking, sexual abuses and other forms of exploitation to enable them acquire technical vocational skills and value based education. The program includes other supports of job placement and micro-enterprise, counseling and psychosocial care support, day -care and nutrition food to children and networking with stakeholders to share information and open dialogue.

The construction of the vocational training center began on 18th March 2014 with the groundbreaking ceremony presided over by H.E. Ke Kim Yan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The construction of the center was completed on 11st November 2014, thanks to the support of Caritas Switzerland for financing the entire construction and

 
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Caritas’s Vocational Training Center for Women and Young Mothers with children in Sneung commune, Battambang province
Catholic Church-Battambang for the support of four hectares of land. The project has a total construction cost of USD 1, 167,762, including five training rooms building, a conference hall, an office building and library, dormitories for trainees and children, and a day-care building. In addition, Caritas Cambodia cannot thank enough to Caritas Spain, Catholic Relief Service, and Porticus Asia and other partners for their tremendous support on the operational cost over the past three years. Following three-year operation, the center has accommodated a total of 104 students attending the five skills of 1/ Tailoring, 2/ Beauty Salon, 3/ Handicraft, 4/ Restaurant; and 5/Weaving and we have graduated of  
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Blessing dance by a group of handicapped children from Arrupe of the Catholic Church-Battambang province
55 students who will be receiving the certificates on the inauguration day.

During the inauguration of the center, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Cambodia, and the Royal Government of Cambodia recognized the center is a crucial place where quality skills are provided for vulnerable women and women who are trafficked or exploited by other forms of violations and abuses. Without the center, many women may not be able to access to skills and rebuild their life, and their children may not be able to attend school. Speaking at the inauguration event, Mr. Kham Syngoun, representing Caritas Switzerland, one of the major donors to the project said that “vulnerable women, especially women who are trafficked or exploited needs this center to start their new life-a life with happiness and hope for the future”.

 
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Local communities participating the inauguration ceremony in Sneung commune, Banan district, Battambang province
He added “This is a learning center and it is for self-development in the future.” Additionally, Caritas Switzerland wishes that the center and Caritas Cambodia continue this journey aimed at providing skills and additional support for the poor and vulnerable women, women who suffer from trafficking or exploitation.
 
Mr. Kim Rattana, Caritas Cambodia Executive Director attended the inauguration ceremony along with the chairman of Caritas Cambodia, Bishop Enrique Figaredo. He expressed his deepest appreciation and sincere thanks and gratitude to the government delegates, in particular Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng
 
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Mr. Kham Syngoun from Caritas Switzerland recognizing the important role of the center and urging all women trainees to study hard for a better life
the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and all participants who spend their valuable time attending and witnessing the achievements of the center.

Hoping that the center will play a vital role in providing skills and rebuilding life of the women, Mr. Rattana thanked for the generous support from all key stakeholders. He is positive the center will receive continued support technically, financially and spiritually from all key stakeholders to ensure that it will serve as a hub vocational training center for women in Battambang province as well as other parts of the country.

The vocational training program for women and mothers with young children is one of the major project supported by Caritas Switzerland and a key cooperation project with the government’s department of labor and vocational training. According to briefing report by Mr. Rattana, the goal of the center is to design the training programs to sharpen the skill of the women so that they are well-prepared for the job market in the future.

 
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He said “we will not be able to host this event and the achievements today without the support of all partners, the government, in-line authorities, students, parents and our committed staff”, said Mr. Rattana, adding that the support will allow us to continue offering specialized skills by improving the quality of the courses- training on soft and hard skill, provide loan support for trainees to start up a small business after completing the course, and mobilize trainees to join Caritas’s social enterprise program.
 
Furthermore, the program will make more effort in creating more market opportunity for job creation and
 
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Mr. Kim Rattana expressing Caritas’s firm commitment in fulfilling the needs of the poor women and women who are trafficked and exploited
handicraft products, expanding partnership with the government, NGOs and private sector.

Addressing in his impression remark, Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the Royal Government of Cambodia expressed his great satisfaction over the achievement of the program. Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng stated that the goal of the program is just right with the overarching goal of the government in providing quality vocational skill training and expanding it to all the provinces and the rural areas and thus alleviating poverty.
“I am positive that the center will not only provide skill and find a better job for women, but it also helps prevent migration, trafficking, exploitations; and more importantly promote life dignity”, Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng underscored the importance of the center.

In the name of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng, extended appreciation to all partners and key stakeholders who take part in the journey of promotion the skill, livelihood support, and rebuilding lives of vulnerable women and women who are trafficked and exploited. “I hope to see the program continue to be in well-positioning to support and reach out the entire country in order to meet the needs of the poor women”, Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng emphasized.

The official inauguration ceremony was preceded just after a round-tour of the exhibition program highlighting all programs of Caritas Cambodia and the achievements. The official event was attended by representatives from the Cambodian senate and parliament, in-line Ministries, government authorities, donors, NGO partners, students, parents, community, Catholic Church-Battambang province and staff of Caritas Cambodia.

The day was ended by the hand-over of Medal of Honor to donors and Caritas staff valuing their contribution to the development and humanitarian work in the country; and it was followed by the solidarity tree planting in the center to conclude the day.

 
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Samdech Kralahom Sar Kheng expressing appreciation of the partnership between the government and Caritas
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Touring the exhibition of Caritas’s programs and achievements
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Tree planting activity at the center
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