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Cyclists in Siem Reap to Help Combat Human Trafficking

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On 1 December 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, cyclists from all over the world, of all ages and fitness levels are invited to Bike for Kids!, Village Focus Internationals 7th annual event in the Angkor Wat complex.

 Village Focus International (VFI) and Terre des Hommes - Netherlands aim to raise $60,000 in net proceeds to contribute to the fight against human trafficking and other forms of child exploitation in Cambodia.

 Funds from the 2012 event will support children and youth in Cambodia to overcome abuse and injustice, and help them build a happier, more productive future.

VFIs 2012 partners include:

- The Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR), the NGO established in Cambodia (in 1994) to fight child trafficking. VFI provides this under-resourced but effective local organization with funding, support, capacity building and technical assistance.

CCPCRs Safehouse is a rehabilitation shelter for survivors of abuse, exploitation and trafficking located in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The shelter houses approximately 50 girls and young women at any one time, all of whom have been rescued from traumatic situations, and provides assistance to help them to recover and go on to lead secure, stable and rewarding lives.

- Il Nodo Cambodia, which works to help some of the most disadvantaged and excluded children and young people in Cambodia today. The event supports two Il Nodo projects:

Helping children living with parents in prison: In Cambodian prisons, children, their mothers and pregnant women do not have access to suitable health care, adequate nutrition or education. Currently the Cambodian government budgets just $0.60 per prisoner per day, a figure which is stretched still further when a woman has no alternative but to take her children into prison with her.

This project works to identify the most immediate needs of children, their mothers and pregnant women living in jail. Over the past seven years Il Nodo has worked across Cambodias prisons providing food, water and personal hygiene kits to mothers with children or pregnant women.

My Own Hands: The object of this project is to provide Cambodian youth access to creative teaching where they can develop knowledge and skills that will enhance their craftsmanship and help them to reach economic independence. Students selected from the poorest regions of Cambodia attend a social design school for a minimum of two years and learn to master silversmith techniques from local teachers and to develop their creative potential during workshops and stages held yearly by Italian designers and artists. Courses result in higher learning opportunities, job placement with select employers and even new business development in some cases.

- The Cambodian Womens Crisis Center (CWCC) was founded in 1997 with financial support of Terre des Hommes Netherlands. CWCC works to empower vulnerable women and girls through three strategic programs: prevention, protection and advocacy.

With the need for services for victims of violence against women such as trafficking, sexual abuse (rape) and domestic violence, CWCC established its branch offices in Banteay Meanchey (1999) and in Siem Reap (2001).

The Siem Reap shelter provides protection and legal assistance to girls and female victims of violence, and furthermore facilitates them to recover and reintegrate to the community. The shelter provides a safe living place that includes food, medical and psychological care. The survivors of violence also get the opportunity to access skill training such as sewing, cooking, souvenir class, and hairdressing and beauty salon.

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