A different Type of Hard.

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A different Type of Hard.

We are off the bikes, but the journey continues – and it takes a slightly less physical, but increasingly emotional, detour.

Today we visit the brothels of Phnom Penh, where the women and children are trapped in a cycle of abuse, rape and disempowerment that is truly heartbreaking.

Most people, as I once did, imagine these women to be tucked away. Inaccessible. And for some this is true. For others, they are hidden in plain sight: Invisible, worthless, voiceless.

The brothels we visit are one street removed from the main drag. The women and children inside live in dire circumstances of filth, with no food and no access to health care, education or comfort.

The women service upwards of 30 men each day. Traffickers/pimps – whatever you might like to call them – hover close to swoop in and collect on their earnings as the job is done. 

These men have no shame; we watch on as they linger to collect on their investment. 

In stifling heat, many of these women are heavily pregnant or caring for multiple children. If lucky, they reside in a 2x1m squat. As they service their “clients” their children watch on, or their infants are strapped to their chest.

 

 This little girl was born in the brothel. She does not know her father, a client, and will likely live the same fate as her mother. One day soon, sold for her virginity and trafficked.

This little girl was born in the brothel. She does not know her father, a client, and will likely live the same fate as her mother. One day soon, sold for her virginity and trafficked.

We hear the stories of long-term abuse, gang rapes, violence and the sale of children over and over again. As we hear the stories, there are few words to offer comfort. But as the women break down they also reach out, seeking connection with no expectation or judgement. Holding their hand, offering a hug… these are the only tools we can offer as we too hold back the tears. 

It is a harsh reality, one that weights heavy on your heart and soul. The only relief is in witnessing the incredible work of the outreach program delivered by AFESIP and funded by PROJECT FUTURES Ltd

This program sees a monthly visit to the brothels bearing food, soap, condoms, basic medical treatment and immunisations.

It also allows the women a connection with other human beings who do not expect anything in return. And, when they are ready, an opportunity to flee their circumstance.

To donate in support of the School Cycle Challenge please see information below:

For those interested in getting involved and organising their very own School Cycle, please contact Clare@projectfutures.com or head to our website www.projectfutures.com.

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280 kms & Counting

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280 kms & Counting

 Our CEO, Clare alongside two of our School Cyclists, 180 KMS down!

Our CEO, Clare alongside two of our School Cyclists, 180 KMS down!

We’ve just cycled a gruelling 145kms in two days! We’re not quite a week into our journey and are already feeling the sheer mental and physical challenge of it. The women and girls have tackled trench after trench, crossed streams, battled mud, survived the heat and climbed huge Cambodian hills. Such punishing exertion has seen us face heat rash, constant falls, dehydration and some very serious muscle spasms, but we push on through with what takes immense concentration to cycle such long distances.

It’s a team effort to encourage one another, and as we cycle across this stunning scenery, you can’t help but reflect on how amazing the human body is and feel inspired by everyone showing up ready to take on another day of the journey.

We’re at 280kms and determined to finish strong!

To donate in support of the School Cycle Challenge please see information below:

Donate.PNG

 

For those interested in getting involved and organising their very own School Cycle, please contact Clare@projectfutures.com or head to our website www.projectfutures.com.

 

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And They're Off!

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And They're Off!

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And They're Off!

What a HUGE 48 hours it's been.

Get to know each other, TICK.

Get to know your bike. TICK.

Gathering essentials to tackle 36 degree heat & 80% humidity. TICK.

Unpack the issues of sex trafficking & why we are here. TICK. 

Leave all worries behind and open your heart and mind to new experiences. TICK.

 

With energies sky high, we were finally ready to hit the road, LITERALLY! We road through the beautiful city of Siem Reap passing through it's tropical jungles and historical city temples all the way through to Angkor Wat - 30 kms. TICK. 

 

 One of the beautiful temples passed on route to Angkor Wat

One of the beautiful temples passed on route to Angkor Wat

It was our first night at Angkor Wat where we shared a special dinner with 30 women who had survived and were able to escape sex trafficking. Emotions ran high as we were able to connect with these women on a personal level, hearing their stories, understanding the horrific experiences that they have endured and how they have overcome it and today stand triumphant. We learnt that many of them were sold as young as the age of 7 and that it takes a girl 8-years to recover from the circumstances of sex trafficking.

It was amazing to see the incredible and life-changing works of the AFESIP program (funded by PROJECT FUTURES) and to see that today these girls stand tall and proud. They are financially independent, identify with the strength of a survivor and no longer accept the title of victim. These girls are changing so many lives of future generations and advocating for change.

After such an emotional and powerful night, it was incredible to see the impact we can have when we work together. AFESIP was ignited though an individual who wanted to break the cycle and now has helped thousands of women and children throughout Cambodia. Suddenly the seeminly small impact of a group of 11 didn't seem so small - we were determind break this cycle. 

To donate in support of the School Cycle Challenge please see information below:

Donate.PNG

For those interested in getting involved and organising their very own School Cycle, please contact Clare@projectfutures.com or head to our website www.projectfutures.com.

 

 

 

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Cambodian July 2018 School Cycle Challenge

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Cambodian July 2018 School Cycle Challenge

 Our very brave team in Siem Reap, 4th July 2018.

Our very brave team in Siem Reap, 4th July 2018.

On the 2nd of July 2018, 11 brave and inspired individuals alongside our CEO, Clare touched down in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Here we will be embarking on a life-changing experience. The funds raised from this cycle goes towards AFESIP. AFESIP provides outreach and recovery programs; training and education, as well as economic empowerment and reintegration of survivors of sex trafficking, slavery and exploitation of young women and girls in Cambodia. 

For the next couple of weeks, we will be posting about our journey and personal experiences while we cycle 400 kms from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. There is no doubt that we will undergo a lot of physical and emotional challenges along the way as we meet many women children much like ourselves who have lived through unspeakable hardships.

Watch this space to follow our journey!

To donate in support of the School Cycle Challenge please see information below:

Donate.PNG

For those interested in getting involved and organising their very own School Cycle, please contact Clare@projectfutures.com or head to our website www.projectfutures.com

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