Today I read an e-mail from my study abroad professor with a forwarded message from Bunthin, our guide during our time in Cambodia. It is worth sharing because within the e-mail was a proposal to help to build an accommodation center for poor women and girls, who work late at night, to stay in when they leave their work and return home in the morning next day. Women and girls are often raped, robbed, and/or violated in respective ways by evil men during the night-time as they ride bikes 6-11 miles from Siem Reap back to their homes outside the city. As in the night of January 12, three women were murdered and robbed in Siem Reap province. One of those women was brutally raped before she was killed.
Siem Reap has seen civil unrest disappear in recent years and, as a result, tourism has increased year over year, providing growing opportunities for women to work in hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, spas, and other entertainment places. It is an amazing and beautiful town with many wonderful people who deserve to be safe as they commute from work and home. I plan to get involved with this project and do what I can to help the wonderful Khmer women and girls of Cambodia find safety as they do what they can to have a better life. Cambodia is a wonderful place, but still has much healing to do, so as I learn more about this project I will post more.
Below is the e-mail Bunthin sent to the professor.
Dear Dr. Cliffford J. Shultz,
I hope you and your students were all arrived home safely. Since you came to my country I have met you in person and led your groups. To meet you and your students was my privilege as my personal. I was always happy and proud to show you and your students of my personal story, country, culture, and histories etc.
I do know that you and your students have seen our country as well as our people living condition and the problem we are facing right now. On behalf of Cambodian and myself are thank you so much for Loyola University Chicago, which have committed to help me, our poor people, our poor children to get better education.
Apart from all your above commitment, I have raised the idea of helping poor girls, ladies in general women who works for tourism sector in Siem Reap. These poor women come from countryside which their home located 10km to 18km away from town. These women have to go back home from work at the end of their work shift. Most of tourism work place are required to work in the night shift. These women have to push bike back home in the night which is very dangerous. As our government has reported that Traffic accident is the main killer of our people today. Apart from traffic problem is the human trafficking, sex abuse especially happened in the night when those women leave work for home.
So please have a look of my proposal concept note in attach. I really want you and your students to help and make this project to happen in Siem Reap town in order to deduct phenomenon incident and to help to increase their safety and happiness.
I look forward to hearing from you.