Monday, August 22, 2011


Navy Chann (L) and her staff associate Amanda

Tonight I met up with a Canadian Cambodian Navy Chann who heads up GCT (Genesis Community of Transformation) Navy survived the Khmer Rouge era and was in the Refugee camps for 6 years where she became a believer. She and her family ended up in Calgary. In 1998, God called her and her husband back to Cambodia. I got connected with Navy through the Chab Dai Coalition. Her organization GCT is focused on creating meaningful job experiences and work opportunities for Cambodians by providing job and career counselling, life skills training, coaching on job readiness, internship opportunities and job placement for young people. In the future, GCT wants to create a Centre to provide innovative and entrepreneurial training for woman and youth.

In Cambodia there are so many organizations doing  a lot of amazing works but so often every one operates in silos for a variety of reasons. Organizations like GCT seek to network and provide collaboration among businesses with the ultimate purpose of connecting young people to companies that allows them to utilize their skills and training.  One of the most fascinating analysis that has come out of a recent research paper done by GCT is the fact that approximately 73% of students are interested in starting their own business.The challenge is access to capital.Many of these young people do not have adequate funds to set up their own businesses.  One of the tools available to provide such assistance is micro finance loans. Microfinance offers poor people access to loans, savings and other basic financial services and is a powerful tool for empowering the poor and restoring dignity to them by giving them the opportunity to work and contribute to the well being of their societies.

Seeking justice for the poor and the oppressed involves seeking economic justice for them.To alleviate poverty people need a ‘hand-up not a hand-out’. The poor need real jobs, not subsidized ones.  This is the cry for dignity and self-reliance that they deserve. Richard Stearns, author of 'The Whole In Our Gospel said, for Christians, this is a justice issue or, stated more bluntly, a moral issue in which those of us who have plenty seem willing to allow others to have nothing. It is not our fault that people are poor, but it is our responsibility to do something about it. But it’s more than money. Poverty is about lack of essentials such as food, clean water, and basic health care. Poverty is about lack of hope for the future, because your children can’t get an education—if they survive their first five years of life. Poverty is about not being able to find meaningful work. Poverty is about lack of dignity. This is not how God intended the world to be. 

Pray that the Lord will direct our steps as we seek to connect with organizations who are involved in vocational training and employment for former victims of trafficking. Our desire is to see former victims of trafficking become not just functional members of their community but ultimately a blessing to it. For this to happen, we long to see them have the opportunity to dream God sized dreams and to see those dreams become a reality as they have access to the right training and the right job that enables them to to live out their God given destiny.

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