Saturday, July 21, 2012

Inside The RAP Home

Many of you have been praying with us as we have been setting up the RAP (Ratanak Achievement Program) Community home for young women who will be coming to stay here as they transition from the long term after care shelters of our partners. This past week our staff have been working tirelessly putting all the finishing touches and decorating the home as we had some important guests passing through.

We thought we'd take this time to introduce you to different rooms within the RAP home so that you can get an idea of what it looks like and what our residents will be experiencing as they spend their time here. Our desire is to create an environment that is contextually Cambodian as we believe it is important to ensure that the girls who stay here will feel like if they are living in a Cambodian home. We trust this will hopefully facilitate an easier adjustment when they transition back into their own communities.
Entrance - Ground floor
When one enters into the RAP home there is a sitting area with some rattan furniture.The white board on the wall will have various schedules of our staff and residents. The window looking into this sitting area is the room for our home advisors. On any given night we will have two home advisors staying over night to support the girls at the home.

Home Advisor bedroom
To the left side of the main entrance is our computer lab area. This provides a place where the girls can hang out and practice the computer lessons they would have received as part of their vocational training.

Computer lab

Behind the computer lab, is a small area that we have created to to act like a library where the girls can hang out and read all sorts of books, magazines. Our plan is to set up a library of books for them to read.
Library area

 On this ground floor, each section is separated by Rattan partitions in order to create some privacy between the different areas. As one continues walking towards the back of the building on the ground floor, you will see our large kitchen area.
The RAP kitchen

It is here that we hope to have many wonderful times of fellowship with the young women as they themselves learn to cook.  Over here, ovens are not common in Cambodian homes as most Cambodians use two gas burners. However, we took the opportunity to buy an oven and hope to teach those who are interested about baking. We have a few volunteers here in Cambodia who are open to coming and having some baking classes with the girls so we hope this will be a fun activity.
Staff meeting room
As one moves onto the second floor, some of our staff offices are located in this area as well as our more formal meeting room where the staff are currently having their morning devotionals and any ongoing team training.
Morning Devotions
Our Counselor and Social worker along with our Psychosocial coordinator organized and help set up our counselling room. Our desire was to create an environment where the girls would feel relaxed and comforted. Several stuffed animals that were donated by a church in Canada have now found a home in the counselling room.
Counselling Room

Some of the scriptures in the counselling room 

Onto the third floor and one will find all the bedrooms of the young women who will be staying at the RAP home. We felt it was important that they had their own privacy away from all the office rooms. 
One of the bedrooms
Unlike the west, most Cambodians who come from more humble backgrounds do not sleep on a bed but rather they use sleeping mats. As such we have decided to replicate a similar set up. We are thankful to a group of ladies in one of the churches back home who made all the quilted blankets for the girls. When the young women arrive into the RAP home, they will each receive a small toiletry package including a set of towels. I might add the towels must be meant for Cambodians because they are more like the size of a hand towel even for someone who is as petite as me. Nonetheless, this is what apparently is used here:-)
A welcome toiletry package for each girl
During those times where the girls just want to hang out and socialize and perhaps watch TV, will have an opportunity to spend time in theTV room where they can sit around. This room will also act as a room where we can host teams who may want to teach the girls crafts or a variety of activities and where the girls can practice their Khmer dancing. It acts as a fellowship room for them to unwind and relax just like our staff are doing in the photos below.
TV or recreation room!

Some of our staff using the opportunity to try out the cushions
One of the special blessings we have received is that all the curtains  for all of our windows at the RAP home ---and there are many windows in this home, were made by other survivors of trafficking. Through our Operations Manager's connections at her previous employer, the girls at her previous shelter used their creative talents to sew all our curtains for a mere $70.00 in total including materials and labor. We were so thrilled to hire them to do this particular job for our home knowing that they too are investing in the lives of others who have had similar life experiences. 
Jeremiah 29:11
In all of this we trust that as each young woman spends time in this home, they will discover it as a place of refuge, a place of peace, a place of hope and most of all a place of love. In each of the rooms, we have deliberately chosen scriptures to remind the girls of God's promises for them and their lives. We pray that despite all the challenges they may face as they transition into this new environment, that they will discover that He never changes. That He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and as they hold fast to His promises, they will discover Him as their Firm Foundation!
Isaiah 40:31

No comments:

Post a Comment