Marina was born into a poor family in a small village in Prey Veng province. She is the eldest amongst six siblings, and is smart and responsible. When life became more difficult in Prey Veng, her parents decided to move the whole family to live in a church compound in Takeo province. Being the eldest and the smart one in the family, her family’s hope for a better life hinged on her frail shoulders. While she was studying in high school, she worked as a part-time English teacher in Cambodia Adventist School. The money she earned from teaching she gave to her parents to help out in their daily expenses.
She had set her sights on going to a university in Phnom Penh, a goal she had achieved. She met her partner there and started a four-year relationship that came to an end when she got pregnant. Her boyfriend wanted nothing to do with her pregnancy and vanished. Due to shame and disappointment, her family did not accept the baby and refused to support her for being pregnant outside of marriage. Depressed, miserable, alone and pregnant, Marina had nowhere to go as she watched her world crumbling before her eyes. Until she found Mother’s Heart Organisation.
Marina began with the Crisis Pregnancy Support Programme with the goal of being independent so she could raise her baby and still be able to achieve some of her dreams. When she entered the programme she was approximately four months pregnant and received pregnancy care right away. She was provided a safe place to stay by one of our partner organisations where she was immediately surrounded by staff who supported and cared for her, and other young mothers. While there, there she improved her self-awareness and had the support and encouragement from the Mother’s Heart’s team, as well as from the young women facing similar circumstances to her. The social worker and counsellor met with her several times a month to provide all her needs, especially on her pregnancy and emotional well-being. She faithfully went to her health checks and other appointments with the midwife.