By Stephanie Chen, CARE Policy Communications Manager
It’s not often that policy makers get to tell the stories of the moms and families they meet when they travel to see U.S. foreign assistance investments. Last November, the poverty-fighting organization CARE brought Reps. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., to Cambodia to hear from moms firsthand about their healthcare challenges. We let the policy makers tell us what they saw – and thought.
Rep. Crenshaw was inspired by how micro-savings programs have helped women mobilize and save funds for transportation to hospitals and doctors’ fees.
Giving birth remains a deadly risk for many moms around the world. Every day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. One of the biggest challenges for women in getting maternal healthcare is the access to the facilities, particularly for women in rural areas. On the trip, he echoed the value of foreign assistance and the importance of focusing efforts on women and girls. He tells their story here.
Rep. Quigley spent time in the capitol of Phnom Penh where he explored the health challenges facing women living in cities. Many of these women live in poverty.
Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in the world; the World Bank reports more than 40 percent of the population lives under $2 a day. He met with a group garment factory workers, and many were mothers who weren’t accessing routine health check-ups for themselves or their children. But corporate partners like Levi Strauss and groups like CARE are changing that. He saw how NGOs and the private sector are working together to get women access to health information and services. He met a dynamic Cambodian woman named Pich Navy, and recounts her story here.