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our community outreach programs... beyond the gecko gates

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:: OUTREACH AND FAMILY SUPPORT

Green Gecko has ALWAYS supported the 32 families of the Gecko children. Gecko Outreach helps our mums and dads break the cycle of poverty through microbusinesses, vocational training programs and holistic social support, as well as providing weekly nutrition packs of fresh meat, veggies and rice and essential medical care. It was determined at our Sustainable Families Forum – run by the kids – that this level of support will be reduced bit by bit every year until all forms of welfare is stopped and the families are successfully independent by 2019.

:: WOMEN'S VILLAGE

One of the biggest leaps we have made in family reintegration has been the formation of the Green Gecko’s Women’s Village. Our Women’s Village comprises of seven homes, inside a secure complex, being rented for the Green Gecko’s single mothers or women at risk of severe domestic abuse and their children. When our children/young adults self-assess their safety at home situation, it is not always the parents they are at risk from, sometimes it can be from extended family or neighbours. Low-income housing often attracts alcohol/drugs/gambling/violence abuse, which is one of the reasons why the children/young adults often refuse to sleep at home. Now the Women’s Village has allowed another 12 Geckos to be fully reintegrated with their mothers without risk of abuse. The women and their children have self-determined their own code of conduct and rules which includes no men (other than Gecko family and staff), no alcohol, no smoking and no violence. There is a dedicated visitors’ hut outside the perimeter wall where families can meet male friends/family members. 

:: SIBLING HOUSES

In some sad instances living with parents is not a viable or safe option, so where possible, Green Gecko look towards the Kinship Care model of alternative care where older loving/responsibly adult siblings are supported so they can take care of their younger siblings enabling families to stay together in the community. In 2015 Green Gecko opened its first two ‘Sibling Houses’. The Sibling Houses are a few hundred meters from Gecko, in a safe area. They are traditional Khmer style homes with upstairs and downstairs. Boys/young men live in the upstairs and the girls/young women live together downstairs. They do chores together: cook, go shopping and clean as well as help each other with homework. 

:: YOUNG ADULT HOUSES

Because the original group of Green Gecko students were quite old when they started school, their age is much higher than their peers at Khmer School for instance they may be a 21 year old young man in Grade 9 with peers as young as 15 years old. They are neither a child, nor a high school graduate. Some of these young men do not have a safe or viable family environment and they are no longer young enough to stay at Gecko, for these students Green Gecko provides a Young Adults House where they live together in the community. Like the Green Gecko Sibling House they do chores together: cook, go shopping and clean as well as help each other with homework.

:: GECKO ACTION - humanitarian youth group 

Inspired by Rotary’s youth group, Rotaract, the older Geckos decided that it was time to help others in their community. Together they have created Gecko Action and you will find them gathered on a regular basis, buzzing with their new ideas for fundraising and assisting those in need. The group has a 3-pronged belief – to help the environment, to assist the elderly and to support rural students to stay at school where they can. Many a Sunday there will be a group of the Gecko Action kids volunteering their time to work with others. www.facebook.com/greengeckoaction

:: TNAI SAMRAP SREY

Green Gecko Project has teamed up like minded allies Hearts to Harmony for a project inspired by – and in support of – Days for Girls International, an organisation that empowers days of education, health, safety and dignity for girls and women all over the world no matter what time of the month. NAI SAMRAP SREY literally translates from Khmer into DAYS FOR GIRLS and like their tag line, it is for EVERY GIRL. EVERYWHERE. PERIOD. Fortunately the girls at Green Gecko and beneficiaries of Hearts to Harmony have access to feminine hygiene products, but there are many girls and women throughout Cambodia who, without appropriate feminine hygiene are missing valuable DAYS WITHOUT SCHOOL, DAYS WITHOUT INCOME, DAYS WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE. Working together, Tnai Samrap Srey has distributed hundreds of feminine hygiene kits through our peer education program and continues to raise the female hygiene issues in Cambodia. www.facebook.com/tnaisamrapsrey


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