Cambodia

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In October 2011 and again in October 2013, I headed over to Cambodia with fellow Mt Beauty photographer Lee Docherty.   Two Mt Beauty Photographers exploring the world.

I have a dear friend Katrina who moved there from here in early 2008 with her family (at the time with 3 children under 8).

Katrina and her family were unsure of what they should do there and it took over 12 months of searching for them to find what it was.  In 2009 Mother’s Heart was birthed.  You can read about the amazing work of Mother’s Heart by clicking here.

I absolutely love the people of Cambodia and after my first visit in 2010 I became more aware than ever of the plight of the women there.  Katrina asked me if I would be willing to come back and photograph the babies that are born through the Mother’s Heart program and I willingly accepted.  After my 2011 visit I produced a beautiful calendar and the funds raised from the sale of that calendar have helped support the work of Mother’s Heart.  Cards were also produced.  After our 2013 visit we will produce more cards and a notebook.

It was very important for Lee and I that the Mothers benefit from this as well.  Back in 2011 we gave each mother and baby a package of goodies that would help them feel good about themselves.  We also produced a beautiful hard cover book for each Mother to remind her of the precious life that she has chosen to keep and cherish.  I shed many tears as I photographed beautiful babies and there were many times when I looked through a blurred lens!….the photo was clear but my tears blurred what I saw.  It was such a rewarding experience and Lee and I are both very keen to return again and again.

These beautiful mum’s have so little…..where we have so much.  Through the work of Mother’s Heart, these mums are given choices, offered solutions and have access to professional counselling.  As a result, to date all mothers have chosen to keep their babies or their babies have been placed with family if Mother’s Heart have been able to locate any family members.  The women go on to develop skills and obtain jobs so they can support their child.  Mother’s Heart supports the mother and baby prenatally, through the delivery and for approximately 1 year after the baby is born.

Such amazing work.

Cambodia is such a broken country…..yet is so resilient.   Everywhere I travel I see happy smiling faces.  Some faces tell of the atrocities of the Pol Pot regime…..but still they smile.   Sure there is still a lot of corruption in Cambodia……but things are changing and they are changing fast.

I have been so blessed to be part of this project. My life will never be the same as a result of the beautiful women I have come to know and the precious little lives I’ve been privileged to hold in my arms and then to photograph.  If you would like to know more about this project……or if you feel to support it in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact Jen on 0425 750 802 or email me at jenboote@gmail.com.  I’d be delighted to chat with you.