CARE Cambodia’s award-winning set of tools to help garment workers make informed choices about when and how to have children has recently reached over 25,000 people.
Chat! Contraception is CARE Cambodia’s innovative package of activities to empower women to take control of their lives and make healthier choices. Through face-to-face sessions, video screenings and an app game, female and male workers are able to gain a better understanding of how to prevent unplanned pregnancies and where to seek reliable medical support.
Chat! was originally developed by CARE under Partnering to Save Lives with funding from the Australian government. When CARE saw that workers and factory management were seeing the benefit, the organisation started expanding this to other factories. Since November 2015, Chat! has worked in 35 factories in Cambodia and continues to expand.
“The Chat! model is particularly effective because it engages with workers in many ways,” says Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Advisor Julia Battle. “It’s not just training—although the sessions are one important way of providing key information. Chat! also engages their interest through video dramas they can relate to and continuously challenges workers to improve their understanding via the mobile quiz app.”
“We have seen real change in the decisions women are making—with double the number of women using modern contraception and a similar increase in their use of health services. Factory managers are telling us they see impact on productivity and levels of absenteeism and we are starting to collect numbers which support this.”
Following the success of this work, CARE is starting to offer Chat! as a sellable product to brands and factories in Cambodia, with plans to expand to more countries regionally.
“We see Chat! as an opportunity for brands and factories to do business the right way,” concludes Battle. “They can actually drive profits through empowering the women working in their supply chain.”
For more information about offering Chat! Contraception in factories in Cambodia please contact Mongheng Seng (Mongheng.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Julia Battle (Julia.email@example.com).
Partnering to Save Lives (PSL) is a joint partnership between the Australian Government, the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, and three Australian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): CARE Australia, Marie Stopes International Cambodia (MSIC), and Save the Children Australia. The program aims to save lives of women and babies in the north-east provinces of Cambodia and selected garment factories near Phnom Penh through improving quality access and utilisation of reproductive, maternal and neonatal health (RMNH) services. Under PSL’s work in garment factories, CARE’s interactive engagement with workers complements the work of Marie Stopes International Cambodia with factory infirmaries.