On June 13, 2022, members of ADRA Cambodia’s TOGETHER team celebrated World No Tobacco Day on the theme of “Tobacco Poisons our Environment.” The event highlighted the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke on newborn babies, children, pregnant women, and youth. The event also raised awareness of the risks facing women and girls’ health and wellbeing by highlighting issues of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), another critical area of focus for TOGETHER. In cooperation with the Provincial Health Department, the Health Operational District and local authorities in Sangkumthmei district, 250 people (130 females) from 3 villages of the Chamroeun commune participated in the “World No Tobacco Day” event.
The key objectives of the event were:
- To improve people’s knowledge of the serious effects of tobacco use, including the destruction of our environment, which the TOGETHER project seeks to protect.
- To help community leaders and members better understand how to protect women and young girls from the effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke and how to protect them from sexual and gender-based violence.
- To encourage parents and other caregivers to give up tobacco use, to protect women and girls from harmful environments and other forms of abuse, violence, and risks.
Including several speakers, the event was broadcast via local media (TTK, TVB, Southeast Asia) and Facebook Live’s Knowledge and Health for Adolescents – https://www.facebook.com/Youths-Knowledge-Health-100346632716705.
Speakers included Mrs. Phan Keo Phon, Deputy Director of Provincial Women Affairs in Preah Vihear province, who spoke about gender equity and issues of SGBV in the province. She also shared her personal experience with the negative impacts of smoking, highlighting that her husband is, in fact, a smoker.
The Deputy Governor of Sangkumthmei District, Mr. Pen Cheung, thanked the Canadian government for providing a platform to discuss health issues through the TOGETHER project. He added, “for the benefit of the community and the health of all, people should stop using tobacco products.”
ADRA Cambodia is implementing the “uniting TOwards Gender Equality for enjoyment of women’s and girls’ Total HEalth and Rights” (TOGETHER) project thanks to generous funding from the Government of Canada. Supported by ADRA Canada, SickKids and Salanga, this gender-transformative 6-year project will ensure that nearly two hundred thousand girls, women, boys and men in Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, and the Philippines are enabled to exercise their health-related human rights.