Connect : Connect November 2014
20 The WIRE is a Victoria-wide information and referral service run for women by women. It provides free and confidential emotional support, education, and referrals on any issues via its Telephone Support Service, Women’s Information Center, and online support services. The WIRE is currently supporting Australian volunteer Sally Douglas who is on assignment with the Women’s Resource Center in Cambodia. Sally is actually a former employee of the WIRE, where she started as a volunteer phone worker before transitioning to the Information Centre. She also did some volunteer work with asylum seekers. Not all APOs support volunteers who are former staff members, but for some workplaces such a situation will instigate their partnership with the AVID program. Sally says having the WIRE as an APO for her assignment has been hugely beneficial. "WIRE understood me and the gender issues I was facing in Cambodia, so it was really great to have that support network at home," Sally says. “The WIRE team have offered encouragement and support in any way that they can, including sharing resources such as a recent financial literacy report, which was really useful in starting a new program at the WRC on financial literacy.” Sally’s new employer, the Cambodia’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC), is a drop-in hub providing free information, support and referrals to women and their families in Siem Reap. The non-government organisation was established to meet the growing need for information about services available to women, and to build each woman's strength and ability to positively impact the way they address situations and issues in their lives. Sally is helping to build the capacity of staff in counselling and case management. She is also assisting her colleagues to develop and implement Monitoring and Evaluation practices, build stakeholder networks, and Australian Partner Organisation Story: The WIRE Women's Information and Referral Exchange The WIRE - Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc - is an Australian Partner Organisation (APO) of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. APOs are Australian organisations that have or wish to establish links with organisations working in development in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. APOs work together with Host Organisations to develop Australian volunteer proposals, assist in advertising to potential volunteers and provide mentoring, advice and support to volunteers throughout their assignments.
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