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Coalition of Faith

We were interested to read your article 'U.S. aid rules alarm NGOs' (Phnom Penh Post, January 16-29, 2004 p.1) and 'Sex workers care at stake'(p.2.). We are currently in the early stages of forming a coalition of Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) working in the area of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, exploring the possibility of seeking funding from various sources including the US Government.

Primarily we should like to respond to the comment by a "women's rights NGO worker who asked not to be named". She was quoted as saying "the religious affiliations of an organization are completely irrelevant to its ability to do good work". We totally agree. All organizations, with or without religious affiliations need to demonstrate that they have achieved their stated objectives and this is the requirement of the donors.

It might be interesting to note that for some time FBOs have not always had access to funding from a number of donors because the selection criteria was/is not to support those with any religious affiliation. This meant that some of the smaller FBO's were unable to expand even though they had the people resources to be able to do so.

Whilst it is not disputed that the political climate has changed, the change in donors attitude might also be due to the fact that many FBOs are starting to demonstrate that what they are doing is making a difference.

- Glenn Miles Tearfund Children at Risk Facilitator Representative for the Faith Based Organisation Coaltion Against Sexual Abuse, Exploitation and Trafficking.

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