Going Global: On the Ground in Cambodia
Jasmine Hamilton was a Global Education Lead Volunteer in Vancouver with CHF. She will be reporting on her visit to a CHF project in rural Cambodia and documenting her experiences as part of an ongoing series called 'Going Global'.
My recent visit to Kompong Speu province in Cambodia was one of the greatest adventures of my adult life. There was a lot to see and learn in this mountainous area known as the Aoral district. From the livestock grazing at every turn to the motorbikes and tractors that pulled cattle, transported wood, vegetation, and people along winding, bumpy roads, this province was the epitome of rural.
CHF’s project in this area is implemented with Partnership for Development in Kampuchea (PADEK), a local NGO, and aims to improve the ability of rural women and men to achieve sustainable agricultural and livestock production, promote income generation and build the capacity of village councils.
My trip began with a meet and greet in the PADEK-CHF office where I learned the details of the project and met the hard-working staff that lead it. In the following days, I had the privilege of riding on the back of a motor bike from village to village where I watched and participated with staff in the transfer of livestock assets to beneficiaries, most of which were classified as ultra-poor. I felt extremely privileged to see this phase of the project as it unfolded.
The other aspects of my adventure-filled, jam packed trip included giving a short presentation to PADEK staff about CHF’s Global Education Program and interviewing the Vice District Governor in charge of women affairs, the Commune Chief, and the beneficiaries. These interviews increased my awareness about the major challenges and successes of the project and I was greatly encouraged by the tremendous support that district leaders give to the PADEK-CHF approach to development. I’ll share some of their stories in future posts.
I can’t contain my excitement for the future of the rural poor in Kompong Speu. I hope to follow the progress of this project beyond my time in Cambodia to its scheduled completion in 2014 and can’t wait to hear the success stories. I am sure that there will be many!