Chab Dai Library with Soparith, me, and Sithy
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:
A hop and a TukTuk ride away, I arrived at the large red gates of Chab Dai. On 23 February 2012 I spent the day with Chab Dai’s office, staff, and one of its many members and beneficiaries, Sunshine Cambodia.
The day began with an overview of Chab Dai and its many projects and programs with Helen, International Director, Tania, International Communications Director, Sithy, Coalition Director, and Soparith the Project Manager of Doorsteps (the project listed on GlobalGiving). The Doorsteps program is used to empower leaders in the community through training in capacity building, organizational development, and activity in the community. It has gone through phase I and II (which is on the GG site), and now due to its success and impact for its members’ work in communities – Doorsteps has moved to Phase III.
After meeting the staff, observing the incredible library - and shared resources - we went off to visit one of their beneficiary organizations, Sunshine Cambodia. Sunshine was one of the first organizations to participate in the Doorsteps program - back when it was in Phase I. I was able to hear from the Director, Channy Nop, how Sunshine has grown and developed due to the Doorsteps Program. Although, it is a never ending growing process for the organization - because of Doorsteps they went from identifying the needs for local impoverished families and children on the streets but having no business plan, to developing the business plan, financial accountability, a thorough due diligence, and now not just providing an educational outlet for local impoverished youth but also a holistic support system including an effective community and family support program. Channy shared how Chab Dai may be demanding and stringent on its due diligence, training, and assessment process (with the organizational assessment toolkit developed by Chab Dai), the impact has helped them (1) identify gaps in their structure and programs , (2)create plans of action to address these gaps, and (3)solve them.
Due to the Doorsteps program, many community leaders have been able to bring their ideas for solving community issues to fruition. I was able to witness and experience the impact of this program to change the system of wasted resources, repetition in lessons learned, and a plethora of people with great solutions to serious community problems failing to bring them to life - to now leaders and organizations can learn from past mistakes, share their resources, and adopt best practices in order to focus on what really matters - their community support.
Doorsteps was just one of the many projects Chab Dai spearheads - all of which are creating a network of effective and impact change-agents in society to focus on human rights, child and trafficking victims care. I found them to be trusted not only within the organizations, but also in the community, and even within law enforcement and government.
An interesting fact you may have not known, was that before Chab Dai moved to its new location, the building was used by a “Recruiting Agency” to “domestic train” women and send as “House Helpers” to various areas throughout Southeast Asia. The barbed wire along the outer gate was used to keep women in…not keep thieves out. Now Chab Dai, a force for protecting humanity from human trafficking and the sex trade, has taken over the location – a great metaphor of their impact to tackling human rights perpetrators.
For more details and pictures about my visit please visit: JacquelineInTheField