Archive for the Cambodia Category

War and Landmines: I Only Saw the Survivors

Posted on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

As Concern Worldwide draws its programs in Cambodia to a close after 23 years, Senior Health and HIV Advisor, Breda Gahan, recalls some of her experiences there in more turbulent times

Breda Gahan of Concern meets 14-year-old Breda Huot, who was named in her honor, in Kompong Speu, Cambodia.

Breda Gahan of Concern meets 14-year-old Breda Huot, who was named in her honor, in Kompong Speu, Cambodia.

Twenty-three years on, it’s a different country entirely

Back in 1991, there was a lot of insecurity. While a peace agreement was signed in Paris, the country was still marred by warfare. Working conditions were difficult. We set up office in the Monorom Hotel in Phnom Penh and for the next three years I spent there, change in the country was always evident.

While my job was in Cambodia, I first traveled to Thailand to better understand not only Concern’s work in the refugee camps, but also what people felt about returning to Cambodia. When I reached Aranyaprathet town in eastern Thailand where the Khmer refugee camps were mostly located, I could hardly believe the size of the “camp cities.” I had never seen anything like it. The camps, at that time more than a decade old, had a sense of order. However, as permanent as they felt, you could sense people’s enthusiasm to return home.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Cambodia’s Rice Banking System

Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

By Moire O’Sullivan, Assistant Country Director Programs, Concern Worldwide Cambodia

Today, Dok Sareth went to the bank. He came home with a bag of rice.

“Before the rice bank was set up, I had to borrow rice seed to plant my rice crop,” Sareth told me on a visit to his village.  “Every time I borrowed, I had to repay the loan with a 100 percent interest rate.  Now because of the rice bank set up with Concern’s support, the villagers can help each other and the interest rate is much more affordable.  It has made a huge difference to my life and I am extremely grateful.”

Local farmer Dok Sareth proudly shows off his rice bank. Conor Wall / July 2011 / Pursat, Cambodia

The people who Concern works with in Cambodia depend heavily on rain-fed rice production for their income. They are rural farmers who grow and sell rice on the small amounts of land that they own. Those without land work on other farmers’ paddy fields for a small daily allowance. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Cambodian Mother of Five Becomes an Agent of Change

Posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010 at 6:00 am

Mrs Sokhom pictured feeding the chickens that managed to provide her with a lifeline. Photo: Cambodia, Concern Worldwide

I have been in Cambodia for just nine months now, and the hectic nature of the lifestyle in Phnom Penh is matched only by the sheer volume of work that needs to be tackled on a weekly basis.

Then again, I have come to expect this when working with Concern, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is easy, particularly in an office-based role such as mine, to get immersed in the Mekong-like flood of different things coming across your desk. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share