Interview with Chris

from Pacha Youth Foundation

Hello Chris! How old are you now and how long are you staying with S.C.A.O.?
I’m 28 years old and I’ll be staying with S.C.A.O. for two months.

How do you like S.C.A.O.?
I love S.C.A.O. I have had a terrific time here working with the kids and getting to know the community. The staff at S.C.A.O. are very friendly and helpful. I truly feel like we can accomplish a lot through this organization. I can see that a lot of good work has been done in the past.
What were your motivations to work abroad?
I am pursuing a career in international development and intend to focus my efforts on improving the standard of living in developing countries. I wanted to gain additional experience abroad, particularly in Cambodia to increase my knowledge and skills in community development. I also enjoy experiencing new cultures and overcoming new challenges.

What made you choose S.C.A.O.?
My host organization, Pacha Youth, chose to partner with S.C.A.O. because they have similar missions of empowering youth. I’m working with Pacha Youth to extend the impact of the organization into the community of Som Roung village by improving their health and sanitation conditions. S.C.A.O. has the credibility and connections within the community to foster a strong partnership.

What were your first impressions of your stay here?
I was impressed at how well the volunteers were coordinating the classes and various activities. The school is kept really clean and orderly and the students show a great deal of respect to the staff. I also received a really warm welcome form the villagers around the school.

Can you give us an insight of the work that you do for S.C.A.O.?
I’m working to strengthen the current health system established in the community. This includes health education campaign to encourage more healthy habits, better access to health care and nutritional supplements and more sanitary practices. Furthermore I’m working to introduce the construction of easy latrines to the community. I also hope to wrap up the distribution of ceramic water filters.

What was your best experience so far?
I brought a group of doctor volunteers to the village to conduct a health assessment and collect blood samples from a group of children. The results were intended to help formulate a future health treatment program. Children and their parents lined up in the school with great excitement to be seen by the doctor. The doctor spoke to the families ran blood analysis and later we turned to the village to give basic treatment and good health advice.

How would you promote S.C.A.O. in one sentence?
The greatest way to evaluate the impact of the organization is by the smile on the children’s faces.