ODOV Proposal Revisions

On the Thursday and Friday after Christmas, I headed out to rural Prey Veng province with our new Planning/Monitoring/Evaluation Coordinator Visal to meet with one of MCC’s long term partners, the Organization to Develop our Villages (ODOV). ODOV was, originally, MCC Mesang until it localized in 2004. The file cabinets seen in the photo above…

Cambodian Labour Law

I don’t often talk about my work because it’s largely administrative. It’s more interesting (and photographic) to share what other folks on the team are doing. But I thought that I’d give you a quick snapshot into one of my current projects. It helps that Catherine decided to read my Cambodian Labour Law book for…

Rural Primary School Teacher Coaching

Early in December we went on field visits to three schools in rural Prey Veng province. I shared a bit about the breakfast program, now let’s get into teacher coaching. It is difficult to be a teacher in the countryside. The pay is low, supports are few, and absenteeism is common. Some teachers routinely skip…

Documentation Center of Cambodia

Last Thursday I visited the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) with Annaliese. She’s a SALT participant working with long term MCC partner Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the Cambodia Peace Gallery in Battambang. She scheduled the meeting with DC-Cam’s Information Technology Coordinator, Morm Sophat, to ask DC-Cam for recommendations on archival databases, how…

Fred Kauffman

This morning I received an email from MCC Cambodia alumni Carol Buhrman letting me know that Fred Kauffman had passed away suddenly. Fred had a long history with MCC and with the Mennonite church, but we feel a special warmth for him in Cambodia. Fred and Minh were the first MCC Cambodia personnel. They arrived…

Rural Primary School Breakfast Program

This was originally a Global Family program that I was put in charge of implementing during my first term in Cambodia. MCC had a breakfast program at a Primary School just outside of Phnom Penh previously but they wanted it to move to a rural location where it would help more vulnerable students. There’s a…

School-kits to Kampuchea

In July, MCC East Coast published a set of cards telling the story of school-kits to Kampuchea. These are a fantastic Sunday School resource that illustrate how children (and teachers) can change the world. In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia (then Kampuchea) and overthrew the Khmer Rogue regime. The new Cambodian government that resulted had very…

Monitoring and Evaluation of Cooperation with NGOs

Last week I attended my first government function since returning to Cambodia. This was a Ministry of Rural Development workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of Cooperation with NGOs. Both of my primary partners from my first term were government entities – the Prey Veng Provincial Office of Irrigation and the Angkearhdei Primary School. I also…

Why Prey Veng?

Since 1981 Mennonite Central Committee has focused much of its rural efforts on Prey Veng province. But why? Prey Veng has, over decades, been one of the highest need areas that is relatively accessible from Phnom Penh. The most brutal Khmer Rogue internal purges targeted the East Zone which included Prey Veng province. Prey Veng…

Who is Ruth Keidel Clemens?

Ruth Keidel Clemens is in Cambodia right now as part of a learning tour. But who is she? She is the current International Program Director for MCC US – our supervisors’ supervisor – but her connection to Cambodia goes deeper than that. Ruth and her husband Jonathan came to Cambodia (then Kampuchea) in 1988. They…