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…

Cooperation Committee for Cambodia

On Monday, I attended my first Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) meeting. The CCC is a group that coordinates and supports NGO activity in Cambodia among it’s nearly 170 members. What is an NGO? In the United States this is what we would call a nonprofit. But in international contexts the common term is Non-Governmental…

What are YAMEN and SALT?

I’ve mentioned Mennonite Central Committee’s YAMEN and SALT programs in a few posts. These are one year cultural exchange programs that send participants to countries around the world. The two programs are very similar with one core distinction – the sending countries. SALT (Serving And Learning Together) sends Christian North American young adults (ages 19-30)…

First Monday Devotion

Crystal led team devotion this morning for MCC Cambodia. She had us build a house with Duplos without using our thumbs. Then, halfway through, she let us start using our thumbs but told us we couldn’t bend our elbows! Crystal asked us if it was harder to complete a task without using a part of…

Prey Veng Education Program Ten Years Later

On Day 6 in Cambodia (yesterday), I got out into the countryside on my first field visit to see Chhourn Maly at work. This visit was at the Kraing Kaet Primary School. I was the initial Partner Adviser for the education program in Prey Veng during my first term with MCC and it’s exciting to…