How can a beach ball change the temperature of a room? When it’s tossed around at a GDG Partners’ Network meeting!

At last month’s Network meeting in Phnom Penh, delegates tossed the ball and the person who caught it answered from a list of five questions such as ‘describe yourself in 3 words’, and ‘if you had $10,000 how would you spend it?’. It was a fun way to warm up before our program began! Our team of Makara, Phealy, Emma and Peta joined with 37 delegates from 20 different GDG partners for the morning program. The first session focused on social enterprise businesses that support GDG projects:

  • Claire introduced the Happy Kids Clinic, which offers occupational, and speech therapy services for kids and adults in Phnom Penh, and supports the J703N OIC Cambodia project.
  • Lita shared about the Open Arms Salon, beauty training, and tea room, all of which contribute to the J676 Open Arms training and kids club project.
  • Dave sold us on Bloom’s café and decorative cakes, which support the J657 hospitality training program and encouraged everyone to buy a cake or cupcake for his or her valentine!

We always ask our new partners to introduce themselves and the project they represent. This time two new partners were in the spotlight:

  • Sopheary shared about Far East Broadcasting Cambodia’s Family FM 99.5 Radio project J854N and gave partners the opportunity to connect, both to listen to their teaching programs and also to provide content for their teaching programs.
  • Abraham introduced his organisation Development for the People of Cambodia and our project J935N Transforming Cambodia, which provides education for poor students both in Andong Village near Phnom Penh, and in a remote area of Oddar Meanchey Province.

Lastly we heard an important presentation from Rithy, the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) Child Protection Manager. GDG’s two current projects with CCF are the J646 Child Protection Unit and J668 Education Project; combined these projects directly impact over 14,000 children. Rithy has an important role that involves training staff and students on child protection matters. In this session, Rithy explained how he conducted an evaluation of child protection across the organisation. The important principles that Rithy shared are relevant for all our partners because ensuring that staff are well trained in child protection is a key strategy towards making sure our projects are safe places for children. At the close of our program we moved to the rooftop and delegates refueled to continue networking whilst enjoying sweet iced coffee or tea, and a Cambodian rice and coconut dessert wrapped in banana leaf.

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