Cambodia = Kampuchean

Cambodia = Kampuchean

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What am I doing here anyway?

Hello there, curious one. I am here to tell you about my work.

I work with the organizations called World Education Inc. and KAPE (Kampuchean Action for Primary Education). KAPE is the local implementer of the projects involved. The "Improved Basic Education in Cambodia Project" (IBECP) is an integrated project involving the two organizations. One of the IBECP initiatives is the IT-integration project. It aims at diversifying the presence of
information technology in the teaching-learning process, thereby enhancing the experience for teachers and students. How do we bring diversity to experiential learning, where young Cambodians might explore the myriad ways to wield information technology?

KAPE was founded by Kurt Bredenberg and few of his Cambodian colleagues. (Kurt has been in the country for a couple of decades now, and is quite the honorary Cambodian!) Kurt appears to be the de facto head of affairs, although that is not his official designation. Then there is Allie, who is another expat who serves at KAPE as "advisor -at-large", helping out heads of different projects with any documentation or strategic decisions. And finally, there is me, the third and last non-Cambodian on staff. I imagine the idea is to give Cambodians an opportunity to grow in leadership experience and emerge confident, if there is to be a fully-autonomous future.

Currently, my main charge is to work out an implementation plan for how we're going to launch our "student-run newspaper" clubs at three pilot schools. The idea of student journalism is one that is alien to the average Cambodian. This project is exciting for that very reason because it feels good to know that we are collaborating on a concept that is so very integral to the functioning of a true democracy. And where better to start the culture of asking questions and articulating oneself, but at schools? We're shooting for a late-November launch.

So, I plod away at my laptop, with lots of typing, typing and more typing. This very second I have open a document which, when finished, will be the training module that teacher-advisers will use to train the kids that join this "club." Exciting stuff!

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