Since 1989, Children Of The Mekong has allowed young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years old to give their time to the children we help through our sponsorship and development programs. These volunteers called ‘bamboos’ help our local teams in total immersion. They make the link between the sponsored children and their sponsors in the 7 countries that we work in. The volunteers carry out audits, visit the families, help with accounting, prepare reports for the sponsors, and search for solutions to better education in our operational area…The tasks are varied and complete; they require a great sense of service, to lead by example, autonomy and a spirit of adventure!
Camille is Bamboo volunteer in Thailand :
“I remember and I will never forget this encounter because it was so moving.
I was at Klona Lan, in the little villages on the mountain. The Sister with whom I work asked me to visit a family who needed help. After few kilometres by car, I arrived in front of the “house”. In fact it was hard to name what I had in front of me. 4 square meters marked by 4 corrugated sheet walls. In the middle, I saw the father, totally paralysed, on a hospital bed. Around him were the mother and their two daughters.
Thongchai had his accident on a work site, he felt down from a building. From that day he became totally dependant on his wife. Meanwhile, they were building a new house. Their dreams flew away. Neither parent can work anymore. I was overwhelmed/shaken up, I tried to hide my emotions. I felt the mother exhausted and sad. What to do with her two children?Trust on solidarity. The strength of solidarity is impressive in the villages. Here, each one helps them as they can with a bag of rice or a little money. Although they are poor too.It echoes a beautiful phrase of the program manager: “Poverty doesn’t stop sharing.”
Now, thanks to Florence, Lamyai, the youngest girl of the family, is sponsored. She is eight years old and she studies in primary school.Besides providing a big relief to the family, this sponsorship will more than ever be a psychological assistance, for the family and for Lamyai whom I noticed weakened by all these events. It also brings a breath of fresh air. At school, with the uniforms, there is no social distinction. Lamyai is as every other pupil, a little girl building intellectually and humanly.”
We are delighted to welcome Kiran Peireira as a Trust and Foundation officer. She is the second permanent member of the team in the UK.
– Where are you from and what are your studies and work background?
“I grew up in India and I came to the UK to do an Environment and Development Master at Kings’ College in London. I have a wide experience in various sectors ranging from education and training to non profit.”
– What motivates you to work at Children Of The Mekong?
“I love the vision of the organisation. I sponsor a 10 years-old girl from the Philippines with my husband, and it is beautiful to see how you can make a real difference to an individual over the years. As a Trust and Foundation Officer it is a great chance to make a difference to a large number of people.”
– What is the role of a Trust and Foundation officer?
“As a Trust and Foundation officer my work is to secure funds for various projects of Children Of The Mekong from Trust and Foundation. We look to building strong partnerships with global organisations.”
After two months of working, I feel better in my current job. Initially it was quite difficult to manage because we face new issues every day. Luckily I have experienced co-workers, and they advise me when I encounter problems. They explain the processes to me and give me solutions if I meet unexpected issues.
Moreover, my boss is really confident in my abilities, so he allows me to me make decisions and manage the sites, and he cheers me up by providing extra benefits. In addition, he always teaches me about the job.
He makes me more confident and committed to complete the work. I am really proud that I have the opportunity to handle the work. We have now achieved 70% of the projects. For my team, we planned to finish them at the end of April!
8th April was my birthday, but I did not celebrate. My girlfriend made a lovely card for my birthday though. She designed the sweet artwork on the card. I really love it.
Khmer New Year is from 12th to 17th of April. I will leave from Phnom Penh to visit my hometown to celebrate the holiday with my family and high school friends.
Hello everybody! Hope you are doing well. I’m very well. I was a bit busy with my work. Even though I’m busy and so tired, I’m happy with what I do every day. I enjoy my work and people around here too. Sometimes they are a bit loud, but they always share and explain. They are very kind and friendly. However, I noticed that people welcomed me when I arrived, but now they are a bit less friendly. I know that being in the group is not easy, and I cannot avoid this situation. I cannot say that I’m so lucky to get a job or this place is comfortable for me. But what I must do is use my potential and work hard. This year, my manager decided to use a system called BNI for the financial department. We have a bit of a problem with it because it is a new program that we have never used it before. It is a good system that makes it easy for us to keep and find data when we need to look at it. We don’t worry that we will lose documents or data. My team and I have a training course every week to understand how to use the system properly. Frankly, I’m happy to know it. Sometimes I use it at home when I have a lot of pending work. I’m a Finance Officer and assistant too. In my team we have eight people, four accountants and the rest work in Finance. I have made friends, and every month our boss has a small party for us to build communication with other departments and between bosses, managers and staff. Every weekend I cycle with my roommates, even when I have to work during the weekend. I find ways to relax and call my parents. I really like my weekends because it is very important for me to get relax and reduce stress and tiredness. I do yoga before I go to bed for 10 or 15 minutes every Thursday and Friday. This makes me feel better and relaxed. I read a book at least 5 minutes before going to bed. I really enjoy my life and what I do nowadays. My family are very happy that I jot a job that I love. I also practice English with foreigners when they come to our company to buy our service. Sometimes I feel a bit lonely because I don’t know anyone here, and it’s hard to say something when I want to say it. I always write it down in my diary though. I don’t contact
Children of The Mekong as often because I’m a bit busy and there is a time difference. Frankly, I really miss London and the people I met when I was there. Sometimes I miss their smiling faces, the food, weather and transportation. I want to tell you something about the weather here. It is crazy hot. It is so hard when I go somewhere in the afternoon.Some people enjoy the weather like this because it doesn’t rain and it isn’t wet everywhere. Honestly, I’m excited that I have a little bit of free time to meet my old friends. Last month, I went to join my friend’s wedding in my hometown. It was an opportunity to go home and visit my family., including my little nephew. He is growing up and is so cute. He loves me so much, and he can speak some words like mummy, daddy, granny, and grandfather in Khmer. My mother sells Khmer noddles everyday as normal. There are many stories that I cannot describe, and it is difficult to express my feelings in words. I’m happy to hear some news
from my host family and friends in London. I hope all of you have a wonderful day and enjoy the nice weather.
I would like to see the spring weather if I can. How beautiful is it? Is it lovely with the spring flowers
As I mentioned in previous blog, I was hired for a job as a site engineer. My team is building three restaurants in a huge supermarket in Cambodia, AEON MALL II. I work closely with workers onsite. I am also in charge of material management. It is quite tiring, but I am happy to make the effort. I have to report the work process and problems onsite to my leader every day.
Luckily, the site is close to my house, so I commute to work without worries about traffic jams. It takes only ten minutes to drive by motorbike to the site.
Although I am busy during the week, I often play football with my team every weekend. We play together and have a good time. We play in a small league. This year, we were not bad because we lost only one out of fourteen games. We have three games more to win the championship. If we win the championship, we will go to Kompong Sorm beach together.
Recently, I applied for a job at a huge construction company, which my friend recommended, for the position of Quantity Controller. I have already had three interviews. I do not expect to be hired for the position because I have less experiences in the sector. Nevertheless, I decided to apply to gain experience and expand my knowledge of the construction industry. In addition, I want to earn more money to help myself and my family because I am now in charge of sending my brother to study in university. Ultimately, I need to work hard and devote extra time almost every day. It is quite tiring, but I am happy to work thanks to my love of it and to my commitment to finish tasks on time.
My family is fine. I now earn $50 every month which I can share to with my family. However, my family always provides me with food like vegetables and dry fish. I feel quite pleased that I can help my family back.
Finally, I want to tell you that I really miss all of you.