Monday, January 31, 2011

Four Frantic Weeks

As mentioned New Years Eve and day were great but all to quickly I was back in the CITA office and it has been the busiest four weeks since I arrived without a doubt which is great I just we can all keep the pace up. First of all CITA got a new member of staff, Kimchhoy who is the CITA project assistant/translator  started on Tuesday 4th.

As Kimchhoy is primarily  to help me make sense of things I was tad anxious of what it would be working with someone so closely. What I mean by that is that in order for both of us to do our jobs effectively I felt it would be important to discuss my ideas thoroughly with Kimchhoy so he could convey my meaning in meeting etc. Now my mind generates ideas in strange way and it is weird to share that process with someone else but what can I say we have clicked. We are very much on the same wave length and I think really understand each other in work context and I think this has been part of the reason for things getting so busy cause now I can fully engage in broader discussions thanks to Kimchhoy.

Anyway just to give a idea of the kinda things we have worked on in the last four week. In the third week we prepared and delivered a presentation for the CITA Board Meeting which was great cause in preparing we got the chance to establish our working relationship. Then we facilitated a Participatory Advocacy workshop in Kampot and finally we have completed the annual report for last year.

Also during this time Bethan from One World Action was doing a study visit, as OWA have been a major donor of CITA providing an operational grant for the past two years which is now been contributed by ATL until 2012. This was great as Bethan was able to provide both me and CITA with loads of information about wider developments in terms of funding and possible future direction and projects for CITA.

So lets see what else happened in the last four weeks:

Board Meeting
Presented Advocacy and Campaign Strategy to CITA Board
Presented Organisational Development Objectives (Based on Crystals work) to the CITA Board
Presented and amened the CITA position paper of Teachers Salaries, Terms and Conditions.

Workshop in Kampot
This was a very interesting experience so I will give it, its own entry.
No smart remarks about my sloppy handwritten especially beside Kimchhoy's great Khmer script
Project Proposals
Submitted project to National Endowment for Democracy fund
Submitted project to the May 18th Memorial Fund 

Attended Meeting with Bethan
This included a very good meeting with British Embassy about project funding the main issues affecting CITA.

Position Paper
Started Teacher Training and CPD paper

Campaigns & Advocacy
Annual Campaigns Calendar approved
Campaign to gain recognition at the Education Congress developed
Attended Chea Vichea Memorial Day
Draft standard complaint form and started database of teaches complaint cases

Somewhere in the middle of all this I also got to go to reception hosted by the British Ambassador (thanks to Bethan) and it was very interesting to see a totally different side of Phnom Penh that evening although I did talk to some very interesting people about teacher training in Cambodia.
The Business Attire requisite nearly caused me some issues until Danny offered a solution  
Needless to say that in order to do all this all the staff at CITA have been working very hard and as of last Friday it had been 12 days in a row. So this week Mr. Rong Chhun has said we are to take some time off which is prefect timing for the Chinese New Year which is this weekend, so begins the year of the rabbit.


  1. The last few weeks look like they have been really busy. I like the invite above to the Ambassodor's residence!! Make sure to get in rest and fun as well as all the work....!

  2. I hoped to see some pictures of that event.... or at least to hear what you had for dinner! Anyway, great to hear you are really working like a rocket and that you have found a wonderful partner. That's even luckier... someone who can keep up with your pace!