This month we have been preparing for a very significant and complex project to take place in September. Expert-Exchange is pleased to announce we will be hosting a medical doctor from the United States who will be here in Cambodia for an initial assessment project. Dr. Messer, from onegoodturn.org, will be assessing the healthcare and medical needs of areas in Cambodia along with options for longer-term humanitarian aid work, combined with educational cooperation between universities in the U.S. and universities in Cambodia.
The role of Expert-Exchange includes assisting and facilitating all meetings and appropriately coordinating proper introductions between parties in Cambodia who can facilitate the mission. Dr. Messer will be meeting with medical doctors and pharmacists in Cambodia who are experts in their field. She will also be in meetings with universities to see if we can develop an education program and long-term exchange program. Plans are to visit other NGOs and mobile clinics to see the differences and what works best between private and NGO sectors in health care. Finally, it is our intention to learn about and gain an understanding of the advances that Cambodia has made lately since the genocide and how their historical and very challenging past as a war-torn nation, has not defined them. I will share more about the results of this initial assessment visit and project in my blog for September. Ideally the outcome will be a long-term collaborative project from the meetings and introductions of the medical professionals in Cambodia with this medical doctor from the U.S.
Expert-Exchange is actively seeking one or more Veterans to join our team in both temporary and more permanent situations. The amount of time and effort is flexible. If you have a sense of adventure and a desire to serve humanitarian causes, please consider adding your name by signing up on our website or contacting me directly, if you prefer. Sponsorship for travel to Cambodia, with lodging covered, is anticipated to be available in the near future. We encourage you to contact us soon if your interest and availability is aligned with this opportunity.
Expert-Exchange was founded in 2014. As the founder, I have been in Cambodia since that time paving the way for other Veterans to join. The model with Expert-Exchange is built around the idea of Veterans using their skillsets and desire to continue to serve for the purpose of doing humanitarian work. We anticipate that after the project with the medical doctor, and sponsorship of a Veteran to join us in 2018, the true reason Expert-Exchange was founded will come to life. In order to prepare and move forward, we will need a number of Veterans participating soon. For those who would like to step up and become more active in efforts to help humanity, including making improvements to impoverished or disenfranchised communities in another country, or if you can help us get the word out to facilitate this mission, or if you know someone who might be a good candidate to do so, please get in touch!
We have a very exciting project coming up in September that has been in the works for a sometime. All the hard work and planning is coming together. We will continue to support the schools and children with supplies for school this fall.
Expert-Exchange will be working with One Good Turn this September along side other NGO's and Cambodian medical colleges to assess a plan for a long-term sustainable medical project and conduct medical outreach with local clinics this September. More in the following blog to come on details!
In the beginning, the road less traveled can be hard and confusing sometimes on how to navigate. The idea for Expert-Exchange to become a model of the "Peace Corps" for Veterans is still just this, an idea. Right now, we have been using volunteers from all over the world in Cambodia to help with our projects, but have yet to have a Veteran join us. As the Founder and a Veteran myself, this concerns me some. I have been laying the ground work for two solid years now and have not had my vision come to fruition yet. The main set-back is funding, with the airfare from the United States or other locations being relatively expensive.
Here is the thing though, I am 100 percent sure there are Veterans right now who want to help and who are more than willing to come here to Cambodia. There are Veterans who have completed their time in the military and still desire that sense of purpose beyond themselves again and who would desperately thrive on the adventure of a new mission. This mission would be different. It would be not of that with war, but quite the opposite. This mission would be to aid humanity - specifically in Cambodia – by helping develop the country post-war. The implications of this idea are powerful for many reasons. It has multiple positive outcomes including preventing suicide and post-military negative transition; provide meaningful assistance to a developing country with positive culture exchanges between our countries; and, ultimately to be part of contributing to the better aspect of humanity and providing for human needs.
Veterans have tremendous discipline already and are ideal candidates for humanitarian work. I really believe that this is an untapped demographic for aid work, because it is such a natural transition minus the weapons.
What will we be doing in the future to make sure this idea is not just that, an idea. We will start looking for Veterans to sign up for a waiting list and apply for future projects. We will be seeking partners and donors to get this from a concept to reality. Last, we will also be seeking to work with experts to have long term sustainable projects that truly provide enrichment to the country and not just the volunteers.
As the Founder of Expert-Exchange I thank the support from the rear that I have at this time. This support is instrumental to the success of this organization. What I am challenging and looking for is that fellow Veteran who believes in this as much as I do to come join me and make this happen. We can lead the way to creating an organization for our brothers and sisters to find that sense of purpose again and also we will be helping with big problems in the world. Do you want to help? Reach out to us and let us know how you want to get involved!
April has been a month full of outreach and meetings. While back in the United States for a couple months, we went to Washington D.C and met with a few groups and politicians for discussions about Expert-Exchange and to gain support for using Veterans to participate in humanitarian work. We have since developed a solid business model using Veterans along-side experts to complete several types of humanitarian projects.
In the future, we will be continuing to reach out to politicians and other Veteran groups to propel Expert-Exchange to the next level. We have recently been applying for grants and seeking new, larger donors to support our mission. This July we have plans to host and collaborate with a group of medical doctors to assess needs and provide aid in Cambodia while considering a longer-term impact project. Efforts to promote and engage with Veterans are coming to fruition and we are getting increasing interest from volunteers to join Expert-Exchange with humanitarian tasks in Cambodia.
What's next? -- Implementation of these projects in order to grow at a pace that continues to allow for more projects and successes! At this juncture, we are at a very pivotal point and will be going from grass roots to the next step soon. This is all very exciting and we appreciate your generous support!
We went out to Chi Kreng district in Cambodia the other day to check in on progress with water access and schools. We are pleased to see more and more families getting access to water. Access to water greatly improves their life and allows them to also plant small gardens for their families.
We were able to deliver around 1,000 notebooks to Beno Primary School and will provide the 250+ kids with materials for the whole school year. On top of that we had a fun surprise planned for the children. We were able to introduce music to their studies and provided them with a speaker and microphone to use. This will give them the opportunity to have events and use it for other school functions. In Cambodia the public schools do not have music or arts apart of their studies. We thank all the generous donors that allow this to happen and the people who volunteer their time helping. Below is a video of the fun!
Executive Director's Blog
Follow Macie through SE Asia as he embarks on a humanitarian adventure and assists inspirational individuals to improve their life quality.