We have wrapped up another successful year with Expert-Exchange in Cambodia. Reflecting back it is amazing how much we have grown and accomplished through out the years with such limited funding.
This year started with our first Veteran volunteer joining us and conducting some medical projects, school resupplies, and medical clinic resupplies. This by far was one of my favorite memories of the year. It was good to have the company of a fellow Veteran during the holidays last year, and even more significant was our ability to get out and get to work. Last Christmas we were doing 2 deworming clinics in Koh Kong Cambodia. Following the New Years, we hit the road on dirt bikes and went around Siem Reap province resupplying some of the medical clinics that OneGoodTurn and EE had assessed earlier in the year.
We had a notable project where we requested 60 backpacks and school supplies for children in need and in under an hour the donation was met by a very generous Cambodian. Once we got there, the 60 children turned into 100 children and yet again we had a quick turn around, under a few hours and the donation for the remaining 40 children was met. This is beyond humbling and I am grateful for all the support.
April was possibly the busiest month, with OneGoodTurn's Dr Messer returning on a Fulbright Grant to teach at University of Punthisastra. Dr Messer taught year 7 medical students there, who are remarkably intelligent and well prepared, for a period of a few weeks. Following this, Dr Messer along with 3 medical students, another founder of a philanthropy and donor for this project, my staff, and myself headed up to Siem Reap Province for some outreach.
We were able to fully resupply 5 medical clinics, conduct 6 deworming clinics for communities (totaling 6000k patients) and Dr Messer and the medical students were able to train staff at 5 clinics on how to use the medical supplies that were donated. We were busy and got a lot done that week.
I'd like to thank our whole team (listed above) for the hard work, Rattanak from Trailblazers Foundation for helping coordinate, the Governor of Siem Reap for organizing the towns and arranging the Ministry of Health's support, and all of you for the support.
This year also had an increase with media attention for EE. We were featured in podcasts and also I was interviewed on WCAX. WCAX is Vermont's local news station and we discussed the founding of EE and our role in development for the future.
After this I took a leave of absence for four months after receiving the Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace, which gave me the opportunity to study at Middlebury College for the summer and learn Chinese. This also meant starting to step back and shift responsibility to local staff and our country coordinator.
Returning in September, things were running effectively and smoothly. Which allowed me to make the decision to attend school full-time again online and plan to shift full-time responsibility to our country coordinator.
September is when school starts again for the Cambodian children, and we fulfilled our promises for the 3rd year in a row supplying children with basic supplies (back packs, uniforms, shoes, clothes, notebooks, pens, and pencils). Our Country coordinator took lead this year, and we were able to assist an additional 2 communities. One of them we sponsored 24 children and the other we sponsored 41. This is only the beginning and we will be going further out to areas that NGO's do not reach and sponsoring more children. I am happy to say our Country Coordinator is a rock star and is absolutely a positive impact and role model for Cambodian children. In the future she will be writing blogs on here and taking the reins.
With my lack of daily work in Cambodia, does not imply we will be scaling down operations. Just the opposite, I will be focusing on fundraising and expanding operations. We have a very large project planned this year with distribution of medical supplies from a shipping container to 25 clinics. This is still in the planning and coordination stage, with multiple parties involved.
On a closing note, I'd like to reflect back to the start of EE and think about how far we have come. I'd like to thank every single one of you for your support and contributions. The small monthly donations are our bread and butter, these allow us to think long term and plan ahead. We encourage people to consider doing just $5 monthly donation for a New Year pledge to help us continue to develop and fulfill our mission. Happy Holidays!
Onwards and upwards,
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.