EVERY DAY, MALIS AND HER COLLEAGUES WORKS ARE IMPORTANT
BUT NEVER MORE SO THAN RIGHT NOW!
Solar Battery and Covid update below Malis's story.
Health workers manning stations with Malis in Siem Reap town.
Normally providing much needed health services to her fellow villagers at the Village Health Center. Currently Malis is working long hours and battling against the odds with her brave colleagues, fighting the virulent Delta Covid strain, testing and vaccinating the community in Siem Reap.
My name is Malis. I am currently working at the Siem Reap Provincial Health Department.
When I was in 12th grade at school I won a position to teach at ODA No 5 school in Wat Village. I went to my school in the mornings and afternoon’s, then taught two classes of ODA students from 4 to 6pm at night. This was the first time I had a job and felt very proud and happy to share my knowledge and get to know the kids in my community. They were so happy to study close to their home without having to go far as before. I felt very shy as the students families came to see my lectures, but they welcomed me and it made me stronger and more courageous to communicate with the people around me.
This is No 5 ODA school now, but when I taught it was held in a simple roofed area which was a barbers shop during the day. That was where I met the wonderful UK couple who supported my nursing training and living in Phnom Penh.
Mr Leng sometimes brought interested supporters to see the ODA schools and one night he and Shirley brought a man and his wife from London to my classroom. They had founded a UK NGO called H.E.A.L. (formerly Street Kids Rescue) to assist education and health in Asia, and were interested and wanted to talk to me, so Shirley took my class while we chatted. We talked about my teaching and study, and after chatting he asked me, “What do you want to do in the future?” I told him "I want to be a nurse because my village in the countryside does not have enough nurses." He said he wanted to help me in continuing my studies at the Faculty of Nursing. I was so excited and surprised, because it would cost a lot of money . After graduating from 12th grade, I met with Mr Leng, we discussed which was the best university to choose, for the subject of Nursing. There was nothing local so we decided to choose a university in Phnom Penh.
Finding my way to and from my room. market and university was very difficult at first.
Going to Phnom Penh for the first time, Mr Leng escorted me when I arrived, and his relatives took me to see the university and apply for admission, then we went to look for a rented room for three years of study, and went shopping to buy daily necessities, study materials, etc. Mr Leng said it would be very difficult to find a live in university in Phnom Penh, and I was very glad to have his good advice on city life during my studies in Phnom Penh.
Leaving the country side to live in Phnom Penh for the first time was very difficult for me. The roads were crowded with so many strangers driving, and it was really not like living in my village or even Siem Reap. So for the first month. I did not dare to go far, other than to buy food at the market near my house and to school. Sometime I really feel lonely, missed and worried about family far away, but living far away and life in college has taught me to be strong, to learn to live in a new society, especially to have the courage to communicate more with the people around me.
International University in Phnom Penh where I studied.
Such a big building from what I was used to.
The first day of college was incredibly exciting to be able to study there. The first year of college was five days a week . It’s not too hard this year because we only learn the theory, but is has not been put in to practice yet. Most of my classmates know some of the nursing job because their parents are already doctors. So I have to work hard to learn both theory and practice to keep up with the timetable. In the second and third year. It was very difficult because I had to study both theory and internship at the hospital. At the end of the third year of college. I got a job at a clinic in Phnom Penh. When these years of studying for an Associate Degree in Nursing was completed. I decided to return to work at a Health Center in my community outside of Siem Reap.
The new Village Health Center where I have worked since finishing my degree.
I will return there after Covid.
Working as a nurse in Phnom Penh is not the same as working as a nurse in a Health Center near my village. In Phnom Penh we work with doctors, while working at a Health Center, is everyone there are nurses and midwives without doctors. Therefore, we have to be able to do all the medical examination and decide treatment and so on ourselves as nurses. What is also challenging about coming to work at the first health center, is the newly opened health center in the countryside, there is not enough equipment, no electricity and not enough water.
Many babies are delivered at the village Health Center. An ODA teacher receiving treatment for Dengue Fever.
I got married in 2019 and now we have a one and a half year old son. His name is Thorng Panhavatanak . Since my husband is already the director of the Health Center here, he wants to develop it to be more prosperous, so when I was pregnant he studied in Phnom Penh for six months. This was very difficult for me as he and I were the medical guards for the Health Center and so I was working, had bad morning sickness and had to guard alone. That was a very difficult time for me, but at the end we were very happy to welcome our little boy to our world.
It is easy for people in our village community to come to the Village Health Centers and receive services without having to go far for necessary treatments. They receive such as the quality of services, medical examination, infrastructure, other materials for services, especially childbirth, because this section is very important for residents here, as they do not want to go to the distant provincial Hospital.
Leng and I beside the wonderful Ambulance that was donated to save lives of our villagers.
ODA very kindly worked with a compassionate USA man and his Rotary Club and assisted by an Australian Rotary Club and kind friends of Shirley. They raised enough money to provide a 2nd hand ambulance to service our Health Centers. This now takes our emergency patients to Doctors in the Siem Reap Hospital and that saves many lives now. This is very valuable with accidents and difficult births and it also assists other Health Centers patients nearby as well. Before, emergency patients had to travel on a motor bike over very bad country roads, and could die on the way to the hospital.
My husband and I are currently working apart during the Covid crisis, as medical people are needed to test and vaccinate and manage the care of our people in many areas. We wish to serve in any way we are needed, and hope it will all be under control all over the world very soon.
My next goal is to have my own business to earn extra income for my family.
I am so happy to have worked for Mr Leng at his village schools and feel so lucky that the amazing UK couple wished to help me to achieve my dream of being a nurse to help my village people. I also want to thank all the kind people who help to support young people in the ODA Schools. This education helps them to better employment in their future as I have been lucky to receive.
I thank everyone who are helping my young village people. The future will be even more difficult for them after Covid.
SOLAR BATTERY UPDATE Thanks to kind supporters we are almost there with the replacement Solar Batteries for ODA Central Resudential School. Just a little more to raise and Leng and the students will be so very grateful for your help to enable them to get back to using the Solar power.
COVID DELTA UPDATE Leng just informed me that access in and out of Siem Reap has been closed off due to the high transmission rate of the Delta strain. Other Provincial Cities have also been locked down, and movement between villages is restricted. As globally, it is a very worrying situation and vaccinations of Sinopharm are being rolled out with great urgency. All the residential older students have received their first jab and it is now being opened up to 12 and over ages, so those students will receive their first vaccination very soon. Leng, the teachers and students wish that you stay safe from this Delta threat.
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ODA is Reg. No 3275 with the Cambodian Government.
Provincial Reg. No 171 Department of Education Youth and Sport of Siem Reap.
as an Education NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) Non Profit designation.
Accounting for International Development UK (AfID) partnered with ODA in 2014 and facilitated two placements to strengthen ODA’s accounting & financial management. An independent UK accountant now monitors ODA monthly accounts.
ODA is a proud partner No J1068, of Australian NGO, Global Development Group (GDG) who provide a governance role and assist in the areas of planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects to ensure they are carried out to OAGDS requirements.