There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all

An old Cherokee told his grandson:
“My son, there’s a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness & truth.”

The boy thought about it, and asked:
“Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied:
“The one you feed.”

Source: CoolnSmart

RFA photo

Posted on: August 16, 2016 9:02 am

Orphanages go unregistered, uninspected

Boys watch television at a Phnom Penh orphanage. Sovan Philong

Audrey Wilson, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 25 March 2016

Just over half of the orphanages in five “priority provinces”, including Phnom Penh, are registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) as legally required, according to a preliminary survey released yesterday.

The data suggest that the number of children in residential care institutions is 56 per cent higher than previously estimated.

And until now, only institutions recognised by the ministry have been evaluated for minimum standards of care. A sub-decree mandating that all institutions register with the government was signed in October.

The report, conducted with support from UNICEF, found that while 267 facilities met the definition of a residential care institution, only 139 were inspected in 2014. In the capital alone, there are 69 facilities that have never been inspected, according to Bruce Grant, the chief of child protection at UNICEF Cambodia.

Left unregulated, institutions raise “a number of serious concerns”, including overcrowding, exploitation and deliberately poor conditions designed to attract donor funding, said James Sutherland, spokesman for Friends International, which provided support for the survey.

Preliminary mapping took place in the provinces thought to have the largest number of residential care facilities: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kandal and Preah Sihanouk. (more…)

Posted on: March 24, 2016 11:36 pm

Cambodia suffering a lack of depth in skilled-worker pool

Cambodian children are often put into work by their parents before they finish school. Vireak Mai, The Phnom Penh Post

Ayanna Runcie, The Phnom Penh Post
Sat, 6 February 2016

Kouch Pheng, president of Advanced Glory Logistics Group (Cambodia), is in the business of overcoming obstacles. His Phnom Penh-based freight-forwarding company handles a daily dose of pot-holed roads, unscripted shipping delays and Kafka-esque government red tape – yet still manages to deliver its client’s cargo shipments on time.

But keeping his business running smoothly requires a skilled team of highly resourceful individuals. And filling the roster can be a daunting challenge.

Logistics and supply-chain management are not on the Cambodian curriculum, and the Kingdom’s shallow skilled labour pool can be far more difficult to navigate than any logistics snafu, says Pheng.

“When talking about the skill and development of Cambodian human capital, I believe that in any industry there is a need for hard and soft skills,” he explains.

“So the challenge for Cambodia’s human capital is to have more technical and vocational training in specific fields that the country would like to develop according to its Industrial Development Policy.”

Bobby Fajardo, executive assistant manager of the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh, faces a similar staffing dilemma. While the hotel encourages local hires, it has had to import skilled foreign talent to fill its top-tier positions. Cambodian applicants fall far short in terms of management skills and experience, he says.

Fajardo, a Philippine national who has worked in a number of different tourism markets, says that while Cambodians often gravitate to the hospitality sector, applicants can lack the skills that define the industry’s professionalism. (more…)

Posted on: February 6, 2016 10:37 am

‘Inadequate’ facilities may create school drop-outs

Primary schoolchildren wash their hands at a playground tap in Phnom Penh last year. Research into the Kingdom’s educational facilities has found that 12,000 schools lack basic infrastructure. Vireak Mai

Pech Sotheary, The Phnom Penh Post
Mon, 21 December 2015

Approximately 3 million students in 12,000 state schools across the country are at risk of drop-out or under-performance as a result of inadequate basic infrastructure, according to research by a coalition of civil society groups.

The warnings came following a forum convened in the capital on Saturday by organisations including the Accountability Alliance of Cambodia, the Khmer Institute for National Development (KIND) and COMFREL to discuss youth participation in improving education.

Kao Poeun, executive director of KIND, said yesterday that schools in Phnom Penh and the provinces are facing major shortages in facilities such as fans, toilets, water and electricity – potentially compelling students from kindergarten through to high school to drop out or transfer to private schools.

“If state schools have no infrastructure, the public will lose confidence in the quality of the system,” he said. “The whole education field will be critically affected if the government doesn’t pay attention to reforming it.”

Poeun maintained that the Ministry of Education must increase the pool of funds available to schools to avoid escalating drop-out rates and poor student performance, adding that civil society organisations plan to officially report their concerns to the Ministry of Education in early 2016.

Knorng Kropeu, the deputy principal of a primary school in Tbong Khmum province, noted that his institution’s infrastructure has improved since it received electricity and water sponsorship from a local company. However, he added that this was still not enough to meet demand. (more…)

Posted on: December 21, 2015 3:11 pm