Siem Reap Citizens for Health, Educational and Social Issues.

Citoyen(ne)s de Siem Reap pour la Santé,

de l'Education, et Questions Sociales.

Brief History

This local citizen's organization (NGO) first met on 29 Feb., 2000 when Mr. Mok Vanna of Siem Reap organized a small group to discuss questions about HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and related matters. At that organizational meeting, Dr. Ian Lubek, a visiting researcher from Canada, summarized the views expressed in interviews of by a sample of 13 older citizens (30-59 years of age). These touched on: HIV/ AIDS, education, tourism, and health issues, and included a) the difficulties in communicating by computers, phone, fax concerning such issues; b) unaffordable pricing of drugs, and lack of medical and educational supplies and equipment; c) poor salaries for teachers and doctors in the public service; d) how to protect the community from the HIV/AIDS epidemic as increasing numbers of tourists arrived in Siem Reap.

Based on these discussions, it was agreed that Dr. Lubek and other international consultants to the group, would help explore ways to fund improved communication, education, and health facilities, and to increase networking among citizens, medical personnel, educators, NGOs and other knowledge and material resources in Siem Reap, Cambodia and internationally. In 2001, a small grant was received from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a conference was organized at the Sofitel Hotel on Mar. 4, 2001.

The meeting was chaired by Dr. Kros Sarath of the Director for Siem Reap of the National AIDS Programme, who substituted for Dr. Dy Bun Chhem, Director of the Health for Siem Reap Province. Representatives from our NGO attended with about 60 additional representatives of NGOs, government agencies for health, women's affairs, and HIV/AIDS, representatives of hospitals, orphanages, clinics, educational outreach programmes, and the management of large hotels (the leading Siem Reap industry). Dr. Kros Sarath gave a detailed statistical description of the problems facing Siem Reap Chaired Dr Lubek and Dr. Mee Lian Wong, National University of Singapore, followed the many speakers from Siem Reap, each on a topic focused upon confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially as it impacted women. Two projects are currently underway: 1) condom-compliance precvention campaign, using booklets, videos and audiotapes adapted for Siem Reap; 2) discussions with various groups in the community about the creation of an all-in-one, walk- in Wellness clinic to co-ordinate and centralize programmes for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, after-care, home care, orphanage care, etc., especially for HIV/AIDS, STDs and related opportunistic infections.

NGO's Goals:

To bring together health workers, educators, and citizens in Siem Reap, supported by international consultants, in order to prioritize Siem Reap needs. To seek ways to match these defined community needs with outside funding sources, government funding, and eventually, local community sources of sustainability. To assist local organizations and institutions improve health care, education and social wellbeing of men, women and children of Siem Reap.

NGO's Structure:

Membership: The easiest was to join the NGO is by attending a meeting (e.g., the annual meeting) and signing the membership list kept by the secretary. Alternatively, a note or e-mail to the secretary may indicate willingness to belong.

Annual meeting: There will be at least one meeting each year, the ANNUAL MEETING, at a date chosen by the executive committee. Election of officials, reports on activities, and a financial statement are among the agenda items of an annual meeting. Changes to the constitution of the NGO may be made at the annual meeting.

Proposed Executive Committee:

1) The NGO co-ordinator will prepare the annual meeting, keep contact with the executive and with members, and sign official documents, grant applications, etc. on behalf of the NGO.

2) The secretary will keep minutes of the meeting, keep an up-to-date membership list, and assist the co-ordinator .

3) The treasurer will keep the financial records, consult with the financial advisor on major expenses, prepare an annual financial statement, and liaise with granting organizations when required. She or he may be one of the signatories of the bank account.

4) The financial advisor is not an elected official but a volunteer from the Siem Reap Community, knowledgeable in business/financial matters, who can guide the executive with major financing issues or projects, e.g., involving international grants, etc. (For 2001-2002, Mr. Teang Kimsan, senior officer, accountant, Cambodian Commercial Bank , has volunteered as financial advisor).

5) The Medical Director will represent professional medical interests on the executive, advise the executive of medical and health issues, and may be one of the signatories of the bank account.

6) International advisors are persons who agree to communicate with Siem Reap members to discuss issues , assist with funding, offer information via email and other means. In 2001-2002, one of the International Advisors, Ian Lubek of Canada, will be a signatory of the bank account, until such time as the Ministry of Interior grants official NGO status, at which time the bank account will be transfered to the Siem Reap executive signatories. In 2001-2002, two out of three signatories are required for disbursements.

7) The work of the NGO may be facilitated by specialized committees or discussion groups, e.g., a medical committee to discuss a wellness clinic, an education committee to discuss outreach/prevention strategies, a children's committee to discuss education and orphanage issues, etc. These smaller bodies can meet regularly, and may invite the participation of executive members. They may report their activities at the annual meeting. These committees can also help prepare grant applications in the areas of their expertise.

8) The International advisors will help in April, 2001 to set up WEBSITES at : and to help publicize the NGO's programme, create links to the sources of information relevant to the NGO, etc.

Executive elected at the meeting for 2002-3:

Mr. MOK Vanna, Co-ordinator

Mr. Iem Sam-at, Secretary