Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Davina “Weltwärts volunteer” 2014

From August 2014 to August 2015

After my graduation it was clear for me that I want to gain more practice working and life experience before starting my studies. My way finally leads me to the ‘country of wonders’, Cambodia.

Now it’s more than half a year that I worked with SCW. After a short introduction in the organization headquarters in Phnom Penh I set off to Banlung, Ratanakiri Province in the very rural Northeast of Cambodia. There I started my work with my first assignment to record the project achievements and lesson learnt in PEM Project (‘Participatory Community-Based Natural Resources Management and Ecosystem Protection in the 3S Rivers’) funded by Oxfam.

Soon I joined my colleagues to the field and explored the villages and outback of Ratanakiri, where I got the chance to interview local people and observe the traditional lifestyle of indigenous communities.

At the end of my 3 months working period in this project one project newsletter with the results of my evaluation was published and shared with all Stakeholders.

 

My mission for the last months and until July 2015 will be in KHM1036 Project (‘Poverty Alleviation through Improved Biodiversity Conservation in Virachey National Park’) funded by EU and Welthungerhilfe.  

My main assignment is the ecotourism program, with focus on Marketing and Capacity Building. This also includes visits to Virachey National Park to map and improve the trekking paths and visits to the ecotourism villages. There we do trainings and support the local people to improve the services to finally increase their income. I enjoy the work close to the local people, as with every visit I seem to understand more of their culture and become aware how important our work is to fight poverty in this region.

But not just with ecotourism activity, I also spent lots of times on the field to experience the other project activities and join workshops about gender issues, nutrition and environmental education to gain knowledge about various topics. Also a research about weedicides and their impact on the environment and the human body was a good chance to improve my research abilities, what will help me in my up-coming studies at University. 

Furthermore I joined donor field visits and got a unique inside view in Cambodia’s nature. To walk and drive through the forest is always an amazing feeling. On the other side all of these visits teach me how important the work of SCW is to preserve this beautiful nature, as already big parts are lost. It must become the interest of the people living in this forest to protect it as without them their life and maybe the life of all mankind is endangered.

As you see though my main assignment is the ecotourism I have lots of possibilities to gain experience in several areas and especially the balance between office work and field trips makes my work very varied.

 

Next to my working life also the cultural environment with indigenous and Khmer living in Ratanakiri is very interesting. I got the possibilities to join weddings and religious ceremonies and live for a few days in indigenous communities.

But not just Ratanakiri, the whole country fascinated me on my many trips, especially the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the deep forests of Mondulkiri and the kilometer wide view over green rice fields in the most parts of the country let me gape for a second. I am very thankful to have the chance to work here, in Cambodia and Ratanakiri close to the nature and local culture, as it will support my professional skills and even more my whole personality.

 

In my private and working life I was always supported by a great team, that not just helped me with the local language but also keep me in touch with ceremonies and cultural habits.

I definitely look forward to the coming months and I am sure that this year will influence my whole track of life.

 

For more information, please contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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