Friday, 1 October 2010

CamKids and One-2-One SMILE Project

CamKids and One-2-One have embarked on another ambitious, but incredibly essential and effective community health development project in Kampong Speu Region. The following short report and accompanying photos were sent to us by one of the directors of One-2-One. Reports of progress on the project will follow as it progresses.

Kampong Speu is the first community for the CamKids SMILe project. We believe this is the first for Cambodia and is another example of successful collaboration between One-2-One and CamKids.

The area is about 1 ½ hours from Phnom Penh and passes through beautiful scenery, which belies the hardship of the people in this community. The nearest Government health clinic is 25 km away, with no public transport and the only moto belongs to the Village Chief. All the villagers we spoke to have never been out of their community. Phnom Penh is another world to them.....

This trip was to gauge community interest and to meet with the Cambodian stakeholders of this community - the Village Chiefs and the local village health care volunteer, as well as villagers themselves, so that we can explain what we hope to do and involve them in the planning of service delivery. In the photos, you can see the One-2-One team lead by Dr Callum explaining and discussing what we hope to do and listening to them, to understand what their needs are and how we achieve the best outcome.

We also set out to have a look at what the dental situation is like and make some friends - show the mums and the children that dentist are friends. For many, seeing foreigners is a first, so it is important for them to see the MOBILE chairs and what the examination and treatment activity may look like when we come back with a larger service delivery team - this created a real buzz in the community. They are excited about the training and the integrated way that we plan to help and work with them. Their faces beamed when we told them that we would run training courses on how to keep healthy - it was a very happy day for all concerned!

We will be back in October for a needs assessment trip and focus group interviews to better understand what the dental and medical needs are and what the pattern of feeding is for the preschoolers, so that we can better educate the mothers and the health care volunteers. This will be a week long visit. During this time our staff will live in the village and be part of village life. In November we will be back with training sessions and in December our service team will commence work with the assistance of the village mums, health care volunteers and community leaders, who we will have trained to work along side us - watch this space.

We are all really proud of this project - a great example of CamKids, One-2-One and our donors working together in partnership for the sake of the children of Cambodia. If you would like to find out more or if you have medical skills and are planning a trip to Cambodia and would like to join the team on some of the visits, please email us.

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