From Construction Worker to Passionate Community Development Professional

CWS Cambodia | December 27, 2018

I am happy when I work to support poor families to improve their lives (Sarin). Photo: CWS

Seng Sarin, who is 29 years old, is a Project Officer with CWS partner, Rural Development Association. He works in Battambang province in western Cambodia, having started working with RDA as a volunteer in 2009 and becoming a full-time program staff member in 2011. Since then Sarin has devoted his time and talents to many project activities, including anti-human trafficking work, plus support for young child survival and family planning. He is gratified with all his work because he grew up in a farm family in a poor, rural area and so he is highly motivated to help poor families improve their lives.

Because his hardworking and dedicated to increasing his own knowledge, expanding his skills and gaining experience in community development, Sarin has done well by doing good. And, in mid-2016 he was promoted to a Project Officer role to lead a team that is partnering with CWS in the Promoting Better Lives initiative. In reflecting on his success, Sarin cited his increased confidence as well as his other knowledge and skills, like facilitating trainings, workshops and meetings with development stakeholders – communities and duty bearers alike. Sarin added, “I really appreciate the coaching and mentoring from CWS staff.” He noted, too, that everyone values the capacity building and support that CWS offers all project partners.

From their perspectives, senior staff at both Rural Development Association and CWS are proud of how Sarin has grown in his work to mobilize communities for participation. His focus on women and support of their leadership in all aspects of their own development, including their children’s and communities’ wellbeing is especially important. Sarin’s support for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as livelihoods improvement is especially notable – because he knows how essentially important it is to help people focus on the basics, which he does so others don’t need to travel the hard road he did. In closing his chat with CWS colleagues earlier this month, Sarin said, “I used to work as a daily wage construction worker at the Cambodian-Thai border; it was a very hard life. I am so very proud that I have now had the opportunity to join CWS and your partner, Rural Development Association – first in helping myself and in learning a lot of new things to support my own family better; and now to help other Cambodians, too”

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Sarin is now more confident to lead and facilitate the meetings. Photo: CWS

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