Urban Voice Cambodia’s workshop

Urban Voice Cambodia invited me to give a speech on its workshop this Saturday at Eden Park in Phnom Penh. The workshop was to present the website to different people and to explain the role of urban voices on the development of a city like Phnom Penh. The name of the activity was “The city speaks!” Continue reading

Distributing development

A bigger Kep

A bigger Kep Province would mean a lost of about 25% of the Kampot territory, especially all the east area bordering Vietnam. Kompong Trach, Tus Meas and Angkor Chey would become a part of Kep.

Development is a very complex process that depends from many factors: from the political will to the compromise of enterprises, the foreign investment and the human resources and how people get the opportunities to improve their standard of life. Planning plays a very important role on it and it does not come from a single brain, especially it should not come from a single social group willing to impose their own conceptions of society or protecting their group’s interests. Territory administration is one of those elements that can play a good role in the way development is promoted in a population. In many occasions, territorial distribution must be altered in order to promote such development process.  Continue reading

Bill Gates breaking myths on poverty

The annual letter of the Bill & Mellinda Gates Foundation is an excellent start for this year in our commitment to reduce poverty in a country like Cambodia through the means of education. In “3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor”, Gates explains how some preconceptions reduce the capacity of supporting poor communities to overcome poverty. The first myth is that poor countries remain poor, the second is that foreign aid is a big waste and the last one is that saving lives leads to overpopulation.

Read more in Don Bosco Kep.

Risks of rising the minimum wage?

Sihanoukville. 8 days after the crackdown on garment factory workers and opposition rallies in Phnom Penh, Cambodia seems normal this weekend. The national television continues its regular programs showing Thai and Korean soft operas, karaoke videos and news about curious things in the West like the polar freezing in US or “national news” like the January 7′s Liberation Day Anniversary to remember when Pol Pot and his cronies were defeated and Cambodia got a new birth. The crackdown is mentioned in the television programs of course, such as to announce that factories are  filling cases in court against trade unions for “incitement to strike, damage to property and assets”, according to Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia… Continue reading at Asian Correspondent…

Colonialism, war and aid dependence in Cambodia

Cambodia is a great case for study topics such as technologies appropriation and social change. We have a country that was few decades ago the scenery of violent tensions and now is struggling to recover its lost time by joining globalization. Even we have several objections, it is true that its economy is growing and much has been done in the last ten years in Cambodia. Therefore, we need a constant flow of analysis that any policy maker shouldn’t refuse, not inscribing in any monolithic conception of development. When we talk about growth and social change, we must know the distinction behind these two terms, used as synonyms by certain sources. M. Gillis, D.H. Perkins, M. Roemer and D.R. Snodgrass (1983) give us a good definition of it:  Continue reading

Good wishes during the Khmer New Year 2556

It is the first week of the Cambodian year 2556. Unlike Thailand that uses the Theravada Buddhist calendar every where, from the press to official documents, Cambodia seems more attach to the Gregorian Christian calendar. During the new year eve – last April 13 – I got several messages wishing a new Khmer year 2012!  Continue reading

Digital volunteers?

This week we were reflecting about volunteer work that, most of the time, means to move from your own country or region and spend time far from home in another culture. This morning of Saturday I had with my students of communication a video conference offered by a Colombian photojournalist from Medellín, Diego Andrés Sánchez-Alzate. He made a valuable introduction to photography and photojournalism for those who love it, by showing his own works on Flicker. Photography is a composition and a story told by images, colors, lights and textures, he mentioned, while photojournalism is a careful attention to events. Thanks to the Skype, 18 Khmer students of communication could enjoy the exposition of a young Colombian journalist, far from them more than 18 thousand kilometers (11 thousand miles.) Diego offered his conference, then it is also a great way to be a volunteer online. Just you need a computer, Internet connection, someone ready to translate and the will to share with other communities in any corner of the planet.

The new Lok Yeay Mao Monument is 29 meters tall

The size of the monuments we build, talk about the size of the development we want. You can find huge monuments in industrialized countries representing their ambitions (see the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of the Liberty or historical places like the Pyramids of Egypt, the Chinese Wall and even the Angkor Temples.)

What is under construction in Bokor Mountain is historically huge too. Continue reading

From the first generation of Don Bosco reporters

From the first generation of Don Bosco reporters

Khuon Narin, a member of the first generation of students of social communication in Don Bosco Sihanoukville, continues at The Cambodia Daily. In October 2007 I open a simple school of journalism in the former sewing section with 12 young men from rural areas. Thanks to all those who did support and are supporting the developing of the Cambodian media with a social ideal.

Koh Puos, the Snake Island of Sihanoukville, has a bridge to development

Where there are not ethical principles, it is hardly to expect an authentic development.

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.
Albert Einstein

Read more: RFA: ‘Russian Pedophile Pardoned On Government Request

Social Communication past pupils meeting in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville. Cambodian TV Journalist Huy Bunleng, invited to the second Don Bosco social communication and journalism past pupils, is among Kin Kroch, senior leader of the Don Bosco association of past pupils and Albeiro Rodas, director of the social communication project of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia last Friday evening. Some past pupils give a gift to Kroch. Down some beach children of Sihanoukville and the next photo is of a Don Bosco student of TV camera recording the cultural program during the thanksgiving day. ‘Be trustworthy journalists to help in the improvement of life of your own country,’ said Bunleng to the young communicators. The social communication and journalism section of Don Bosco Sihanoukville was open in 2007 by Albeiro Rodas to prepare sensitive communicators to the Cambodian reality under the ideal ‘Khmer helps Khmer.’ It has already more than 60 past pupils. In October 2011 a number of 40 new students will join the program, 20 in Sihanoukville and 20 in Kep.

US-Cambodian negotiations on Lon Nol debt

On March 1970 General Lon Nol assumed the power in a troublesome Cambodia, moving prince Sihanouk from his position of head of state and putting Cambodia at the side of Washington. Technically it is not possible to say that Lon Nol introduced Cambodia in the War of Vietnam, because the situation was already unsustainable, but his goverment opened widely the doors to the worst Cambodian decades in the 20th century. He is so far in history the only president of a millennial kingdom. The Nixon’s administration, by its part, drop over Cambodia about 2,756,941 tons of bombs, a cost that historians like Kiernan and Taylor estimates in 7 billion US dollars. Besides it, the Lon Nol administration received from Washington a loan of 445 million US dollars for programs of agriculture and development in a country that was being bombarded ! Now US wants its loan back. Continue reading

Sihanoukville in Medellín

Well, my vacations in Medellín, Colombia, has not been properly tropical at the best style of what it could be in Cambodia. First, because Medellín is on an Andean valley, more than 1,500 meters above the sea level (4,921 feet). Second, La Niña took umbrage with Colombia (it is predicted that there will be rain all the year). Third, Medellín is really huge (a population of 3 million persons with cars everywhere) and has not yet a real organized urban transport with the exception of Metro de Medellín that, for me, still one of the most beautiful and clean of the world (however, the Metro of Hong Kong is amazing.) The city is building a new system of urban transport, Metroplus, that is expected to make the most modern and organized urban transport in a South American city… we hope. Continue reading

Rip-Off?

This article of opinion by KJK, author of ‘All About Cambodia‘, a perspective of the current problem on land expropiations in Cambodia.

I posted a story in August 2009 about a little village at the junction of Hanoi Road and State Road 5A. (‘Where is all the outrage?) At that time the residents of that village, nothing more than an assembly of wooden shacks in a deplorable state, had to pay $100 per family to get their name on the Sangkat list for relocation. All families on the list made them eligible for a plot of land somewhere else as part of compensation for the loss of their current dwellings. A developer who saw some merit in the location at the junction of two major roads had obviously bought the land. The way this little settlement looks now it is probably a boon for the residents to be relocated. The only thing that bothers me personally is that they haven’t been informed of the new location. Continue reading…

TVKNews| ASEAN Tourism Forum

The ASEAN tourism forum in Phnom Penh has been very positive. Representatives of the Association of South East Asian Nations gathered in the capital to share ideas, projects and plans to develop an industry that can open the opportunities of development to the region. Cambodia is showing with proud its project of golf development. Continue reading

DonBoscoTalk| A Dutch benefactor of Cambodia

On January 6, 2011, Mr. Gerard A.M. van Hal visited the Salesian works of Don Bosco in Cambodia and shared with Don Bosco Talk Youtube program in the Audiovisual Center of Sihanoukville.

Young journalism in Cambodia

At the end of November I had the visit of EFE’s reporter Laura Villadiego, who came to know my project of social communication and journalism in the Don Bosco Technical School of Sihanoukville. She wrote an article about the experience, underlining the fact that journalism is taught in a country that has been criticized for events that put the freedom of press under risk. At the same time, it is an experience directed to young people from underprivileged communities.
Continue reading