Stories, events and testimonies from an expatriate in Cambodia since 1999. Another perspective beyond headlines and tourist paths.
A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation – Andrew Sullivan
Welcome to I See Cambodia, a blog that was born from my experiences as a Colombian expatriate in Cambodia since 1999. I did social communication and journalism inUniversidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia between 1989 and 1995. In that year I joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. I arrived in Cambodia on October 12, 1999 to work as a member of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia. I dedicated my first years in Cambodia to study the language, the history and culture of this country and comparing it with my own nation, Colombia.
Between 2001 and 2005 I was a student of theology and archaeology at the Salesian Institute of Cremisan in Bethlehem, Palestine. I was back in Cambodia by August 2005 to work in Poipet. In that first year I did several researches on the problem of human traffic and child and women abuse. From that year I began to think that social communication and journalism needed to be developed in the country. Cambodians have to say their own history and look for their own solutions. But we need to prepare them to do so.
In 2006 I moved to the Don Bosco Technical School of Sihanoukville and I presented the proposal of creating a school of journalism for young people from vulnerable communities. The mission was to form leaders and agents of communication for development. In 2007 I could open the school of social communication and journalism with the first group (12 students). The school (hereby ‘section’) is located at the campus of the technical school. With the support of several benefactors, mainly from Holland and Germany, I could build also an Audiovisual center with three studios for radio and television. It was destroyed by a fire on May 9, 2009. Solidarity helped us to rebuild it. Different volunteers have joined my project thinking in the good to young people from poverty who want to learn a skill and serve their country.
The school concentrates in making social campaigns through media to answer to the current Cambodian social problems like HIV, child and women abuse, domestic violence, drugs, child labor, NGO’s campaigns, official campaigns, following news in the national and international arena.
I am looking the possibility to open the school to foreign students too from developing countries and having also scholarship to send our students for short courses in foreign countries to improve their skills in communication (journalism, mass media, Internet.)