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

Cambodia since 1999, a video documentary

I share this video documentary by Teleantioquia about Cambodia. It is in Spanish, but you can understand most of the story. We are doubling it in Khmer and English… coming soon. A good resume of what is Cambodia, its history, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep and Sihanoukville and how I see Cambodia since 1999.

Albeiro Rodas in Cambodia – Part 1, Teleantioquia, 2014.

Albeiro Rodas in Cambodia – Part 2, Teleantioquia, 2014.

Albeiro Rodas in Cambodia – Part 3, Teleantioquia, 2014.

Albeiro Rodas in Cambodia – Part 4, Teleantioquia, 2014.

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

Poverty misconceptions

A village in Kos Sla, northern Kampot Province. Photo by Don Bosco Kep Children Fund, January 2014.

A village in Kos Sla, northern Kampot Province. Photo by Don Bosco Kep Children Fund, January 2014.

Visitors from developed countries can get impressed by the simplicity of the Cambodian rural families. Such impression can lead to confusions of what is poverty and it is often profit by certain individuals for the embezzlement of funds. Donors have the duty to guarantee that their funds will reach the real needs of vulnerable people and thus it is important to learn the meaning of concepts like poverty, as well as to improve the methods to fight it in an authentic effective way. To measure the social impact of any project is as much as important as planning.  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.

Opposition leaders propose other approach with factories and workers talks

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Deputy Ken Sockha and president Sam Rainsy in a press conference in Phnom Penh on January 7, 2014. The leaders of the opposition party confirmed they will continue to ask for new elections and their support to the workers request on a higher salary. Photo Arjay Stevens. 

Phnom Penh. The leaders of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) confirmed their purpose to ask for the resignation of P.M. Hun Sen and call on new elections, while supporting the campaign of garment factory unions for a 160 USD salary and a reform to the Cambodian rules for the freedom of association. “We are also trying to do is to brake the monopoly of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC)… (…) Normally there should be freedom of association between any factory with their workers. If a company is willing to pay more than 100 USD, why should it prevent them in doing so?” said CNRP’s president, Sam Rainsy in a press conference last Tuesday at the quarters of his party… Continue reading at Asia Correspondent…

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…

A new gym in Kampot Town

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Recently a school’s teacher opened a gym – practically there are not gyms in the town, out of some hotels and guest houses, which are by default mostly exclusive to their guests.  The Blue Star Ping Pong Club is very well located at the river west side, north of the new bridge (Sky Street).  The fee is 3,000 Riel one hour and it has in general good machines plus the ping pong and tennis tables. It is a good opportunity to share also with locals. Continue reading

Visit to Bokor Mountain before the end of the year

When you visit Bokor Mountain, you find always new things.  Anyway, the new development is under way, so it is important to appreciate what is good and to review what should be reviewed.  the road is a snaky way to the mountain and it was built actually over an old path.  In this, there was a lack of a better engineering perspective.  A cable railway could be a great solution for the future and it would have a less impact over the environment.  They are also developing some restaurants in points like the water fall and the Yeay Mao Monument, but their prices are too much high – as the mountain? – so it is not appropriate for  visitors.  With some many people looking for jobs in Kampot City, this would be a good idea to settle a popular market over the top with more popular prices, creating more employment and showing more the Khmer culture.

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14 years paying to Apsara Authority

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6_7zdeBcgY

During my 14th anniversary in Cambodia, I went to see once more the Angkorian temples with the Colombian television, Teleantioquia. Unfortunately, you have to face always the rude behavior of Apsara Authority and its funny policies over the administration of the temples, while many things are out of place. The journalists were surprised why after 14 years of work for Cambodian youth in technical education, I don’t have just a special pass to enter the temples. I have to pay as a foreign tourist. In order to answer the question, I asked the beautiful cashier you can see at the video why I have to pay to enter to the temples. Of course, the girl is not the responsible of it. The responsible must be living in a comfortable place getting thousands of bills per day. Continue reading

Guard of the monks at the riverside

guy at the river side

There is a Western gentleman at the Phnom Penh riverside with a Buddhist monk aspect with whom I had a bitter discussion this Monday. I was a guest at the Colombian television channel, Teleantioquia, doing a documentary about my work in Cambodia since 1999. The journalists asked me to buy two birds and approach the river freeing them. As I walked with the two birds, I opened my hands and let the two little animals to escape to freedom over the high waters of the Basac River.

Suddenly this gentleman approached the journalists saying that they must ask permission from Buddhist monks to film them. Few meters from my place were two young monks that were, by the way, curious of my action. Continue reading

251 new technicians from Don Bosco Phnom Penh

Director General of the Technical Vocational Educational and Training Department, His Excellency Laov Him, precided the graduation day of Don Bosco Phnom Penh.

Director General of the Technical Vocational Educational and Training Department, His Excellency Laov Him, precided the graduation day of Don Bosco Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh – On Friday 30th August 2013, each of the six departments of Don Bosco Technical School was represented by the two hundred and fifty-one students graduating: Mechanical-Welding – 48, Automotive – 46, Electricity – 60, Electronic – 53, Computer -26 and Printing – 18. Dedicated to teaching and guiding the most disadvantaged youth of Cambodia, the Salesian Priests and Brothers, along with the DBTS teachers and volunteers, were there to congratulate and celebrate the students’ achievements; this day marking the completion of their two-year vocational course. Continue reading

For those who think governments should be run like a business

This video of MBA is a good illustration of why governments should not be run as a business and it is of course a great temptation, especially in our time of globalization. Common good is the purpose of any government – it is the ideal – while business is made in order to get profits. A government thinking its citizens such as customers or shareholders is then far from the real purpose of it.

Kep Province Governor presided Don Bosco Kep Graduation Day

Kep Governor Khen Satha gives the certificate to Lyheng, Front Office senior graduating. At the center Fr. Albeiro Rodas, Don Bosco Technical School Kep's Rector.

Kep Governor Khen Satha gives the certificate to Lyheng, Front Office senior graduating. At the center Fr. Albeiro Rodas, Don Bosco Technical School Kep’s Rector.

Kep Province — CAMBODIA – Friday, September 06, 2013. The governor of Kep Province, Mr. Ken Satha, presided the first graduation day of the new Don Bosco Technical School in this Cambodian region, 164 kilometers south of Phnom Penh over the Gulf of Thailand and near the Vietnamese border. The technical school opened in October 2011 to attend young people from Kep, Kampot and Takeo provinces and began with a group of 40 in the sections of social communication and hotel skills to lost only 4. The group that left at the end of June for training, has been engaged in different jobs especially in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in hotels, radio stations, television channels and web development companies. Continue reading

Why Cambodians migrate to Thailand

Phnom Penh. CARAM Cambodia, USAID and WINROCK International celebrated a forum directed to the private sector at the Cambodiana Hotel on Friday with about 50 participants from government, private sector, NGOs, migrant workers’ representatives and stakeholders. Sam Somuny, the CARAM’s project officer said that the forum was promoted by the official National Employment Agency of the Ministry of Labor and his NGO. The event was also attended by ten workers that were deported from Thailand for illegal employment in that country.  Continue reading

Take care of thieves in Sihanoukville

Hello Albeiro! I send you the photo of the street where I was robbed. It is the same street of the well known Elvis Club. It was about 18h.

Hello Albeiro! I send you the photo of the street where I was robbed. It is the same street of the well known Elvis Club. It was about 18h ~ Mayte

Sihanoukville still a great place to visit and enjoy by sure. But as it attracts national and international tourism, it attracts also unwanted people (including certain foreigners with unfortunate behavior.) For this reason the better is prevention… Warning!!! Continue reading

Cambodia’s Education System

Cambodian schoolProfessor Kenneth Wilson of the Royal University of Phnom Penh brings us a deep reflection on the Cambodia’s Education System in an article at The Cambodia Daily, A System Utterly in Need. The time is greatly appropriate when we are few weeks away from the next national elections and parties are discussing on the meaning of development. Continue reading