Success for I-SAF, As Kreong Youth Engages With Community Development

In July 2016, 20 year-old SreyMom - from the village Ta Heuy in the Teun commune, Koun Moum district - was selected for the position as Community Accountability Facilitator (CAF), having applied through CISA's Implementation of Social Accountability Project (I-SAF). SreyMom is of Kreong ethnicity and currently studying at Grade 11, with a passionate interest in social work.

As part of her position as a CAF, SreyMom has participated in training focused on ‘Implementing the Social Accountability Framework’, ‘Information for Citizens’ (I4C) - which includes access to information and an open budget - and ‘Citizen Monitoring and Support Action for Change’. As a result of what she has learned, SreyMom is more able to fulfil her role as a CAF by raising awareness of and improving the services provided within the communes (such as within the Health or Education sectors). Moreover, through her training with I-SAF, SreyMom believes that she has become significantly more independent and decisive, and as a result valuable to the people within her commune.

In particular, her studies on gender equality and women’s rights have had notable impact on SreyMom’s life, as she has been able to further appreciate the importance of equal opportunities and accessibility within her school and community. She has, furthermore, put this understanding into practice within her own home as now she shares the household chores with her parents - which is a significant step away from the traditional Khmer culture, where daughters remained predominately within the home, carrying out the daily housework. Overall, through her experiences and training as a CAF SreyMom has steadily built her confidence, enabling her to assuredly facilitate meetings, consult, present, and solve problems within the target communities.

Moreover, through the I-SAF activities she has proven herself to be a dedicated local leader and role model for other youths in the area - taking responsibility for the distribution and coordination of information; the completion of the community score-card and assessment; acting as an interface during important meetings and presenting the role of CAF, all during the district and provincial annual Stakeholders workshop. SreyMom has thoroughly embraced the opportunity to develop new skills and experiences, taking pleasure in sharing her newfound leadership capabilities and knowledge with all those around her. In fact, she claims to have noticed a substantial change amongst those whom she has helped to train - with many youths now showcasing improved communication, empathy and respect towards each other and within their own communities.

As a consequence of her efforts, SreyMom has been recognized by her community, local authorities, NGOs and the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) as a qualified youth activist, and therefore, will be provided the opportunity to expand on and facilitate even more I-SAF activities within target communities.

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