Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

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Kammekor
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by Kammekor » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:35 pm

I hate myself for this negative reply, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.....

The government school system in Cambodia sucks big time. It sucked big time 30 years ago.

OK, improvements have been made, but billions have been spent too. I sincerely challenge the OP to think about this before starting a (too large) action importing stuff to support government schools. I have personally experienced how hard it is to make even the smallest change for the good in the government schools in Cambodia. The problem is extremely complex, is caused by flaws in various layers of the Cambodian government, is caused by corruption, is caused by the low salaries of the teachers (although those have gone up quite a bit) but is also caused by elements in Khmer culture, and I could go on. A container loaded with stuff might make you feel good, and will make the donors feel good for sure, but sometimes investing long term in one single school that's willing to make a difference, and is willing to be transparent, makes a bigger difference. Or making a partnership with a local NGO with boots on the ground.

OP, if you don't believe this all, use google and lok for United World Schools. They support schools in places where other NGOs don't dare to go, because those areas are so remote, and the problems are so tough, they can not present pretty numbers after one year of support. Maybe you can partner up with them. They are small, little overhead, and have boots on the ground in really remote areas where other NGOs don't dare to go.
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by explorer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:33 pm

I suggest spend time with any organization you are considering supporting. See what they are doing. Spend time with the people in charge. See what their attitude is like.

Understand they will put on a huge act for you to make everything really good when you go there. You need to see past the act, and see what is really going on.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by explorer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:00 pm

Kammekor wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:35 pm
OP, if you don't believe this all, use google and look for United World Schools. They support schools in places where other NGOs don't dare to go, because those areas are so remote, and the problems are so tough, they can not present pretty numbers after one year of support. Maybe you can partner up with them. They are small, little overhead, and have boots on the ground in really remote areas where other NGOs don't dare to go.
Kammekor: Have you been involved with this organization? Have you seen what they are doing? Could you say, you know the people in charge and would trust them to use any donations wisely? Or is it just an organization you have heard about.

Someone donating goods, but not spending much time with them is not going to have much of an idea about them.

If you know the people in charge, and could recommend them as trustworthy, it may be a good option for the OP to donate to them.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by Kammekor » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:05 am

explorer wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:00 pm
Kammekor wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:35 pm
OP, if you don't believe this all, use google and look for United World Schools. They support schools in places where other NGOs don't dare to go, because those areas are so remote, and the problems are so tough, they can not present pretty numbers after one year of support. Maybe you can partner up with them. They are small, little overhead, and have boots on the ground in really remote areas where other NGOs don't dare to go.
Kammekor: Have you been involved with this organization? Have you seen what they are doing? Could you say, you know the people in charge and would trust them to use any donations wisely? Or is it just an organization you have heard about.

Someone donating goods, but not spending much time with them is not going to have much of an idea about them.

If you know the people in charge, and could recommend them as trustworthy, it may be a good option for the OP to donate to them.
No, I have not been involved with them but I know they have actually build schools in remote areas (and I have visited one) and kept those running for years.

Making a one time donation is nice, but it's not going to make a big difference. But running a school for a few years with about 80 children attending every day does make a difference. Besides, donors have to think about where their donation has the most impact. Some areas are loaded with donations, other areas get nothing.

It's not up to me to decide whether this NGO is good enough to receive OP's goods, but this NGO has loads of experience, they have boots on the ground and they venture where the large NGOs like PLAN don't go.
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by explorer » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:20 am

There are some NGOs which run schools, and do various other things. If you look at them from a superficial point of view, they seem to be doing a good job. But a significant amount of money is going into the pockets of certain individuals.

If you spend time with the people who run certain NGOs, you get to know they are honest people, and ensure money is used appropriately.
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by Kammekor » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:27 am

explorer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:20 am
There are some NGOs which run schools, and do various other things. If you look at them from a superficial point of view, they seem to be doing a good job. But a significant amount of money is going into the pockets of certain individuals.

If you spend time with the people who run certain NGOs, you get to know they are honest people, and ensure money is used appropriately.
I didn't not explain myself clear enough. The schools are actually state schools, officially supported by the POE (Provincial office of education) and the DOE (district office). But the funds to build the schools were provided by the NGO, and so is an addition to the salary of the teachers working in the school. It's very hard for POE and DOE in remote areas to appoint teachers to schools, every teacher wants to work in at least a town, nobody wants to work in the 'deep dark f*cking middle of nowhere', hence the financial incentive. The POE and DOE can't offer this incentive because teachers' salaries are set by the ministry, but an NGO can.

NGO run schools should indeed be treated with suspicion. Any reputable NGO will be there to support the government in performing its' task - providing quality education to all, but not by taking over that task by running schools by themselves.
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by AdamS » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:04 pm

Kammekor wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:27 am
explorer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:20 am
There are some NGOs which run schools, and do various other things. If you look at them from a superficial point of view, they seem to be doing a good job. But a significant amount of money is going into the pockets of certain individuals.

If you spend time with the people who run certain NGOs, you get to know they are honest people, and ensure money is used appropriately.
I didn't not explain myself clear enough. The schools are actually state schools, officially supported by the POE (Provincial office of education) and the DOE (district office). But the funds to build the schools were provided by the NGO, and so is an addition to the salary of the teachers working in the school. It's very hard for POE and DOE in remote areas to appoint teachers to schools, every teacher wants to work in at least a town, nobody wants to work in the 'deep dark f*cking middle of nowhere', hence the financial incentive. The POE and DOE can't offer this incentive because teachers' salaries are set by the ministry, but an NGO can.

NGO run schools should indeed be treated with suspicion. Any reputable NGO will be there to support the government in performing its' task - providing quality education to all, but not by taking over that task by running schools by themselves.
Thank you both for your comments. I'd like to reclarify, the intention wasn't to throw donations from a moving bike at any school we see. The intention from the start was to meet and gain a rapport with schools that seemed open to what we are planning to do, to assess the situation of each school/charity/ngo individually and see what is the best approach for each to make sure that the items are reaching their intended targets. We are friends with a few people running seperate NGO's and free schools so we already have a few recipients we are certain are going to work with us and read from the same page. And no, we don't know the entire deal in regards to corruption and what hurdles we might have to overcome, which is why i started this thread. Have had some very helpful feedback already, this is something we are hoping to build into a more established and regular set up. I understand Cambodia is corrupt, but the charity has successfully laid roots in Liberia/Nigeria/Syria etc so hope is not lost.

I don't agree with everything being said, but all of it is useful in its own way, so again, thanks to anyone who has replied.
'One child grows up to be, somebody who just loves to learn and another child grows up to be, somebody you just love to burn. Mum loves the both of them, you see it's in the blood.' :boxing:
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by Kammekor » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:09 am

AdamS wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:04 pm
Kammekor wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:27 am
explorer wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:20 am
There are some NGOs which run schools, and do various other things. If you look at them from a superficial point of view, they seem to be doing a good job. But a significant amount of money is going into the pockets of certain individuals.

If you spend time with the people who run certain NGOs, you get to know they are honest people, and ensure money is used appropriately.
I didn't not explain myself clear enough. The schools are actually state schools, officially supported by the POE (Provincial office of education) and the DOE (district office). But the funds to build the schools were provided by the NGO, and so is an addition to the salary of the teachers working in the school. It's very hard for POE and DOE in remote areas to appoint teachers to schools, every teacher wants to work in at least a town, nobody wants to work in the 'deep dark f*cking middle of nowhere', hence the financial incentive. The POE and DOE can't offer this incentive because teachers' salaries are set by the ministry, but an NGO can.

NGO run schools should indeed be treated with suspicion. Any reputable NGO will be there to support the government in performing its' task - providing quality education to all, but not by taking over that task by running schools by themselves.
Thank you both for your comments. I'd like to reclarify, the intention wasn't to throw donations from a moving bike at any school we see. The intention from the start was to meet and gain a rapport with schools that seemed open to what we are planning to do, to assess the situation of each school/charity/ngo individually and see what is the best approach for each to make sure that the items are reaching their intended targets. We are friends with a few people running seperate NGO's and free schools so we already have a few recipients we are certain are going to work with us and read from the same page. And no, we don't know the entire deal in regards to corruption and what hurdles we might have to overcome, which is why i started this thread. Have had some very helpful feedback already, this is something we are hoping to build into a more established and regular set up. I understand Cambodia is corrupt, but the charity has successfully laid roots in Liberia/Nigeria/Syria etc so hope is not lost.

I don't agree with everything being said, but all of it is useful in its own way, so again, thanks to anyone who has replied.
Just do what you think you have to do, but use local knowledge, but use local knowledge from multiple sources. One source is no source, and people are usual in it for the interest of their NGO, the interest of education in general, but also for their own interest. And that's where you conflicts will start.
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by AdamS » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:51 pm

Thanks again.
'One child grows up to be, somebody who just loves to learn and another child grows up to be, somebody you just love to burn. Mum loves the both of them, you see it's in the blood.' :boxing:
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Re: Importing of goods via Sihanoukville?

Post by explorer » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:01 pm

When people take things dishonestly, they are not going to tell you. If you wait for them to tell you, you will never know it is going on.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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