Oriane shares why she chose Cambodia for a field study:
"[Why I went to Cambodia] is actually an interesting and random story. I had decided originally (this is around oct 2008) to go to south east (because of my art history background i love that area), and I had put my heart on Thailand. I wanted to teach english and live there for 7 or 8 months.
A month or so later, around end of nov 2008, I was working at the National Gallery of Art in the gift shop, and a guy came to my register. He looked at me, and asked me where I was from. I told him "French - American". I asked him where he was from, and he answered "Le Cambodge". This is the french version for Cambodia. So I looked at him, and asked him if he spoke french, and we ended up having a 45 minute conversation while I was ringing up people about what I was doing, what I would like to do, and that I was going to South east Asia soon. He advised me to go to cambodia, because it needed more help. And that was it, I had made up my mind on going to Cambodia, because I had met a Cambodian man who had fled the country right before the genocide of the Khmer Rouge happened.
When I left for Cambodia, I spent a few days in Vietnam, and immediately when I entered Cambodia I saw a huge difference in poverty and infrastructure. I had no contacts, so I had sent out emails to orphanages around Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I spent one week in each city, touring the tourist sites, as well as the orphanages. The only one that I found that was completely run and operated by Cambodians was Save the Children Cambodia for Development (SCD). And this is where I decided to spend 7 months.
A month and a half after I arrived in Cambodia, I went to Thailand, and again almost immediately, I was so happy I had made my mind on Cambodia. It is a country that has not developed as much for tourism, and still has a raw feeling to it, especially when you are in the middle of villages.
After my return for a few weeks, I am so happy of my random decision to listen to a man I had just met, to travel to a country and meet people I barely understood. Now I have come to know and love this country. I will always be in contact with the people of SCD, and I hope that in the children's future, we will be able to work together to work and improve Cambodia." 2011
Cambodia: Water Brief
by Sunyoung Park (2013)
Water is a resource that Cambodia has in abundance, but health problems
persist in rural areas of the country due to unsafe drinking water. Access to water is not difficult for most of the population – 91% of households have water within 30 minutes round trip from their house, even in the dry season (2012). However, access to clean drinkable water is a problem for many households in rural areas with 46% of rural households taking their drinking water from a non-improved source during the dry season, and 23% during the wet season (2012).
Typical drinking water sources are unsafe and that household water filtration is a useful but complex intervention strategy for addressing this problem. The impact of this poor water quality is extensive but largely avoidable disease amongst children and adults, large numbers of whom live with chronic diarrhea as well as other water borne diseases such as typhoid. Recent studies have shown between 15 and 30% of children under 5 have had diarrhea within the last two weeks (2012). Particularly in young children these diseases can be fatal if not appropriately treated; with low knowledge amongst the population this is a significant risk, contributing to an under 5 child mortality rate of 54 deaths in 1,000 children (2012). Health services are improving but still limited in many areas in terms of staff and medical resources.
Lack of access to clean water is still a major problem for many people in Cambodia with serious negative impacts Cambodia needs to perform an observational study of potential drinking water sources and identify the problems the country faces in treating water for consumption.