Chab Dai Prelude - Part 2: 2001-2004

Challenges and Setbacks

No successful movement or organisation is without its challenges and setbacks. These setbacks were indeed plentiful in the early stages of Chab Dai’s formation, and stalled the founding group of small organisations’ joint proposal for over six months.

After a number of roadblocks and disappointments, our founder Helen Sworn had a dream about continuing with the coalition, and approached the group of small organisations again. “We couldn’t directly fund any of the small organisations, but what we said we’d do was focus on training, resources, advocacy and development of a coalition. It was difficult telling the small organisations we couldn’t fund them, but they still expressed interest in what we were planning to do”.

The First Member Meeting

Encouraged by the dedication of these organisations to this inkling of a coalition, Helen and Glenn went ahead with developing and formalizing this new and exciting body. “In November 2004 I called up all the organisations for a meeting and shared the vision with them as well as the ‘joining hands’ concept. There were about 25 people there from 10 or 11 organisations”. This would be the first Chab Dai Member Meeting of many, and set the agenda for what Chab Dai would go on to achieve in the future. During the meeting the organisations discussed sharing of resources, strengths of each organisation and how gaps could be filled, the key challenges and roadblocks to organisations in Cambodia, prevention, standards in aftercare and capacity building. At the end of the day, the group was in agreement on the details of the joint proposal, and came up with the name Chab Dai to represent their united stand against exploitation.

Moving Forward, Stronger Together

Thus, Chab Dai and its members began the journey in working together against trafficking and exploitation, stronger and more effective together than alone. This commitment to seeing a vision of collaboration materialize into a tangible organisation that facilitates and creates change is what makes Chab Dai unique, and is not only what determined it’s formation, but is also what has driven the last 10 years and what will bring it into the future.