Chab Dai Member Meeting May 2019

On May 9th and 10th, Chab Dai hosted its Bi-Annual Coalition Member Meeting to discuss topics relevant to the changing landscape of anti-trafficking efforts in Cambodia. This May’s Member Meeting focused on “Collective Practice for a Journey Forward,” with a special focus on collaboration between member organizations, between NGOs, the government, and what that currently looks like and how it can improve in the future.

The goal of these meetings is to bring together member organisations from all over Cambodia working on this issue,” said Shermaine Singh, M&E and Operations Manager at Chab Dai. “Coalition is at the core of Chab Dai, and we gather as a coalition every May and November as a time for us to feed into and encourage one another.”

Presentations from International Justice Mission (IJM) and Children in Family’s focused on practical ways in which the respective organisations used networks and partners to create a collective impact to serve survivors of human trafficking. IJM highlighted its partnership with Outland Denim which seeks opportunities for male clients who need jobs and opportunities they may not find otherwise. Historically, this has been difficult as there are limited services and opportunities afforded to male survivors.

Together, IJM and Outland Denim are seeking to find these opportunities and beginning to ask questions like, “how can we help you, and how can you help us?” This strategic partnership demonstrates one way in which coalition members can use the existing network to provide a more comprehensive strategy to serve survivors in Cambodia by working together.

The value of sharing services and resources, collaboration, and its collective impact is in line with the purpose of Chab Dai Coalition as a whole – to foster a space for partnerships and collaboration as organisations seek to provide the best care possible for clients.

In addition to these presentations, Matthew Fairfax from Kate Korpi Salon & Academy, and the founder of Justice & Soul Foundation, provided an update on their progress. Kate Korpi has a salon and cosmetology academy, which has seen graduates successfully move from their program and into the work force. Over the two-year program, students learn cosmetology and business-relevant soft skills that prepare them to work as high-end salon stylists. 

We want to restore esteem, self-confidence, and create hope,” Fairfax said. Their goal is to prepare students for reintegration and help them get high-paying jobs. The salon has proven extremely successful, but Fairfax reiterated that it “takes a global village” of employees, volunteers, fundraisers and manufacturers. Freedom businesses can be successful, and the salon seeks to make a broad impact and support clients in Cambodia.

 While collaboration in and among businesses and NGO organisations is vital, so is collaboration and partnership with the government.

 Ran Sereyleakhena, Deputy of National Committee for Counter Trafficking spoke at the Member Meeting regarding government data on trafficking in Cambodia. The presentation provided a detailed update on government efforts in anti-trafficking. Specifically, she spoke on key statistics regarding provinces and the number of individuals and countries involved. She shared that the National Committee for Counter Trafficking mainly focuses on four strategies: policy and law enforcement and cooperation, law enforcement, prevention, and protection. 

It’s very important we invited Her Excellency to give us an update on the government’s strategy and the data that they have collected on human trafficking,” said Mr. Ros Yeng, National Director at Chab Dai. “Our work cannot exist without liaising and working with the government.”

While Day 1 of the Member Meeting was full of updates and provided many opportunities to share successful stories of collective impact, Day 2 was just as insightful for attendees.

The second day of the Member Meeting began with a unique presentation by Impact Hub on “Youth, Digitalization, and Entrepreneurship.” Groups like Impact Hub were invited to bring their external expertise and provide updates on the way society is changing; especially among the youth population. These presentations could prove key in developing new and innovative ways to work together.

Additionally, a breakout and panel session focused on bridging the gap between NGOs and social enterprises. A panel consisted of Rachel Dodson of Penh Lenh, Matthew Fairfax of Kate Korpi Salon, and James Havey of Chab Dai. Moderated by Maria Blackburn and Jasmine Summers from Nomi Network, the panel discussed organizational culture, creating a safe environment for staff, the current skills gaps of Cambodians, and ethical storytelling when it comes to business marketing.

In order to best serve survivors of trafficking and exploitation, we must not work alone, but together. Each Member Meeting brings with it the opportunity to learn from one another, connect and collaborate, and further improve and innovate our strategies for helping others. Contact Chab Dai today to learn more about the Bi-Annual Member Meetings.

The next Member Meeting is scheduled for November 21-22, 2019.