In the beginning of January, the All-Staff Training took part in Cambodia bringing together not only Cambodian BOOKBRIDGE staff but also Community Heroes from Mongolia and Sri Lanka. Uuganaa Gantumur was one of them. In this post, she describes her impression from the first multi-national training.
My name is Uugantsetseg, “Uuganaa”. I am the Community Hero of the Arvaikheer Learning Center in the Uvurkhangai province of Mongolia. With the help of BOOKBRIDGE, I have been running an English learning center in my community for the last nine years. This past month, I had a chance to go to Cambodia to share my experiences, meet other Community Heroes, and hang out with Cambodian kids at their learning centers.
My favorite thing about Cambodia was its warm weather and green environment. The seafood and the ocean, especially, were completely new experiences for me. I also think the Cambodian people are so hardworking. They must be so proud of all their rice and agriculture.
The purpose of my trip was to meet fellow BOOKBRIDGE colleagues and to share ideas about our work and how to make a difference in our communities. We worked hard to find solutions for our weaknesses and discussed ways to improve. The training I attended allowed all participants to talk freely about their own challenges at their sites. In addition, the training was very well organized and everything started on time. We talked about the importance of positive thinking and how it influenced the quality of our learning centers. Everyone had something to say on the topic of student-centered training.
I discovered that the issues that Cambodian learning centers deal with are the same like the problems in our Mongolian learning centers even though we are so different geographically and culturally. I noticed that the Cambodian teachers maintain strong and positive attitudes in the face of ongoing issues. Overall, I was very satisfied with the staff training in Cambodia and I learned so many ideas to share with my Mongolian team.
During my trip, we worked hard but we also played hard. We participated in many team-building games and creative exercises. After the training was over, we all went to Rabbit Island which gave us a lot of moments to talk about our centers and activities informally. We all became very good friends. The three BOOKBRIDGE countries keep on always inspiring each other through sharing and communication.
My favorite part was talking to the Cambodian students and visiting the Cambodian learning centers. Every time we chatted, the students were so enthusiastic about learning English at BOOKBRIDGE. They told me that they wanted to make more friends from other countries. We played games, sang songs and I even introduced them to Mongolian culture and life through videos that my students made.
I have always believed that sharing experiences makes the biggest difference! We can change ourselves through quiet reflection and inspire others with our change. This trip was incredibly significant for my own work and the work of the Mongolian team. It serves as an example of the strong connections between the Cambodian, Sri-lankan and Mongolian teams.
Thank you, Sokhan, for managing the team skillfully and organizing activities so efficiently. Thank you, Sanha, who is a great facilitator, and Monika who is very good at leading people to think about the quality of service and student-centered training methods. Thank you to the entire Cambodian team!