We are excited to have a new team member: Monika Nowaczyk will support us as Country Development Manager for Asia. In this blog post we introduce her.
Monika, who are you? Please tell us a little bit about you and your personal background.
I was born in Poland and immigrated to Canada when I seven years old and I’m proudly Polish-Canadian. However, I have lived away from Canada for most of the past two decades. I first came to Cambodia in 2000 and stayed here for one and half years. Following this I worked in Taiwan briefly and then in Japan in the public school system for nearly four years. I returned to Cambodia in 2006, intending to stay for only a few months engaged in voluntary work. However, I was fortunate to be offered a position with CARE Cambodia in the north-east province of Ratanakiri working on a bilingual education curriculum and teacher training community teachers in ethnic minority community schools.
My initial contract was for only six months, but shortly after beginning my work, I met my husband when he came to support our office IT systems. I’ve now been in Cambodia for nearly 10 years and have no immediate plans to go anywhere. I’ve worked on many education programs as a consultant with a focus on teacher training, curriculum development, program management and assessments. I also started a social enterprise committed to providing fairly paid and flexible home-based employment opportunities to women in vulnerable communities, Cambodia Knits. We currently employ nearly 50 producers and sell products locally and internationally.
Why did you apply at BOOKBRIDGE?
I first came across BOOKBRIDGE earlier this year, I can’t remember how, and I was impressed by its mission to establish Learning Centers on a social enterprise model. When the position was announced, I took scope of my skills and experience and felt I was a good candidate. I was looking to move away from consulting and into a full time position, one which would allow me to have a greater impact through the longer term, in one project. I believe strongly in the BOOKBRIDGE model and the work I will be doing ties together my passion and experience in education and social enterprise.
What will your tasks be at BOOKBRIDGE? What are your plans for the next months?
I will responsible for moving BOOKBRIDGE into our third country, Sri Lanka, and for supporting the country managers in Mongolia and Cambodia. The next few months will see me traveling a lot! Locally I will try to visit the Cambodian learning centers to learn about their challenges and operations. I will also visit Sri Lanka to do research in preparation for our first learning center and leadership program and I’ll be visiting Mongolia in October to get first hand experience of the CAP6 team as they establish a new center in Selenge.