Sri Lanka goes to Cambodia

Satheesh (right) with Sokhan, Country Manager Cambodia
Satheesh (right) with Sokhan, Country Manager Cambodia
I am Satheeshraj, the administration assistant at Bandarawela Learning Centre in Sri Lanka. I have been working at this learning center since its initiation. This is the first time I got a chance to participate in an overseas training programme in Cambodia.

It was the first time I got a chance to participate in an All-Staff Training of the BOOKBRIDGE family. I was looking forward with excitement to meet everyone and gain knowledge.

I arrived at Phnom Penh airport on 15th September 2018. Sothika picked me at the airport. We travelled to Ang Tasom by a taxi. This was my first time to Cambodia. I watched the surrounding with amazement and asked Sothika many questions about the country. After 2 hours he dropped off me at the home stay which is a beautiful place for any tourist to stay.

Computer room in Ang Tasom learning center
Computer room in Ang Tasom learning center
I started my work with Sothika on September 17 September and was there until the 21st. It was a good experience for me to learn from each other. We discussed about our exchange program plan on the 1st day and he asked me to support with video editing, home group network, computer software management and software installation.

Sothika took me to his micro learning centers. The micro approach is really a very good idea. It gives easy access to students. And also a good marketing tool where everyone can learn about BOOKBRIDGE. Through this Micro Centres Sothika has spread his network and given opportunity to more community members to get involved in BOOKBRIDGE activities.

Sothika (left) and Satheesh (right) cook with students
Sothika (left) and Satheesh (right) cook with students
One afternoon, I cooked Sri Lankan food with the staff and the students who joined the afternoon class. They enjoyed cooking and tasting completely strange curry flavours.

All-Staff Training
From 22nd to 25th I got the opportunity to participate in the All-staff training. It was a very good opportunity to mould me since it was my first ever training with BOOKBRIDGE. I met all the Cambodia team members starting from the Country Manager to teaching staff. Among them, I met this special person who is a photocopy of Carsten. He is Sokhan, the Country Manager of Cambodia. I was impressed with his dedication and commitment. He organized the AST very well. I thank Sokhan for all his support and friendliness. It was a pleasure working with Sokhan.

The first 2 days were sharing experience and teachers were trained. Mr.Bob, the trainer, explained how to handle student-centered learning. It was so helpful. He gave tips to understand the way teaching to student without using their native language. He shared some Teaching Material ideas.

Reflecting on the quality framework
Reflecting on the quality framework
3rd day was the Review of the Learning Center Quality Framework done by Monika, Development Manager at BOOKBRIDGE. It was a recap and reflection session. It was the first time I was involved in the Quality Framework session and it was very useful for me to take back to my learning center. She gave us a very clear picture about Quality Framework.

Sokhan did a Goal-Setting session. He explained how to set goals and how to achieve the goals. He asked us to pick a goal for this year and we picked our own goal. We discuss about them. It was wonderful to sit and think for a goal.

Cambodian staff after the training
Cambodian staff after the training
Reflection sessions in Kampot
After 3 days of workshops, we went to Kampot region for the reflection session. We talked about our workshops and the importance. I got the opportunity to meet Roman, ex-fellow at Tonloab learning center, again after having met him in Sri Lanka. After the reflection we went to the beach to relax. When we arrived there, it was heart-breaking to witness the rubbish dumped in the sea shore. It was an instant decision made by Sokhan and the team to clean the beach and it was a great success and a satisfactoring day.

Working at Siem Reap Learning Center
On the 25th night, I began another journey to Siem Reap with Sokhan and Kim to fulfill the 3rd phase of my tour. From 26th To 29th I worked with Kimson at his learning center in Siem Reap. On the 1st day he gave me a clear picture about his center and introduced his staff to me. He was very much interested in sharing his activities and updates. He asked me to support him to fix the saver which he got from Swisscom. We tried a lot but we couldn’t trace the installation CD. Together, we installed windows and software to the laptops. Kim took me to every class and introduced me and he gave me a chance to talk with his students. It was amazing.

Kim invited me to his home for many meals. Also, I cooked Sri Lankan food whit his family. He also organized a Prize giving Program and I was given opportunity to deliver a speech about BOOKBRIDGE and our exchange program. During my stay with Kim we walked together, talked about our future exchange program and enjoyed the days.

Within these busy schedules, Sokhan found time to take me to the world famous Ankor Wat Temple. I was amazed with the structures and the carvings.

On the last day I was able to discuss about accounting with Sokhan. It was a fruitful discussion. I met Sokhan’s wife and his cute little children at a dinner.

I returned home with heart full of experiences and loads of knowledge. Thank BOOKBRIDGE and Sokhan for give me this great opportunity. I am very happy to share my experience with you all.

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