My name is Ravy Vang, I am the Community Hero of Salariin Kampuchea Learning Center in Chreav, Cambodia. I would like to tell you about my personal experiences and impressions on my trip to BOOKBRIDGE’s 2018 BridgeBuilder Summit from 6 to 15 May.
Impression of travelling
Even though it was the second time for me to travel to Europe I was still excited to travel abroad again. I took also a domestic flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. I can learn a lot from my travelling such as preparation for check in, to be on board, how we seat on the plan, how to connect to Wifi, how to use the tablet on the back of the seat to find the geography, listen to music, watch movies and read some information and how they serve food to passengers.
We departured from Phnom Penh to Yagong airport, Myanmar to Dubai to Frankfurt. After that we went to the train station in Frankfurt airport to travel to the Black Forest to reach the site of BridgeBuilder Summit 2018. We had to be ready and quick to find the right train track, the wagon, and the seat number. Continually, we moved quickly, that is what we had to do while jumping on the train. Eventually, I and other community hero couldn´t find the right wagon and seat number. However, it was fine because there were mostly free seats. The train kept going and luckily, we found the other Community Heroes from Sri Lanka who took the same train to travel to the summit. I also learnt that I could stay connected with my family and friends through Facebook while I was travelling and on board because my phone could connect to Wifi quickly without any problems.
I felt very tired because of the different time zones that changed from one place to another and we were in a rush from one airport to another, too. We were afraid of missing a flight so we needed to be quickly walking from arrival to departure terminals. But we learnt a lot from these travels.
Experience, knowledge and skills gaining during the summit
After my arrival at the summit site, I participated in different workshops each day. I learnt a lot from the topics in the workshops, from the workshop leaders and participants even though there were many topics that happened at the same time and day. I gained knowledge and skills from the workshops and participants because we discussed and shared ideas between the top management team of BOOKBRIDGE and other bridgebuilders. I learnt how we organize workshops, structures, responsibilities and monitor, follow up and evaluation of topics.
Day 1 – Introduction
All Community Heroes had the chance to introduce each other, where they were from and what their learning center is like. This made me feel closer and confident with other bridgebuilders because we can know each other better.
Day 2 – Science session
Day two was introduced by Yvonne and Bernhard from “Explore it”. They showed science tools that can help children learn through head, hand and signing. It was an interesting topic because if we integrate this topic in our children classes, it helps children for their mental development. During this workshop, I learnt to make a wind fan to produce energy, wind generator power, and wheel motor.
Day 3 – Mindset
This was an interesting topic for me, too. I learnt what is a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and how to improve from a fixed to a growth mindset. Another topic during day 3 was social entrepreneurship. It was very interesting and useful for me as a Community Hero. We do business but we also think about social impact and what and how we could do to improve our community. At the end of day 3, I also attended in a MasterClass workshop. I understood better what Masterclass is, how it runs and is organized.
Day 4 – Summit day 1: Meeting with many people/bridge builders especially my CAP alumni
It was very nice that I could meet my CAP9 team who left the learning center one year ago. I talked to them and we could discuss and share what happened to our learning center after a year. It was a good time that we could meet, talk and share with our progress to our CAP9. I also designed my card board for my project-basic hand washing for visitors if they want to donate.
In the afternoon, I attended the BOOKBRIDGE workshop. I realized the hard work the BOOKBRIDGE management including the Foundation Board and the country teams are doing. Before that, I did not know how BOOKBRIDGE works, how they do fundraising, how they do expenses and how they manage their donations and loans for development. I was very proud of myself to attend this session. The entire team is so friendly, simple, and sharing and caring. I love you all.
Day 5 – Summit day 2: MasterClass presentation
Again, the MasterClass team presented their work in Sri Lanka with Sujitha’s learning center. They shared lessons learnt, experiences, benefits and their challenges when they were in Sri Lanka. I am interested to run the MasterClass in my learning center because it can offer more options and attract more community people to access my learning center. I already applied for the next MasterClass project. I hope I can run it in my country and my learning center.
Day 6 – Summit day 3: Good-bye day to bridgebuilders and cleaning day
After we did great things among us bridgebuilders before and during the summit, it was time for everyone to say good-bye to go back home for work. It was great to meet, share, learn and discuss with them but we felt sad when everyone left because we felt like a family and brothers and sisters. In the meantime, we also cleaned the summit site, houses, rooms and areas.
Day 6 – Visit to France (Strasbourg)
We felt recovered and relaxed after a week of workshops. We went to Strasbourg and its old buildings and city center. It is a cultural and conservational place. All Community Heroes from different countries, the BOOKBRIDGE management team, board, country team and management team had a great time over there.
Personally, I think it was a very good summit and it was a great time for everyone, bridgebuilders, community heroes, and the BOOKBRIDGE team. We all had the chance to meet in person, talk, and share and learn from one another for what we meet, succeed and deal with challenges as a team for solution and improvement as well as great success for BOOKBRIDGE’s future. Everyone in BOOKBRIDGE is simple, friendly, supportive and helpful, sharing and caring. We behave like brothers and sisters. I would recommend for the next summit to invite all Community Heroes because it is very beneficial to them. We should also have separate topics and days for workshops because we would have liked to attend all workshops. Finally, thank you very much BOOKBRIDGE board, management, country team and bridge builders who supported me to do this travel to the summit!