1. Where do you live?

Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

2. What’s your job at Hagar/ how long have you been there?

My current role in Hagar Cambodia is Client Care Operations Manager and I work with some fantastic Khmer staff caring for our women and children as they recover and transition into independent living. I have been in Cambodia since March 2005.

3. What does your job involve?

The main part of my role now is working alongside Cambodian staff to build their capacity to run the programs. Our work is very complex because we work with messy cases. They are not simple, there are multi levels of trauma and issues to deal with to bring complete recovery.I am helping with basic Project Management (boring things like log frames, budgets and reports etc.I also proactively work in building leadership in key staff. A very satisfying experience when they start to ‘get’ the ‘why’ of what we do.

4. What do you miss most about NZ?

Green grass and blue water … and temperatures in the 50′s and 60′s!

5. What’s the best thing about working for Hagar/any highlights that stand out?

Seeing resilient young adults who were broken when they came to us. To see them now with a dream and I know, it is possible for them to reach that high goal in their lives. Also, to work alongside some wonderful staff who are called to do this work and are totally committed to giving the best possible recovery services to their own people who have experienced the worst of human rights abuses.

6. What’s the most challenging/difficult thing about your job?

I am language-challenged! I do numbers, I don’t do words! I would love to speak fluent Khmer, but I don’t, and I know I never will. So, continually working in two languages and not being confident that my English has been correctly heard and understood is a challenge.When clients make unwise decisions and we need to let them go back to situations that are no conducive to their holistic development and reaching their potential. (Thankfully it is a rare occurrence, but it still hurts).

Read the story of Polnath, one of the women served by Hagar.