Press Saving Association of Cambodia
CEDAC, a Cambodian local NGO, in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF), started to work intensively with the journalists of the printed press and broadcast media. The idea was born in 2008 by Dr. Yang Saing Koma and myself. And we had our first workshop was held on 18-19 July, 2009 at Kirirom Hill Resort. From CEDAC side, Mr. Him Khortieth, Communication Officer, is the main contact person to his counterpart. The second workshop followed five months later, on 12-13 December, 2009; at Pic Nic resort, Preah Sihanouk province. During those two workshops, CEDAC development program and activities were presented to the journalists. They started to learn more on agriculture and rural development program/concept, self-reliant development approaches, environment and especially the saving for self-reliant concept and experiences of CEDAC and its work with farmers and teacher saving groups.
In a meeting in early January 2010 at CEDAC Headquarter, 26 journalists (of which 7 were female) attended. They were convinced of the mutual saving initiatives. At the end of the meeting, 19 participants decided to save the money together. The startup capital was 125 USD. The informal committee was set up to steer the group until the next General Assembly of all eligible members.
Currently, PSAC has:
– 55 members (including 17 women) and all are working as journalists
– Total saving capital now: 6606.9 US dollars
– Management Committee members included:
- Mr. Veng Sambo (President), Reporter at Nokorwat Radio FM 101 MHz
- Mrs. Lim Thida (Vice President), Reporter at VOD FM 106.5 MHz
- Mr. Him Khortieth (Cashier), Media officer at CEDAC
- Ms. Iv Daly (Accountant), Reporter at Sabay
- Mr. Puth Raksmey Kongkea (Member), Reporter at Phnom Penh Post
It is another example of self-help saving group among journalist, the first of its kind (may be) in Cambodia. In May this year, we had another workshop with them. The topic was “The Role of Youth in Local Development”. The journalists used also this opportunity to hold their first general assembly for their saving association. Since then they have organized several monthly meetings on their own to save, share and more networking.
The approaches of our work is simple: think Big, start small; start with people, who voluntarily and freely would like to join the group, people who understand the concept and agree with objectives of the group, draft the simple regulation together and implement it together and with common purpose in mind.
Based on this example, one could say that more trust and benefits were generated, otherwise the membership could not grow fast like that.