Building Trust: An Example of CAN

Banner First CAN workshop in SHV

Banner of the first CAN workshop in Sihanoukville

The Citizen Action Net for Social Development (CAN) is a formal network of open-minded people working to promote citizens’ participation, social development and rules of law. CAN is registered in the Ministry of Interior on 29 June, 2004. The main initiators of CAN are Dr. Yang Saing Koma, President of CEDAC and currently Chairman of CAN, myself and few other colleagues from civil society organizations and government.

Mr. Khim Sophanna and Dr. Yang Saing Koma welcomed participants during the workshop

The vision of CAN is to promote a vivid, peaceful and prosperous Cambodian society and rule of law through active participation and goodwill of every citizen. Its activities have been supported by the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), since 1998, which include: evening seminar, teacher and student forum, workshop, movie shows, youth camp, radio program, library etc. The focus topics are democracy and good governance, rule of law, human rights, liberalism, market economy, freedom and responsibility, entrepreneurship, leadership, self-enrichment etc. The first workshop was dated back to 25-27 December 1998 in Sihanoukville, in which around 50 participants from all walks of life joined. In 2010, following activities were carried out:

Reaksmey Kampuchea

Article in Reaksmey Kampuchea Daily on the first workshop in Sihanoukville

Workshops and Seminars

5 workshops and 19 Evening Seminars were conducted with 820 participants, of whom 321 were females (39% of total participants). More than 70% of participants were high school and university students and 20% are participants from NGOs.

“Owner of The Future”—Radio Program

The radio program was on air in 51 weeks broadcasted via Sarika FM 106.5, 11:00am-12:00pm. The main theme of the program is “Youth and Freedom”. The main characteristics of the program is that it is designed by the youth, moderated by the youth, for the youth and the speaker must be youth till the age of 30 years old.

CAN Saving Groups Network

After the Friend Helps Friends Saving Group (FHF) chaired by Mr. Kok Tha was established in 2009, a number of other saving groups were formed: CAN Youth Team Saving Group (CYTS), Saving for Our Future (SOF), CMC Phnom Penh Saving Group, Saving for Prosperous Life (SPL), Ladies Saving Group (LSG)—RUPP students and Good Friends Saving Group (GFSG). Those groups are incorporated in Friendship Saving Federation (FSF). The objectives of the federation are to build up capacity of each group’s committee through sharing experience and giving feedback and for supplying borrowing capital from group to group.

The current capitals of each group

# Group name Founding year Member Capital Target group
1 FHF 2009 48 10,061.03 USD CAN Youth
2 CYTS 2010 30 2,237.36 USD CAN Youth
3 CMC Saving Group 2010 17 1,983.37 USD CMC
4 LSG 2010 17 1,029.80 USD RUPP
5 GFSG 2010 18 860 USD Social
6 SPL 2010 12 745 USD Khana
7 SOF 2010 21 472.70 USD RUA

Pictures of CAN welcoming 2011 decorated and designed by the youth team

On 25 December 2010, CAN annual meeting was held in CAN office, located in house # 316 D, street 150, Phnom Penh. 26 CAN members and interested youths, of whom 8 were women, participated actively in the discussion to report, reflect and reshape CAN in 2010, 2011 and beyond. The meeting was fruitful and followed by solidarity dinner to strengthen cooperation and sharing culture. Last, but not least, more trust is being generated among all members and interested parties to accelerate the continued growth for ALL.

Dr. Koma and myself receiving thank you and well wishing cards from CAN secretariat members

Dr. Koma and myself are still working together to promote and support CAN and its activities, so that “a citizen led society” could be introduced step by step into our society.


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