First GA of the Cambodian German Friendship Association

Participants during the GA

On 6th October 2012; from 8:30am – 4:30pm, 62 German Alumni came together (about 90 persons confirmed) to discuss about the possibility to form an Alumni Association, at Meta House; the Cambodian-German Cultural Center in Phnom Penh. We have also five German guests joining us during the opening ceremony.

Two months ago, during the Khmer-German Talk Conference on 28th July 2012 (82 participants), which also took place here, concrete actions for the formation of an alumni association were identified, and an eleven members’ Working Group (WG) to draft the statute and regulations was formed. They met for three times to develop and implement an action plan, to discuss and propose key elements of the association and to draft the association’s statute, etc. A General Assembly is conducted today to take the ideas and output from WG to be validated and free the way forward.

Objectives of the meeting (organizer)

  • To present the action plan implementation for association establishment
  • To discuss and approve the association statute proposed by the WG
  • To elect association committee for the association
  • To identify next step of the association’s activities

The General Assembly is sponsored by GIZ, in collaboration with the German Embassy, Göthe Institute and Meta House. I, myself, have been active in supporting the working group by providing some necessary (old archives) documents and inputs, sharing experiences in development and management of associations, as adviser. I am happy that the WG members were very active and produced good outputs for the discussion and finalization today.

For several years, we do not have this kind of association to represent our interest and to network among ourselves and with other German organizations, including the Embassy and German business community. It is a pity, actually.

The meeting is presided over by Mr. Horst Thriller, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy; Mr. Nico Mesterharm, Director of Meta House; Mrs. Eva Pritscher, Coordinator of Goethe Institute and Mr. Kim Sean Virak, Human Capacity Development Adviser, GIZ. The session is facilitated by Mr. Leng Chhay, OD Consultant. Mr. Thriller reminded the participants that Germany claims itself as “one of the export leading nations”, that Germans do not only export technologies, but also is a “land of ideas”. Mr. Mesterharm is happy to see that “after years of talking, you come together today to define your future in association…and Meta House is ready to support anyway it could”. He hoped that the “new association would help to strengthen the connection between Cambodians and Germany (or Germans and Cambodia) for mutual benefits”. Several presentations were made to illustrate the outputs of the working group and some short theory on organization. During the meeting, one friend came to shake hands with me and said: “I found your name in the working group list, I trust you”.

We have seen many new faces, which have been for short period in Germany or learned German in Cambodia, represent younger generation. About 30% are people from older generation, which had been in Germany for longer period, especially during the German Democratic Republic’s period, in the 80th and the 90th. It would create good synergy’s effect for a new association. For me, I am ready to support this new association by providing technical and moral advice to the new steering committee to lead it in a sustainable way. During the morning session, an important decision was made: the majority of participants voted for the name “Cambodian German Friendship Association” (51 out of 57 participants presented). In the afternoon, the statute was approved and a seven members Executive Committee was created by election. Three of its members are women.



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