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By the water cooler: An impromptu chat with Weh Yeoh about OIC
Who is OIC: The Cambodia Project, and what do you do?
OIC is a project that aims to bring speech therapy services to the 600,000 Cambodians with communication and swallowing problems. Despite this huge need, there are no Cambodian speech therapists. OIC stands for that moment when you suddenly understand something you didn’t before. “Oh, I see!”
Why did you create OIC?
I never wanted to go to Cambodia and create another organisation for the sake of it. OIC is a project bringing together existing organisations that are doing great work. For me, it’s very much about Cambodians helping other Cambodians, so that one day, as a foreigner, I can walk away.
What motivates you to do your work?
For over a year, I worked side-by-side with a Cambodian health worker named Phearom, who told me that about 70% of the children she worked with had a problem with communication. Yet, she was unable to use speech therapy to help them. There are 600,000 people like the children she works with, who struggle to communicate with their family, friends or community every day.
Why should WhyDev readers support OIC?
There are issues in the world that get lots of the attention and therefore plenty of resources, and then there are those that get swept under the carpet. WhyDev readers should support OIC because it’s addressing something that is a huge need, yet doesn’t receive the attention of other issues. People who are in Melbourne can come to our launch extravaganza on the 12th of November to find out more.
Can our readers get a discount on the OIC launch tickets?
Absolutely! As a limited offer, we’re offering a 50% discount on tickets to the first 20 WhyDev readers who sign up to come to the launch. Simply enter the promo code “BONO4AFRICA” at the check-out.
The week in news
Zambian President Michael Sata died in a London hospital at the age of 77. VP Guy Scott is the acting President until elections in 90 days, making him continental Africa’s first white leader since apartheid. Under the country’s constitutional “parentage clause,” Scott, whose parents were born in the U.K., won’t be allowed to run in the election.
A contingent of at least 150 Kurdish fighters has started crossing into Syria, to join the fight against ISIS for the town of Kobani.
In response to President Blaise Compaore’s effort to change the country’s law on term limits so he can stay in power (27 years wasn’t enough!), thousands of protestors have taken to the streets and set fire to the Parliament building and government officials’ homes. Today, the President declared a state of emergency and dissolved the government.
The week on the blog
That journalism – and, by extension, NGO communications – should be objective seems like a given. But Rowan Emslie questions the conventional wisdom, and the real implications of objectivity.
In her effort to usher in an era of aid worker wellness, Nuran Higgins launched Emergency AIDio, an online radio show. She shares the impetus behind the show – and chats with WhyDev co-founders Brendan Rigby and Weh Yeoh on the latest episode!
We talk a lot about aid worker wellness practices, and now there’s scientific evidence they really work. Amanda Scothern explains the latest research findings on well-being.
Globaldev special edition: Catching up on disability and development
More than just a statistic
An underdog story
The people who “don’t count”
Seeing past disability
The therapy that speaks volumes
Payment for the people in NGO adverts?
It’s easy to criticise.
Social justice tours, or poverty tourism?
Video International migration and remittances – explained with Legos. (01:59)
OIC: The Cambodia Project: Launch extravaganza | Melbourne, 12 November (Use the promo code “BONO4AFRICA” for a discount!)
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Featured image is Weh Yeoh and Roum Phearom providing speech therapy services. Photo by Anna Bella Betts Photography.