Learning Computer Skills, and “Playing” Facebook in Cambodia

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kanith Chhim learning computer skills in Cabodia
Over the 2 years I have been working at my Cambodian health center / hospital, I’ve been working with Kanith teaching him computer skills. Kanith is a trained nurse, but his primary job here is accountant and financial officer.

I have helped him learn to use the program Excel, which he already knew quite a bit about, helped him create bi-lingual budget documents because the Ministry of Health is pushing use more English, and learn other programs including the Ministry of Health’s new online reporting program. The Internet here is generally known about, but not actually used much or understood by most of the people in this community. It is more commonly used and understood in the city amongst people that have more education, money, and better access. I helped Kanith learn how to use a web browser, and helped him set up and learn how to use an email account.

Facebook is probably the most commonly known about use of the Internet. I am always being asked if I, “layng Facebook”, which directly translated means, play Facebook. Of course, most people here do not have computers and seem to only have a cursory understanding of what Facebook even is. There are many that have smartphones with Internet access, but again most do not use it or truly understand what it can do. It is kind of interesting to see the technology so far ahead of its use. Never the less, everyone wants to “layng Facebook” because, it’s the thing to do, and it brings a higher level of social status if you can afford to have it.

New wall being built at the Rohminh hospital in Cambodia

The health center / hospital is currently deep into a self-directed local fundraising effort securing funds to build a wall around the facility. Today, Kanith asked me to help him by taking some photos and posting them on the Facebook account that we set up for him some time ago. He wanted to reach out to possible supporters.

A Little About the Wall.

Cows in the Roh Minh Health Center, Koh Andet, Takeo Province, CambodiaCurrently there is a concrete wall across the front of the facility, but not on the remaining three sides. There is desire to extend this wall to the remaining three sides that currently are fenced in with only a rusty dilapidated barbed wire fence that does not currently serve its intended purpose. Replacing the old wire fence by extending the current concrete wall will benefit the facility, staff, patients, and community by:
  • Increasing security of the facility, especially at night, when staffing is at a minimum and patients and equipment are exposed to criminality and thievery
  • Creating improved sanitation and hygiene by fencing out livestock such as cattle, horses, pigs, and poultry from routinely entering the compound and interacting with the staff, patients, and visitors (the chickens especially might contain avian influenza H5N1, which is prevalent here in this province and last year took the lives of a 5 and 15 year old girl)
  • Improving the visual appeal of the facility making it look newer, more modern, and clean, thus increasing the confidence of community members and encouraging them to come to take advantage of the proper medical care

 Kannith Chhim learniogn how to use Facebook for social networking in Roh Minh, Koh Andet District, Takeo Provence, Cambodia

So today, I took some photos and taught Kanith a little bit about how to make social media work for him. We made a gallery of the images and posted them to his Facebook wall reaching out to his small on line community asking them to financially support the project.

If you would like to see and “like” Kanith’s post, you can find it on his Facebook Wall here.

Writing on the wall memorializes donors and the amount they donated
The writing on this wall memorializes who made a donation to the project and how much they gave. As of today, the wall has been 40 % funded, entirely by community contributions and the effort of the staff.

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