Somnang has experienced working at different NGOs in Siem Reap, where she found out the most interesting job that she loves to do is related to Fundraising, so she applied at JWOC as a Donor Relations Officer and got selected to be part of JWOC’s team in December 2020. Read more about her exploration and learning new things at JWOC during her 6 months reflections as below:

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

My name is Phalla Somnang, I was born in Siem Reap. I finished my bachelor degree in the field of Banking and Finance in 2013. Most of my job experience is working with NGOs as I love working with NGOs because I would love to help the communities in the education sector, especially the youth. I remember when I was younger I didn’t really have my own dream job, my parents spent their time at the market and they did not know what social work was like and I did not get any vision from them. My mom told me to study hard and get a good job to be independent for my own life and open my mind to learn to improve myself from people around me.

Why did you want to work for JWOC?

I used to be JWOC’s student in computer classes and free English classes. I was so happy that I could learn English and Computer for free and it was near my house. One of my goals after I finished the English program was that one day I am going to apply for a job in this organization to do an amazing job here to help the Cambodian youth and now my dream came true.

How has your experience working for JWOC been so far?

My previous roles were as a Communication Officer at Angkor Hospital for Children and Fundraising Assistant at EGBOK. I am willing to learn new things and JWOC has plenty of new skills that I need to learn and improve in my current position because I need to do a lot of writing. I learned to write blogs on the website, write emails to student’s sponsors, etc. These kinds of skills seem new to me because English is not my own language and I need to contact different people around the world, with different cultures that require me to build my confidence. My strength is I never give up learning new things for what I love to do and step by step I could do it well. Keisha is my manager, and she has taught me many things that I have never done before, she has encouraged me to be working independently and recently I am doing the Race4youth campaign which is new for me to do. I hope this is the best opportunity to learn how to do fundraising and get experience for the future.

What are the types of things you do on a daily basis?
I plan the post on social media, Facebook platform, finding the content on any update of JWOC activities and recruitment process of Scholarship and Better Futures Programs on Facebook with English and Khmer contents. I write a blog for the website once a month and collect updated photos to file on Google photo daily for future use. I also do the translation document to the team when needed. Collecting case studies for scholarship students, high school and post high school students and sending out quarterly newsletter to donors and supporters also helps to keep our supporters informed. Every three months I remind students to send their email telling stories to their sponsor.

What has been exciting and/or challenging?
I have been excited about the achievement of writing blogs as I have never thought that my English is good enough for any website, thanks to my manager for monitoring and giving me some tips for writing it.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at JWOC?

I love to take my son out to see the light in the city and take him to his favorite food so that he can have his favorite ice-cream. I love to spend time with my son because I work full time so I need my weekend to be with him as much as I could beside my house work during the weekend, but because of COVID-19 situation that has been spread out in Siem Reap I decide not to take him anywhere. I love watching Netflix Movies and it helps me to learn English while watching it.

What Advice would you like to have for Cambodian youth?
As a mother, I would suggest to women not to give up on their studying even if you are in a hard situation. Stand up for your dream and it will help you when you have your own family with financial security and education with good work conditions in society.

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