Veasna’s Story: Helping Hundreds of CSOs Tell Their Stories

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Georgi

By Georgi Simpkin

Communications Consultant


Veasna Prom, now the Communications & Networking Manager at NGO Heifer International in Phnom Penh, grew up in a poor community in Kandal province. A bright child, who regularly got up at 4 am to study for school, he was the first in his family to graduate from University and get two international master’s qualifications. Veasna has worked hard to get where he is today. His Development Innovations (DI) story began in 2018 when he was seconded from the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC) to become a technical video trainer as a part of the partnership between the organizations to improve ICT-related services for civil society organizations in Cambodia. 

A natural storyteller, Veasna took to the Basic Video Training with ease. “Before I started working with DI I have video experience from my previous work but I didn’t know how to share my skills with people. But when I come to DI, they trained me on how to share my knowledge,” says Veasna. During his 15 month secondment, Veasna trained over 100 people through DI’s Basic Video training. “I feel very proud when my students’ study with me and then they can produce the video by themselves after the training. When I started working at DI I tried to analyze the word innovation and what it means. I believe it means we can create something new and the DI team empowered me to make decisions that helped my students to be creative,” says Veasna.

While co-located at DI, Veasna was keen to understand more about social media, as well. So much so, the DI team asked him to update the social media handbook built to give civil society organizations practical guidance about how to communicate more effectively. Veasna said, “They give me the power and trusted me to update the social media handbook. When I updated it, I started to learn about social media management and then I brought this information to the CCC partners. I travelled into provinces and shared the DI social media information with the NGOs in the countryside. They really needed the help.”

When Veasna returned to CCC’s office from the provinces, he couldn’t wait to share what he’d learned from his DI training with CCC’s members, then more than 160 international and national NGOs. “I set up pricing for the video training, the production, materials and costs as well as how to promote and market our video training and social media services to CCC members,” comments Veasna. He also developed the CCC business plan after attending a DI training on how to create a basic business plan. Two years later, that training course is still running at CCC, and attracting CCC members and non-members from across civil society. 

“Feedback on Veasna’s video training was positive from our members. They shared how the knowledge and skills from the training improved the quality of their videos. The training helped them to gain more support for their programs, including increased engagement and outreach to their key audiences,” says Soeung Saroeun, Executive Director for Cooperation Committee for Cambodia. Saroeun goes on to say, “Veasna also shared his DI knowledge during Friday learning with the CCC team as well as CCC learning forums. After his DI experience he worked with his team members very well and was enthusiastic with CCC members”.

Veasna said DI has helped to introduce new technology concepts to civil society. “They are like the bridge to bring new technology and raise awareness of the importance of technology in Cambodia. They have helped many Cambodian people, me included,” concludes Veasna.