A graduate in English Literature and Computer Science, Chhoem now helps warn Cambodians about flooding💦

Published: Aug 18, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
A graduate in English Literature and Computer Science, Chhoem now helps warn Cambodians about flooding💦
© Foto: Člověk v tísni

Each year, on the 19th of August, World Humanitarian Day unites partners from across the humanitarian community to celebrate the work of thousands of humanitarian aid workers worldwide. Since 2008, we have been providing relief and development assistance in Cambodia; we couldn't do our work in the country without local colleagues who work hard every day to improve the lives of their communities.

“I became an aid worker seven years ago. I believe that through this career, I would be able to help marginalised populations or vulnerable groups as much as possible and improve their living standards,” says Chhoem Sovannarith, our colleague working to improve lives in Cambodia.

Chhoem works as a Senior Project Officer on our Early Warning System (EWS) 1294 Project. He decided to work in this field because he believes strongly in helping vulnerable communities—especially those most at risk from natural disasters. Through the EWS 1294 project, Chhoem supports communities with knowledge sharing on how they can better prepare for incoming floods to ensure the safety of their families and livelihoods.

Chhoem graduated from two universities with degrees in English Literature and Computer Science. While studying at university, he worked as an English teacher for a private school and an orphanage. The children he has worked with come from families that have experienced household violence, lost parents, and are affected by natural disasters. Helping others has been Chhoem’s lifelong interest; it motivates him as a humanitarian worker.

Chhoem decided to work for People in Need because of our profile–a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that operates in many countries around the world and has many programs providing humanitarian aid to the beneficiaries in the regions affected by natural hazards, pandemics, and conflict.

For many humanitarian aid workers, combining their passion for work with family life can be challenging. In many countries, our colleagues often work in remote areas without their partners and children for weeks or months. Luckily, Chhoem and his wife share a vision and willingness to help people improve their living conditions. They married in 2020 and now have a one-year-old daughter.

“My biggest source of energy to continue to work for other vulnerable groups is my family’s motivation,” Chhoem notes.

Working in the humanitarian field, Chhoem has learned that being well-prepared for challenges and having strong moral principles are the characteristics of a good humanitarian worker. 

Autor: Karolína Šugarová

Related articles