Last Friday my group (along with Tamara and some other folks from PEPY tours) squeezed into the back of the PEPY mobile, a large, open-air biodiesel truck. We drove about 57km out to the rural providences and Chanleas Dai, where all operations take place for PEPY programs.
For the first time I met with the rest of the, primarily Cambodian, PEPY staff. We gathered together to trade status updates and share important changes to PEPY programs. There was lots of translation from Khmer to English and back. We played games and ate a delicious lunch. My new friend Sopheak, introduced to an incredibly cute and friendly black cat. He doesn’t have a name though – so I decided to name him Midnight. I also spoke at length with Vuttha, one of our amazing Cambodian translators, about the recent opening of the first Cambodian stock exchange (CSX) and different investment opportunities across Cambodia and the globe. The more I get to know the PEPY team, the more I am learning about so many different things that I was never exposed to before. Overall this trip has left me feeling so blessed, which is a direct result of the people. I will write more about this later.
Things on the communication team are progressing along nicely. Our website and rebranding strategy is being implemented, slowly but surely. We are quickly upgrading our social media strategy to better match the needs of our donors and other stakeholders. I have been particularly focused on integrating all of our disparate platforms: from payment processing, to fundraising, to social media, to content management systems, to email service providers, as well as analytics etc.
I hope that, by the time I leave, I will have developed a streamlined system where all data feeds seamlessly into only 2 or 3 platforms. That way the team only needs to engage with 2 or 3 user interfaces to update all content, make changes, and download any necessary reports. Platform integration is always a challenge for any small organization without an IT department, but I have found that efforts in this area result in the largest Return on Investment (ROI). Small business owners take note: maintainable digital systems are a critical component to the success of small organizations!
I’ve also gone to quite a few ex-patriot events around Siem Reap and met more interesting people from Europe, the UK, and the states. A couple of weekends ago, I went to a going away party for a newly admitted University of North Carolina MBA who was about to head back to the states. Here are some pictures from that night….