About Us


Project Overview and History

Overview

The Rotaract Club of Singapore (City) is a service club for students in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, which is under its parent group Rotaract Club of Singapore. The Rotaract Club of Singapore encourages international service projects as part of its commitment to International Understanding, a service-learning mission that aims to help the less fortunate in international communities and to let club members gain exposure to a world outside their own. Project Sothea 2017 follows the successes of previous projects such as - Project Angkor 2007 and 2008, Project Karawaci 2009, Mission: Peaceful Children Home 2010 and Project Sothea 2011 through 2016. These projects have all received top awards by the Rotaract Club of Singapore. This year, we are continuing our outreach mission to the rural districts of Battambang Province, Cambodia.

History

2010

Project Sothea was started under the title - “Mission: Peaceful Children Home 2”. We were an offshoot from a one of the projects of Coast2Coast (Singapore), a youth initiative which organises volunteer outreach missions to Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and India. We began our collaboration with the Khmer Foundation for Justice, Peace and Development.

2011

Project Sothea extended health education for the nearby village of Kamping Puoy.

2012

Project Sothea expanded to include health screenings for the residents of a few slum communities residing in dump sites located in Phnom Penh. We formed yet another collaboration with an international NGO known as Pour un Sourire D’Enfant (PSE), which works in conjunction with a local charity, Solutions to End Poverty (STEP).

2013

Project Sothea followed the residents in the slum communities as they relocated to SMILE Village, a new settlement built by PSE. We established a rudimentary healthcare system for the new community and aimed to inculcate hygienic lifestyle practices.

2014

Project Sothea continued its expansion in Battambang, where we started health screening and education efforts in nearby Sra Kaew village to promising reception by the villagers. This was also the last year we spent in Phnom Penh as we handed over our project to another NUS student-led team to continue developmental efforts in SMILE village in collaboration with STEP.

2015

Begun a collaboration with medical students from International University (IU) and nursing students from University of Battambang.

2016

Made an agreement with Handa Medical Centre in Battambang to provide medical care at a discounted rate for villagers referred by us to their Centre.

2017

Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International University (IU) Phnom Penh, which marked the establishment of our Cambodian Wing in IU. This aids in securing the sustainability of Project Sothea, a step in our ultimate aim to establish a functioning local healthcare system.
Creation of 2 new committees - Research Comm and Development Comm - to track the health situation of villagers, and to better serve their long-term health and infrastructure needs.


General Aims

Improve general healthcare of our beneficiaries through:

  • Providing immediate treatment of acute illnesses and problems
  • Setting up of a centralised health database for tracking of illnesses as well as characterising disease profiles
  • Making lifestyle changes through education
  • Teaching basic first aid and remedies for simple illnesses
  • Implementing and monitoring developmental plans such as solar lamps and water filters to improve their local environment

Ensure sustainability of our project in the long-run by:

  • Collaborating with organizations that have deep roots in the relevant communities, such as the Khmer Foundation for Justice, Peace and Development
  • Making education the primary focus of our project, particularly through the Difference Maker initiative starting 2015

Beneficiaries

Phnom Penh (2012-2014)

The beneficiaries in Phnom Penh were occupants of the urban dumpsite communities and SMILE village. SMILE Village is an initiative by PSE and STEP to relocate the residents of the slums into a new compound, empowering them to be self-sufficient and function as a community. Following the emergence of more student-led projects interested in this particular area in 2014, Project Sothea successfully handed over its health-related duties to a new team at the start of 2015.


Battambang (2010-present)

The beneficiaries in Battambang are the villagers in Dangkut Thnong and Anlong Svay (known to the locals as Kamping Puoy and Sra Kaew respectively) who do not have easy access to healthcare. We are planning a long-term project with an exit plan after 8-10 years, in which we hope to establish a health record system. Other beneficiaries include the orphaned children from the Peaceful Children Home II orphanage.


Dangkut Thnong Village (aka Kamping Puoy Village)

  • 1695 residents
  • Significant number of migrants to Thailand for work purposes
  • Common problems:
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Coronary Heart Disease
    • Tuberculosis

Anlong Svay Village (aka Sra Kaew Village)

  • 2089 residents
  • Generally a more well-to-do village, where a health post is situated
  • Common problems:
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Malaria
    • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Peaceful Children Home II

  • 41 children
  • Orphanage run by our partner NGO Khmer Foundation Justice, Peace and Development

Read articles about us and view our post-trip reports.


Our Identity

Origins

"Sothea" is a common Cambodian name which stands for compassion or earth in Khmer. Sothea is one of the kids who grew up in Peaceful Children's Home 2. Like every one of us, she had dreams and aspirations. She dreamt of becoming a doctor and returning to help her fellow villagers one day. At one point in time, it almost came true when she qualified for medical university. However, limited by the situation she was born into and our capabilities to help her, she had to give up on that dream. Despite that, she continues to fight on for a better life and a chance to return with help for her friends. To us, Sothea is more than compassion, courage and determination; she is inspiration. which encompasses what we stand for.


Motto

As individuals, we are often acutely aware of our limitations and feel powerless to accomplish what we originally set out to do. We start out with big dreams to heal the world, but lose our motivation when faced with reality. As such, our motto reminds us not to give up, for even if we are not able to do big things, we must continue to do what we can - small things with great love.