Helping Organizations to Better Support Youth
Iem Sophoeurn, a young woman from Phnom Penh city, told us that she used to lead the drafting of many important reports, including a children’s report for the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Sophoeurn also presented these report findings to the UN Commission with countries from around the world. Even though she has overcome many challenges in her life, this has not been the biggest.
As a member of the Executive Committee of Cambodia Children and Young People Movement for Child Rights (CCYMCR), one of Sophoeurn’s biggest challenges has been dealing with government compliance for the organization - she has struggled to improve this work for years.
“I really wanted to comply with government procedures and policies because if we did not, they would shut down the organization,” said Sophoeurn. “I am struggling because in my organization we lost important documents.”
The management structure was constantly changing, so the organization’s systems did not function well. Staff did not fully understand about the importance of internal policies, legal compliance, and financial systems. Also, CCYMCR did not register itself with the Ministry of Interior (for local NGOs) since its establishment in 2002.
“We tried our best to do everything but the situation did not improve. There was no one to support us and it became a legal compliance issue because we had to comply with the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO),” explained Sophoeurn. “As a result, we also struggled to get funding to implement our activities.”
Funded by NORAD through Save the Children Norway, Save the Children and its partners conducted an organizational capacity assessment review in 2019 with CCYMCR’s staff and management team in order to develop a capacity building plan. Save the Children supported Sophoeurn to review her organization’s internal policies, legal compliance documents, and board management structure to develop a comprehensive organizational strategic plan. In addition, the project supported her team to process the legal compliance documents with LANGO and the Ministry of Interior.
“Through training and support from Save the Children and their partners, we developed a board and management team structure as well as an organizational structure,” said Sophoeurn. “Many new policies were developed and signed off on.”
Based on the support received from Save the Children, Sophoeurn said she started to build the capacity of her staff. She worked with her team to declare taxes and met with the Ministry of Interior to update bylaws related to the office address and board management structure of her organization. CCYMCR has now shared these relevant policies to all staff.
“My organization now has clear organizational structure, policies and bank accounts. We registered the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) with the Ministry of Labor, and the Department of Taxation to be compliant with LANGO” said Sophoeurn with a smile, “My staff are happy to work with CCYMCR, so I am happy too.”
Sophoeurn is happy to announce that CCYMCR continued to receive funding. “We received around US$ 5,000 per year from Plan International for a five-year reproductive health project in Cambodia, and US$ 6,000 from Save the Children for a children with diverse SOGIE project. The Khmer Community Development (KCD) has started a partnership with CCYMCR to support activities for strengthening the children and youth networks of CCYMCR in communities” said Sophoeurn with excitement. “I very much appreciate Save the Children for their strong financial and technical support to CCYMCR in government compliance.”
Sophoeurn stated that through this support and funding received, CCYMCR will continue to advocate and change the lives of children in Cambodia.