“I realised that for organisations to be sustainable, they needed to be run by local staff. And for local staff to run organisations, they needed to be empowered.”
When Sally Hetherington was 25, she packed up all her belongings and bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia, determined to make a difference. But when she got there, the situation on the ground was grave. Sally had been told that the role she came to play in managing short-term volunteers was crucial to sustainable development. However, what she saw was disempowered staff, children with attachment issues, and an unhealthy ‘white saviour’ syndrome. Sally knew she had to make a big change.
So she started at the core, the community. Sally set about to develop a community centre with a team of Cambodians, with the end goal of making herself redundant.
Music: Echoes from the Palace, Music from the Cambodian Court: Robaim Choun