By becoming a Community Accountability Facilitator (CAF), 26-year-old Chhan Sreyden has embraced an opportunity to help improve public services in her community. Sreyden experienced bad service delivery first-hand at a local primary health center when she delivered her first child. She felt mistreated by nurses who were rude and even scolded her for being in pain during delivery.
Sreyden also knew that teachers were often absent at a primary school where her four nieces and a nephew study. The same kind of poor service was evident at her commune office. It was difficult to get documents authorized as officials were often away from the office during working hours.
Disappointed with the kind of services she had been receiving in her community, Sreyden hoped for an opportunity to help improve them.
In 2016, she attended a meeting organized by an NGO looking for volunteers to disseminate information and collect feedback on public services in Chum Tamao Commune, Memot district of Tbong Khmom province. Sreyden did not hesitate to join the project.
“I raised my hand up high,” she said. “I’ve seen and experienced many public service issues and I really wanted to change them.”
Two years on, Sreyden feels proud that her work has led to much improvement in her community. For example, she said, text books have been distributed to all grade one students and one additional teacher has been assigned for the primary school as listed in the action plans; two staff were assigned to the health center which she helped to develop a Joint Accountability Action Plan (JAAP), and the health center has medicine and faster services, particularly, when sending seriously ill patients to the referral hospital. Sreyden also noted that her commune has enough legal documents that are needed by the citizens and services are much faster.