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Cambodia Programming Reflections: Summer 2022

This summer, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, DSI had the incredible opportunity to travel as a team to Cambodia to conduct in-person programming with our partners, co-workers and friends in-country. DSI team members who traveled on this trip were: Jennie Wendland (DSI Co-Founder and Executive Director), Mick Wendland (Co-Founder and Board Member), and Morgan Croft-Schornak (Board Chair & Advisory Working Group Member).

Together with Thy Nhip, DSI’s Cambodia Program Coordinator, Jennie, Mick and Morgan spent three days with our full Master Trainer cohort, reviewing the training curriculum and gathering feedback on improvements to the pilot module that was delivered in the fall of 2021. DSI also heard about the Master Trainers’ successes and did some group problem-solving to address challenging areas identified by the team.

Over the next five weeks, DSI team members:

  • Traveled to Pursat province for classroom observations and sessions with our partner DDSP;

  • Spent time observing and coaching the teachers at integrated primary school classrooms alongside teachers from the Rabbit School in Phnom Penh; and

  • Met with the Master Trainers at Hands of Hope Community School in Kandal province for further question and answer sessions on the training content.

  • Traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to attend and present at the International Association of Special Education Conference.

Overall, this 2022 trip allowed DSI to better understand the outcomes of our pilot module training that occurred last fall. After the initial training, our Master Trainers have taken information gained from DSI’s training to provinces across Cambodia and have increased the competency and confidence of those working with children with disabilities.

We have learned that since November of 2021, over 170 additional teachers have already been trained by our first cohort of Master Trainers.

DSI’s partners commented on the benefits they have seen in their classrooms since their training sessions occurred and identified additional training topics of interest to support their goals for inclusive education. In short, our training-of-trainers (TOT) program model is working! But we also know there’s still more work to be done. Feedback from our in-country partners has given our Advisory Working Group key information needed to develop more training modules that are even more culturally responsive and further meet the needs identified by our partners. More modules are already in development right now.

Want to learn more about DSI’s TOT model and training curriculum programming? Check out our Case for Support.


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