Yos Panha | Faces of WISE
Panha is from Takeo/Cambodia, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Environment Engineering, specializing in the treatment of waste, at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bandung, Indonesia.
As an interviewer for WISE, he helps the team with passing on information to the villagers, interviewing and evaluating families’ situation to consider their eligibility for subsidies. In addition, he works with the team to share basic knowledge with the villagers on how the lack of latrines and clean water can cause illnesses.
Panha first heard about WISE from his seniors and friends who were volunteers for WISE’s project in Phnom Village, Tbong Khmum, Cambodia. From there, he started to follow WISE on social media and read about WISE’s projects.
Panha started volunteering with WISE for the project in Phnom Village during his vacation and stayed in Cambodia in 2018. The project he worked on was Sanitation and Hygiene as it was related to his work as an Environmental Engineer. Moreover, he wanted to understand the conditions that the people living in rural areas were living in so that he could help improve it.
Panha recalls an impactful experience when he saw many impoverished families in the village that had no access to clean water and were living in poor conditions. He was distraught when he came to understand that many of them were not well-educated and were laborers since a very young age. An old disabled grandfather told the team that most of the people were ignorant about sanitation and hygiene issues as their top priority was earning enough money so that they would not starve.
The efforts of WISE are important as people in rural areas are facing serious hygiene and sanitation issues, which are essential to improving the quality of their lives. People need to care about WASH since it affects peoples’ health and subsequently the economic situation of their family. In the future, he hopes to work closely with the WASH community and help raise awareness about WASH issues.
✍ Tanya Tan