A Day In The Life – Outreach Project Manager at Mith Samlanh
In this edition of ‘A Day In The Life’ we are introduced to Phalla, outreach project manager at Mith Samlanh.
My name is Phalla and I am the Outreach Project Manager at Mith Samlanh. I arrive at work shortly before 8am each morning and spend a few minutes catching up with my colleagues. My first task is to meet with my team and discuss plans for the day. We share information and I organize which teams will visit which areas. I spend about half of my time working in the office: sometimes I am involved with training; sometimes I have meetings with other Project Managers. Twice a month I will meet with the Team Leaders; there are five Team Leaders, one for each zone, and a manager for each of the two Mobile Drop-in Centers. If any emergency cases occur which need special attention, I may meet staff at short notice; there are 52 outreach workers, so it is a lot to manage! I usually spend up to an hour a day doing paperwork such as signing request forms. These are for anything from gasoline expenses to orders for new teaching materials or requests for family support. I am also responsible for producing reports on our work and organizing introductory presentations for visitors.
I eat lunch at around 12.15, either at home or, if it is a busy day, close to Mith Samlanh. In the afternoon, I meet my team again and we discuss anything outstanding from that morning. If I have no meetings, I will go out with the staff. I have two main objectives when I am on outreach with the team. The first is to observe the staff and monitor their work. I support them to achieve their goals, help provide solutions to any problems they encounter and offer training when it is needed. Secondly, I participate directly with the children and families we work with; I am a social worker like the rest of the team and can provide support and advice directly to those who need it. I really enjoy this time; I love to help both the staff and the children with any problems they may have, no matter how small.
When we return to Mith Samlanh at the end of the day, staff fill out information on the individuals they have worked with in the log book; we have a record for each person we work with so that we can keep track of their progress. After activities out on the streets, we also record how many participants there were and what was achieved. I usually go home between 5-6pm. One evening a week I go on night outreach from 8pm until 10pm. This is always a long day, but I get an extra morning off at a different time. Otherwise, I spend my evenings at home with my kids, watching TV and helping them with their homework.