Onn’s 25-Year Memory With Oxfam

"Without Oxfam I won’t have today, I won’t be able to support my three children for a higher education," said Onn Vich. Photo: Naratevy Kek/Oxfam

Onn’s 25-Year Memory With Oxfam

I’m ready to go to bed but I may not sleep well if I don’t finish this article, an Oxfam mummy—this is what some of us call her as she is the eldest, respected and has been with Oxfam for 25 years. Her name is Onn Vich. This is the second article within the past 10 years of my comms/media experience that keep me awake till mid-night to finish. The first article was five years ago. It was a movie review after I watched “The Lady” in Hong Kong, a French-British biographical film directed by Luc Besson starring Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi. Below, I’ll use “first person” to let you feel Onn’s word!

“What I remember most about Oxfam is the support both personal and professional development Oxfam gave me. I’ve been here for 25 years since 1993. This was four years after the Khmer Rouge genocide. I only graduated from grade 12. I started with Oxfam as a receptionist then moved to Administration Assistant, Administrator, Finance Assistant and Finance Officer.

Oxfam provided many opportunity for me to grow. For example, the financial support for me to study diploma of Finance at Regent Colleague, English at Australian Center for Education (ACE), the opportunity to go to UK and Netherland and many more. The trip to Netherland was in August 2016 for the launch of Voice Program. That is where I get to know the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there and many Oxfam colleagues who I got in touch through email.

Without Oxfam I won’t have today, I won’t be able to support my three children for a higher education. They’ve grown up now. They are working as Accountant at EU, IT specialist at World Food Program and Lawyer. They are all married and have their own house. I have four grandchildren.

I’m leaving for a personal reason. I have to take care my 82-year-old mom and my husband who is having chronic disease. After Oxfam “Go-Live” one year ago, I was supposed to leave as the contract was finished and I decided to retire but our Country Director, Solinn, called me and asked if I can come back so I took the one-year opportunity to continue with Oxfam as I enjoy working than staying at home.

My three messages to be a good finance is to be strict with policy but be flexible, be honest and be committed to deadline. So far, I’ve never missed deadline if that work involves me alone. There are many good thing at Oxfam that I enjoy but at the same time there are also challenges. For example, the system that requires many people including those at the head office to get one thing approved etc. There is just no short cut. It would be great if the process is shorter.

I love Oxfam in short. If there is any opportunity that need my support I’ll volunteer to help, for example 2 days per weeks.

I wish Oxfam colleagues to be healthy and I wish Oxfam to get more fund and be successful! Thank you all.”

Onn and colleagues during farewell party. Photo: Robin