Oxfam presents Veerakpheap Award to Samnang Hour

Oxfam presented its first Veerakpheap Award to Mr. Samnang Hour for his exceptional behavior in 2017. From right: Samnang, Solinn Lim, Country Director of Oxfam in Cambodia and Chamroeun Pang, Samnang's Supervisor. Photo: Naratevy Kek/Oxfam

Oxfam Launches Veerakpheap Award

Oxfam in Cambodia proudly presented Mr. Samnang Hour the first leadership award during Oxfam Staff Retreat in Kep province. Samnang demonstrated his leadership without authority both at Oxfam and beyond. He led a rescue mission that saved a man’s life. The award was recognized by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, and Solinn Lim, Country Director of Oxfam in Cambodia.

The award was presented to Samnang for showing his exceptional behavior in 2017. The crisis was at National road 6A at 2a.m. At around 7a.m, Samnang was on his way to work and he stopped seeing the crowd. There were eight people injured. All of them could get out of the bus and found their way to the hospital except the driver who was trapped and was bleeding since early morning. The ambulance was there. The Police and Nurses were there but they could not get the trapped victim out. Everyone was scared and they could not do anything. Samnang step in and started to take control of the situation. He ordered the Police to find a local smith to bring all the kits. He told two people to get into the bus and keep reassuring the driver that he would be fine. As the driver asked for water, Samnang told the two people not to give water to him and that is what he learnt from Oxfam’s first aid training and other training he had. Finally, the bus was on fire but Samnang together with local smith managed to control it, cut part of the bus and successfully rescued the victim. The victim lost one leg since the accident happened but he survived.

Samnang, a father of two children, has been working as a driver for Oxfam for seven years. He had assisted the team beyond his roles.

“Oxfam asks every single staff to lead from where they sit. The organization ask you [Oxfamers] to be both operational and visionary and Samnang had demonstrated that by using the first aid skill provided by Oxfam, applying it in an emergency crisis and saved lives,” said Ms. Solinn Lim, Country Director of Oxfam in Cambodia, during the award night and it was also time where all Oxfam staff [both country and MCP projects located in Cambodia] came together for Oxfamily Retreat 2018.

Chamrouen Pang, Logistic and Operation Manager and Samnang’s supervisor, said “Samnang is honest and helpful. He does not only do his job but he supports the logistic and the whole programme team.” “I’m very lucky to work with him,” she added.

“Within the past five years with Oxfam, I’ve been in the field with Samnang for not less than 20 times, and I’m more confident and relax when I travel with him,” said Asisah Man, Oxfam’s Land Governance Coordinator.

Oxfam also presented Veerakpheap Award’s token of Queen Indradevi sculpture to Samnang. Queen Indradevi (1181-1291) was intelligent and cultivated. She was a poet and a professor who dedicated to teaching female students. She was the first person to develop Khmer dictionary, and translated many scripts from Sangkrit into Khmer. She represents a feminist leader of the early Khmer Empire.

“I’m very grateful. Thanks Oxfam for this award,” said Samnang. “I would like to thank Chamrouen who have taught me so much. Thank Kanika [HR Manger] who have encouraged me to learn English and Sam En [Finance Assistant] for those weekends.”

Congratulations Samnang, you are the 2018 Oxfamer of the year!