The First Country Visit to Learn About Oxfam 2020
In her new role as Oxfam International Regional Director (OIRD) for Asia, Lan Mercado met with the Oxfam Cambodia team and partners on August 2nd and 3rd to share the one Oxfam journey and learn about Cambodia’s country program.
“Cambodia stands for courage,” said Lan who chose Cambodia to be the first country for her visit because it is going through a time when the country faces many challenges—civil society actors are feeling the dynamic that happens when they are pushing against boundaries. This is a situation that throws up a lot of lessons for partners and for Oxfam’s country program to grow and grow in the right direction.
Inspired by Oxfam in Cambodia’s partners and Oxfam staff whoare willing to continue their commitment to the Oxfam principle and stand for it, Lansaid she learned a number of things from the visit. “I learned that things have changed not only in terms of organizational change but we are hitting harder and aiming higher. I found the country team is interestingly working on a number of urban-based issues and that we are in partnership with groups dealing with the informal economy. I think this is an area of work that we need to start thinking about especially as we grapple with the challenges related to inequality.”
“What is important is to keep our eyes on the change that we want to benefit people. At the same time, we have to be flexible in our strategy and tactics,making sure that they are the ones thatwork and adds value,” said Lanwho was very pleased to see young and well-educated people working for Oxfam in Cambodia.
She expressed that she was impressed with the role of women leadership within Oxfam in Cambodia in guiding the country program and the overall country strategy that protects the rights of women and supports women’s transformative leadership in the country.
She also learned that Cambodia is leading the way in terms of a networked approach to regional programming, and is hosting multi-country or regional programmes that look at issues among the different countries in the Mekong region.
In the next 18 months, Lanhopes that all of Oxfam in Asia can work together for the emergence of Oxfam’s identity in the region, and to help make Asia’s mark in Asia at the international level.
In her last message to all respectful Oxfam colleagues, Lan emphasized that “Oxfam 2020 is about making Oxfam a better organization—an organization that is able to have a bigger impact in order to protect the rights of people, to be a global movement to fight against injustice of poverty and inequality.”