Heather E. Connell
“In 2009, I met a remarkable little boy named Sumnamg while working on a media project in Siem Reap. Sumnamg had Cerebral Palsy and was confined to a bed, unable to move on his own or communicate his needs. The idea for Safe Haven was inspired by my relationship with Sumnamg and a desire to be able to provide him access to the medical and therapeutic resources he needed to improve his quality of life. I’m so thankful for my dedicated staff who have worked to help build Safe Haven Medical Outreach from the ground up.”
“It has been a pleasure and a challenge to take on the role of Safe Haven Country Director in early 2014. As an organization, we have grown and matured, with clearer-than-ever goals for children and families and more collaborative and coordinated strategies for meeting those goals. Staff skills continue to develop in their areas of concentration, such as social work and physiotherapy, and we have also focused on expanding their skills in the areas of child development, communication, and understanding of early intervention. I am immensely proud of Safe Haven’s development as an organization, and staff’s dedication to the families we serve.”
“It was love at first sight with Safe Haven- the staff, their work, their compassion. I am an American pediatric physiotherapist with 30 years of experience and from the beginning, it was clear that Safe Haven was providing best practice in physical therapy- services that are family centered, functional and meaningful to the child, with strong communication, collaboration and planning- and the success and progress is evident.”
MEET OUR STAFF
“My name is Sopheary and I am working for Safe Haven as Interventionist. I really like and so happy to do that because my job is amazing, my work teach me how to help them with physical therapy and occupational therapy and I can see our children progress and see the happiness in their family. It’s a great job that I can help children with disabilities in my country to encourage them and tell them that I love them, they’re not alone anymore.
I don’t have money or other things to donate to my organization, but I can donate my hard work, my love, my heart. I want to help them improve the future of children.
I love my work so much and I hope can work for Safe Haven for long time.”
“I studied to be a nurse and midwife, and after I graduated, I worked as a school nurse in a preschool and primary school for two years. I came to work at Safe Haven because I’m ready for a new experience.
My job with children with disabilities is very interesting to me because it is my first time to do this kind of work and I am learning a lot about disabilities. I will use all my experience and knowledge to help these children and their families to be healthy. I will educate them about health and hygiene because I believe that education is the key to change.”
Senior Social Worker
“I graduated from Cambodia University Specialty (CUS) in 2005 on Management of Business Administration degree. After graduation, I worked for Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) 2 years as working on non-formal education projects in Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap Province. I worked as a social worker with Kalyan Mith nearly one year helping to reintegrate children with their families, get them back into school and provide vocational support training to the families. I really feel proud to work with families with kids with disabilities. I am happy to help educate the family understand about rights for children with disability and encourage the family to nurture a positive child.”
“Safe Haven is my first job. I graduated with degree Faculty of Public Health major in Nursing at Angkor University. I was an intern at Siem Reap Provincial Hospital. I also interned at Handicap International where I focused on Mother and Child health. I want to help parents look after and understand their children with disabilities, provide care, and good hygiene. I really love my position as a nurse and I expect to work for Safe Haven for a long time.”
Veng Pich Bopha
“My name is Bopha, my dream is to do something to help the people. I worked as a Cashier and Service for the hotel and restaurant for 7 years. I started to feel that my work is just for work it didn’t make me feel giving help to the people. Thanks to Safe Haven Organization that offer me a chance to work. I help the operation of the organization financial, documents of the organization involved with the government law and all of the documents for Safe Haven operation. I have learned a lot from my team to support and provide help to disability children and family. Seeing those people smile by our activity is what makes me so proud. I will use all of my knowledge and skill to educate people to understand that Love and Sharing is a really important part of life.”
Mr. IN Ponga Photra
Social Work Supervisor
“I finished a Bachelor Degree in Psychology in 2006 from Royal University of Phnom Penh. I worked for 8 years at Krousar Thmey Organization in Phnom Penh in the field of Child Welfare, Child Protection, working with street children. Next, I worked for 3 years at First Step Cambodia as a Project Manager, where I provided training and support to project staff and helped raise awareness related to sexual abuse to children. I also worked as a social worker with Terre Des Homme Netherland, for about two years to provide therapeutic support to survivors of sexual abuse in the context of tourist and travel.
My job is to provide support to our social worker, senior staff and work directly with children with disabilities and their families. In Cambodia people think disability is not important, consequently this leads to a lot of problems for disabled people, specifically children. I am very proud to work here to raise the voice of disabled children and help change people’s thinking about disabilities.”
“My name is Rany and I am graduated from Build Bright University (BBU) in Siem Reap city in 2017 of Business Administration degree. I worked for another non-profit for 5 years as an English Teacher.
In 2019, I began working for Safe Haven as Interventionist. I really like my job and I’m very happy because my job is really amazing, I like helping parents to better care and understand about their children with disabilities. I help to provide and educate parents with play therapy and skills for taking care of their children. I really love my position as a Junior Interventionist and I expect to work for Safe Haven for a long time.”
“My name is Chan Sreynoch. Safe Haven is my first experience working with children with disability. When I graduated from high school, I chose to apply to the interventionist position at Safe Haven. I had researched about Safe Haven and saw the photos about the kids and the help the Safe Haven team was giving. I wanted to be part of that too. Seeing kids having fun and getting healthy and feeling love from us. It was a dream to educate the parents about how special their children are. Now my dream has come true: I am part of the Safe Haven team that and I expected to work with Safe Haven for long time.”
Junior Physical Therapist
“When I first started university as a Physiotherapy student, I didn’t know what a physiotherapist was. I didn’t know what I can do to help people after I graduate. But after I started my first job at Safe Haven, I realized that my job is worth it. I get to help lots of children with disabilities. Make their life become easier so they are able to attend daily activities like other normal kids and that make me so happy. I like to see children laugh and smile because i know that I can make their day like they make mine.
Sometimes, I imagine if I can’t move and stay in one place for the whole day long what can my life be? How does it feel to left not able to move? So that the biggest reason that I wanted to be a physical therapist. To help other children get the chance to move around and join all the activities around them.”