From the 2nd to the 5th of January both the Executive and Poipet teams ventured off to our staff retreat in Mondulkiri. The intention of this trip was to help bridge the gap between both teams; our purposes, goals, visions and expectations.
Mondulkiri is approximately a 10 hour bus ride from Siem Reap, this gave us plenty of time to catch up on reading, sleeping and listening to the entire contents of the Khmer Pop Music charts, Karaoke style! Upon arrival to Mondulkiri the change in temperature was immediately notable, it was much colder there than in Siem Reap! In addition, for the Australians on the team we couldn’t believe how much the landscape replicated something of an Australian country town, was quite the surreal feeling!
Marko kicked us off for the week with a few team building activities; this proved quite the challenge with two different primary languages spoken by team members! Communication certainly involved a lot of creativity and patience on both parts! Kylie led us through a time of reflecting on where the organisation has come from, where we are now and where we are headed, the achievements and challenges alike. This was an interesting time of sharing both the Executive and Poipet team’s perspective leading to a more cohesive appreciation of both Australian and Cambodian operations and priorities. Kat facilitated a session on Empowerment and working from a Strengths Based Perspective with the Poipet staff. The activity involved the team brainstorming and noting ‘two strengths’ per participant followed by a time of sharing with the group. We learnt about some fantastic skills and strengths in this session that our participants have, emphasising much hope for their situations! Lindsey wrapped things up by presenting the 100 day action plan and key priorities for Cambodia which includes focusing on family selection, micro financing, education programs and the scholarship program. We also worked through individual and team expectation settings with both teams. This exercise was incredibly valuable with clear mutual expectations set in order to direct the best and most effective methods of working together this year.
In addition to the above sessions we spent some time exploring the local area with activities such as visiting waterfalls, trekking, elephant rides, watching the amazing sunset and sharing meals together!
Staff retreat was a great way to begin the year, working across both teams and aligning our focuses in achieving key project priorities. It’s safe to say we are all excited about the year ahead which will no doubt have its challenges, hopefully in conjunction with some real positive outcomes for the families CfC is here to support!
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