Stimulating, yet challenging work

January 15, 2014

by Carolyn Truong, Samaritan’s Purse Intern

Samaritan’s Purse intern Carolyn Truong shares experiences from Cambodia

It's hard to believe that it's been four months since I stepped off the plane into Cambodia. Now, more than halfway through this internship with Samaritan’s Purse, I thought that I'd share a bit about my experience so far - the amazing people that I've met, the important work they're doing, and the small ways in which I'm trying to contribute.

My first few weeks here were spent watching and learning from Samaritan's Purse and their Cambodian partners. They are working with rural households to improve access to safe water, hygiene education, and sanitation with the help of Biosand filter technology.

This country and its people are so warm, and their stories so compelling. It was a true privilege to simply be here and, through our work, to be allowed a glimpse into their homes and their lives. 

As one of the CIDA interns with an engineering background, a major project in which I have been involved is bringing Samaritan’s Purse’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program—which has been active in Cambodia for more than a decade—to local schools.

Part of bridging the gap between homes and schools has involved designing and testing a Biosand filter technology. This technology will produce enough water for use in schools and will be user-friendly for both students and teachers to use.

Over the past few months, I have had the great opportunity to be a part of this design process. I’ve learned from the local staff who have been working with the first iteration of this design, heard feedback from school communities and finally, connected with both Cambodians as well as Samaritan’s Purse staff to develop and pilot a sustainable filter technology. 

It has been stimulating, though challenging work. There is still so much to do and learn. I am looking forward to all the new experiences and lessons that the next few months will bring!