This post is a post about Collaboration. What does it mean to you? What actions are undertaken in collaboration? Why is it important? Think about this before reading on…
On February 23 I was able to meet with an organization that is changing the way organizations, communities, governments, and well I guess the world communicates and understands – Collaboration. Through creating and compiling best practices for coalitions in Human Trafficking and Human Rights, Chab Dai Cambodia is from the “bottom up” being requested to share how they work, their lessons, and how-to’s of creating an effective and COLLABORATIVE coalition for effectively and efficiently impacting communities through prevention and trafficked victims rescue and care.
What do I mean? Chab Dai has spread FROM Cambodia to the USA and Canada, as well as is now working with organizations all over the world.
What do they provide? (Among the many change-agent projects and programs for anti-trafficking and human rights issues) Toolkits for organizations including self-assessments, best practices, a network of shared resources, and membership of charter-signed members commited to ethics and impact.
What is wonderful is this is a CHANGE in the global development community mindset – no longer is it what the “developed/first world” countries and people have to teach and offer “lesser developed/developing nations” it is what these nations, communities, and local organizations can now teach US. It only makes sense that since Cambodia has been dealing with the sex-slave trade intensely and for quite some time.. now that awareness is increasing in the United States (and other “developed” nations) about human-trafficking that happens in our OWN borders, we can learn and adopt what is ALREADY working – not stumble through a million lessons that have already failed, tackled, and improved upon.
I was explained by Tania, the International Communications Director, that what people, even academics, claim to understand about collaboration usually includes the surface, material, and financial. Maybe even, “well ya I attended once this forum on XYZ, so now I am collaborating with the hosting organization.” This is not the case – and is not what really matters. Chab Dai is spearheading the true meaning and impact that the word Collaboration has the power to create.
Now this post does not even dip its toe into the ecosystem of projects, programs, and networks that Chab Dai is creating for human rights, but since you have the power to explore their site yourself, I am focusing on the issues that are very close to my heart. Sustainability, working together, and development for humanity.
(I know this is a very wordy and long post)
If you’d like to read on…
Religion has the power to separate and unite but it can also open up for Collaboration: Before my site visit with Chab Dai, a flag initially raised when I found out they were a faith-based coalition, but I found out they strictly do not prostheletize or discriminate against religion. Chab Dai formed because in the beginning, no one was working together, wasting resources, and doing the same work but in repetition. Helen (International Director) recognized everything could be more effective and efficient if organizations worked together. The government and UN agencies thought the Christian orgs were just prostheletizing and the Christian orgs felt persecuted. So Chab Dai was created to join organizations that have at least a common foundation so that they can all start from and build upon a foundation of trust, and through doing this identify development gaps, repetition in programs, and eventually to work with trust and understanding the government and secular orgs (and vice versa) synchronistically and collaboratively instead of all against each other – creating trust and Collaboration.
A Metaphor of good conquering evil: before Chab Dai moved to its new location, the building was used by a “Recruiting Agency” to “domestic train” women and send as “House Helpers” to various areas throughout Southeast Asia. The barbed wire along the outer gate was used to keep women in…not keep thieves out. Now Chab Dai, a force for protecting humanity from human trafficking and the sex trade, has taken over the location – a great metaphor of their impact to tackling human rights perpetrators.
If you are interested in learning more about Chab Dai: Click here.
GlobalGiving InTheField Traveler | Texas
Jacqueline is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving and is now making her way across Southeast Asia. Jacqueline has lived all around the U.S., Central America, backpacked along Australia’s eastern coast while volunteering for the National Park Service, western Europe, and traveled around the world. You can also follow her via Twitter.
For more information about GlobalGiving, click here.