Have you ever donated to Children in Families and wondered who received the money at the other end? Someone has to make sure it gets to the right people, right? Our administration department is staffed by two wonderful ladies, Damy and Phalyn, who faithfully do the paperwork needed to keep CIF running smoothly. Today we had the opportunity to sit down with Damy, our finance manager, and talk to her about her experience working for CIF.
Damy grew up in a small village in Kratie, about five hours north of Phnom Penh, with her parents, her sister and her brother. Like many young people who grow up in rural Cambodia, Damy moved to Phnom Penh in 2006 hoping to study and find job security
“I chose to do accounting for myself. My brother had experience before, and he told me that accounting was a good job for a lady, and that it was easy to find jobs. So I chose to be an accountant. I have not always liked numbers but since studying accounting my feelings have changed and I like numbers and patterns now.
After finishing university, she got a job at an international school as a student information officer. It was here that she met her husband, an electrician, in March 2012. They dated for a while and then were engaged and married within a month in November 2013. When the opportunity came up at the start of 2013 to work at CIF as an administration assistant, she jumped at the chance.
“I like all parts of my job. I like checking the numbers. I like emailing donors. I like checking the numbers in the accounts.”
Strengthening our financial accountability
When Damy started at CIF, her role was entering donations into an excel spreadsheet under the supervision of one of our foreign volunteers. CIF was much smaller then, and mainly survived off small donations from multiple donors. However, the organisation has grown rapidly in the last 4 years. Damy is now in charge of the administration department. She manages the accounting required for the reporting to donor agencies, and ensures that all of CIF’s financial processes are followed correctly. Her work is crucial to the good governance of the organisation, and gets resources into the hands of the program staff who need them. Now, Damy uses Quickbooks to track much larger donations from a smaller number of donor sources. She is particularly busy towards the end of the month as she organises and prepares the end of month reports and the salaries for the staff.
Sometimes I create reports that I give straight to the donors, and sometimes I give them to [our general manager], and she incorporates them in her reports.”
While the changes in the last 4 years have often been challenging, Damy says that she has enjoyed having the opportunity to learn new processes. She knows that her diligence is making a difference within CIF.
“I hope that I can help CIF have better accounting standards like that of an International NGO. At the moment I am trying to learn from other organisations and see what they do for their accounting. It is my role at CIF keep children in families, through caring for the staff and others, and through helping them have transparency in their accounting.”
A child in the family
In September 2016, Damy and her husband welcomed their first child, a daughter, into the world. Damy loves seeing her daughter grow and develop in a healthy way.
Her daugher is a gentle child who loves caring for others and playing with her dolls. Under the care and nurturing of Damy and her husband, her little girl as a bright future in front of her. Damy knows that her role at CIF is an important part of of helping Cambodian children have the same brightness in their own futures.
“I have two dreams for my daughter. That she will grow to be healthy and to become a positive person. And I have this dream for Cambodian children also.”