The Cambodian Dormitory and Education Project

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My direct involvement in Cambodia's development began in the spring of 1996 when I was introduced to Professor Jun Murai of Keio University by Professor Fu-chen Lo, the Deputy Director of the United Nation University/Institute of Advanced Study.

Professor Murai informed me about his consortium, Project WIDE (http://www.wide.ad.jp) and the AI3 (http://www.ai3.net) initiative which was a joint effort between Project WIDE, JSAT and various other Institutions in Japan and throughout Asia, “….Our project is an international research consortium among research institutes in Asian region and is aiming to form a group of researchers to develop leading edge technologies for the Internet, such as IPv6, WWW caching and replication mechanisms, multimedia communication mechanism, and applications for the advanced usage of the Internet. The name of this project is Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives or "AI3" (ei-triple-ai) in short.”

I went to Cambodia in the summer of 1996 to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a test-bed satellite ground station in Cambodia. My primary focus was on infrastructure and necessary human resources to support and maintain the satellite ground station and conducting research within the guideline of AI3. During my stay in Cambodia between summer and autumn of 1996, I met with people from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication of Cambodia (MPTC) and several NGOs, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General to Cambodia, and staff of the United Nations Development Programme. Our initial discussions were optimistic.

This effort came to an end in November 1996 during a meeting in Tokyo with Professor Jun Murai, Professor Suguru of Nara Institute of Science and Technology and Mr. Komiya of JCSAT. After the meeting, it was clear that we could not continue with the effort. The primary reason for discontinuing the Cambodia AI3 effort was the confusion as to who would provide the necessary hardware resources, human resources, financing and infrastructure to conduct research and maintenance of the satellite ground station.
 
During my stay in Cambodia, I made friends with some Cambodians, both local and expatriate. To this day I have maintained my relation with these friends. After the discontinuation of the Cambodia AI3 project I distanced myself from Cambodia’s development.

There was a large gap between 1997 until February 2003 during which time I focused on my life and career.

On February 18th, 2003, one of those Cambodian friends, H.E. Om Radsady (a former Cambodian Parliamentarian and Advisor to the President of the National Assembly, Prince Norodom Ranariddh), was murdered in broad-daylight in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

After learning of the news of Om Radsady’s death, I suggested to a friend that we should setup a scholarship in honor and memory of Om Radsady.
 
On February 21st, we initiated an email to other friends of Om Radsady and the “The Om Radsady Memorial Scholarship for Cambodian Democracy” was born.

To date, the scholarship has collected more than six thousand US dollars from more than 50 donors in ten countries, and has awarded ten (10) scholarship awards to Cambodian students totaling $1,150 US dollars in 2003. The award recipients range in age from thirteen (13) years old Junior High School students to twenty-seven (27) years old University student. The Board of Directors held the reception dinner for the winners at the Juliana Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In April 2003, another friend, H.E. Loy Sim Chheang passed away of heart failure. He was a former Cambodian Parliamentarian, Vice President of the National Assembly, Acting President of the Nation Assembly and founder of a Cambodian political party, Sangkum Thmei (New Society). Most of all, he was a courageous man who dedicated his life to helping Cambodia and the betterment of Cambodian lives. His wife and relatives survive him.

With the death of these two good men, I made a personal decision to become more proactive and more involved in the development of Cambodia and the future of Cambodia

My journey begins and I hope one day to call Cambodia home…
Copyright 2003 - Present, CDEP.