January 2018 marked the second anniversary of the Cambodian Oral History Project. We are gratified to report some of the new achievements made possible by all those who have contributed in so many ways–as peer leaders, project assistants, volunteers, transcribers, translators, and as interns. Thanks especially to those willing to share their stories. In addition to the support of the BYU Humanities Center a BYU Mentoring Environment Grant (MEG), we have received a generous financial support from several anonymous donors.
We are set to surpass 1000 interviews early this year, but we have just begun! With the continued support of benefactors in and out of the University, we are poised for an even more productive two more years as we add more resources to the northern provinces, including near Battambang and Siem Reap. We also are reaching out to Cambodian refugee/immigrant communities in the U.S.
Benchmarks and accomplishments (since formal project launch in January 2016)
800+ audio interviews in Cambodia
25 video interviews in Cambodia
3 US refugee video interviews
6 student interns (5 BYU Cambodia RMs and 1 other RM)
On the departure of Thomas Anthony to Cambodia to serve as intern, the project has brought on Sarah Collins to handle the volunteer efforts and to help coordinate media efforts. Sarah grew up in Lindon, Utah, and has been attending Brigham Young University for two years. She served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There she learned to speak the Cambodian language of Khmer. Sarah enjoys working on this project and has been personally inspired to continue to do her own research in order to progress this work and contribute to the Khmer people’s history.
In the two and a half years since the formal launch of the project in January 2015, we have seen amazing progress. Bellow are some of the progress by the numbers:
Benchmarks and accomplishments
* 512 audio interviews in Cambodia
* 18 video interviews in Cambodia
* 2 US refugee video interviews
* 5 student interns (4 BYU Cambodia RMs and 1 other RM)
* Approximately 100 local Cambodian LDS peer leaders
* A local Cambodian LDS church member assistant
* 30-40 RM volunteers (BYU and outside)
* Creation of Youtube channel
* Creation and development of project website (http://cambodianoralhistories.byu.edu)
* Outreach to and involvement with BYU faculty and students interested in personal histories (e.g., folklore, family history, and anthropology,), including use in writing classes.
* Coordination with Cambodia Family History missionaries
Current Project Foci
* Continue with interview collection (2017 interview goal of hitting the 900 mark)
* Increase number of video interviews
* Tagging for topics and search functions
* Improvement of website
* Adding a second intern in Northern Cambodia
* More cooperation with US refugee/immigrant communities (SLC and Long Beach, CA)
Thanks to the many project supporters and volunteers!
Our current intern, Wesley Crump, is returning to the U.S. and to his studies at Brigham Young University. During his tenure there the project collected around 100 interviews, toward the current number of 314. We are grateful for his hard work in Cambodia and as a volunteer coordinator on the BYU campus. He will continue to be involved in the project.
Beginning late this month, Bryan Brittain will take Wesley’s place in Cambodia as an intern. Like Wesley, Bryan is a former Cambodia LDS missionary. ] He is currently a BYU student from Camus, Washington studying Pre-Business Management (Entrepreneurship). He has worked as an intern with the Cambodia Job Foundation, has taught art and piano, and has started on on-line publishing company.
Cambodian Volunteer Coordinator
This month we also brought on board a local Cambodian Coordinator, Keo Somaly. Somaly lives in Phnom Penh and has studied at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia ( PUC ). She has been active as a project peer leader during the last year and has worked with interns to advance the aims of the project. She has personally interviewed a number of her own family members.
We would like to introduce a new project team member, Thomas Anthony, who will be coordinating volunteer work. He is studying geospatial intelligence at Brigham Young University, with a minor in Asian Studies. His hobbies include sports, hiking, learning Cambodian, and music. He served an LDS mission in Cambodia from 2013-2015. Please contact him if you are interested in volunteering. We have a critical need for both transcription and Khmer to English translation. Any level of help would be greatly appreciated!
We are pleased to announce that the Cambodia Oral History Project was recently awarded a Brigham Young University “Mentoring Environment Grant (MEG)” for the year 2017. The Office of Research & Creative Activities sponsors these annual grants to facilitate undergraduate work with faculty on research, field studies, or creative projects. This grant, along with a generous anonymous private sector grant in 2016, will allow us to expand collection of interviews by involving more students in the process. We now have approximately 220 interviews that need transcription, translation, and editing. If you are interested in volunteering–––whether it be for one interview or many––please contact our volunteer coordinator.
In addition to the volunteer opportunities, there are several position opportunities for current Brigham Young University students:
Web development and maintenance; Knowledge of Word Press preferred, but we will consider training if you have technical aptitude and related skills. Knowledge of Khmer helpful.
Video/audio editing and technical enhancement; Managing digital archive; Video sub-titling.
Managing transcription and translation process. Advanced Khmer language abilities.
After more than five months of service, Tyler Jorgensen has completed his service as Cambodia project managing intern and has returned home to Idaho. During his time in Cambodia he was able to facilitate some some 140 interviews, while involving scores of family members in the process. We hope that Tyler will continue to be involved as he finishes his studies at Idaho State University. Our sincere thanks for his and his wife Dana’s service to the project at this crucial time.
To pick up where Tyler left off in Cambodia, we would like to announce that Mr. Wesley Crump (a current project assistant) will begin work as a new intern beginning early January 2017. Wesley brings with him understanding of the fundamentals of the project and his experience as missionary in Cambodia (2013-15). He has been involved from the outset of the project, and has been working as volunteer coordinator on the project since April 2016. He is from Lehi, Utah and is studying studying plant genetics at Brigham Young University. He has interests in outdoor activities and music, and–––of course–––Cambodia language and culture
Dana Scott Bourgerie
Cambodian Oral Histories Project Lead
Mr. Matthew Boyd has finished his stint as in-country management intern and returned to the U.S. To take over his duties we have brought on Mr. Tyler Jorgensen. Tyler is a former Cambodia LDS missionary and currently a secondary education major at Idaho State University. He, like Matt, is bilingual in English and Khmer. He has interests in photography, videography, and is an accomplished Yo-Yo artist!
Thanks to Matt for all his efforts in helping launch the project in Cambodia!
The Cambodia Oral History Project was formally launched in January 2016, seeking to document the lives and stories of the people in Cambodia and especially the generation that came of age in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The project is supported by the Brigham Young University College of Humanities the through the Humanities Center.
We will be posting interviews, transcriptions, and translations in the near future. Interviews are mostly in the subjects primary language (Mainly Khmer, but potentially Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.)