Project Overview and History
Improving outcomes of people who suffer from illnesses (both acute and chronic) and increasing their access to quality healthcare
Project Sothea is a student-led medical overseas community service project under the Rotaract Club of Singapore (City). Our team comprises 27 first and second-year students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
Each year, we travel to Battambang, Cambodia, to aid our beneficiaries which mainly include villagers of the Dangkut Thnong and Anlong Svay villages, many of whom lack access to basic healthcare amenities due to challenges such as distance and cost.
Project Sothea was started under the title - “Mission: Peaceful Children Home 2”. We were an offshoot from a one of the projects of Coast2Coast (Singapore), a youth initiative which organises volunteer outreach missions to Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and India. We began our collaboration with the Khmer Foundation for Justice, Peace and Development.
Project Sothea extended health education for the nearby village of Kamping Puoy.
Project Sothea expanded to include health screenings for the residents of a few slum communities residing in dump sites located in Phnom Penh. We formed yet another collaboration with an international NGO known as Pour un Sourire D’Enfant (PSE), which works in conjunction with a local charity, Solutions to End Poverty (STEP).
Project Sothea followed the residents in the slum communities as they relocated to SMILE Village, a new settlement built by PSE. We established a rudimentary healthcare system for the new community and aimed to inculcate hygienic lifestyle practices.
Project Sothea continued its expansion in Battambang, where we started health screening and education efforts in nearby Sra Kaew village to promising reception by the villagers. This was also the last year we spent in Phnom Penh as we handed over our project to another NUS student-led team to continue developmental efforts in SMILE village in collaboration with STEP.
We begun a collaboration with medical students from International University (IU) and nursing students from University of Battambang.
We made an agreement with Handa Medical Centre in Battambang to provide medical care at a discounted rate for villagers referred by us to their Centre.
Project Sothea signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International University (IU) Phnom Penh, which marked the establishment of our Cambodian Wing in IU. This aids in securing the sustainability of Project Sothea, a step in our ultimate aim to establish a functioning local healthcare system.
We also created 2 new committees - Research Committee and Development Committee - to track the health situation of villagers, and to better serve their long-term health and infrastructure needs.