Thursday, June 12, 2008

Organizational Leadership

Mr. Som Chanmony, Director

For me, peacebuilding has been a journey of faith. I find my motivation for peacebuilding in the teachings of Jesus – loving those who are different than you, forgiving those who hurt you, and practicing nonviolence. As a peace trainer, it is very important to me that I live out the principals of peacemaking in my own life.

I believe that the work to transform violence is easier when it is grounded in what people believe. I have learned that all religions value peace, love, nonviolence, and human dignity. Therefore, a life of peacebuilding is not limited to the members of any religious group. We need to learn to separate faith and values and to appreciate the values of all religions. I love how peacebuilding involves crossing the boundaries of religion and class to build healthy relationships. In my own journey of peacebuilding, I have applied these ideals in my church, my work, and my family.

I am excited to play a part in the growth of peace in Cambodia as Peace Bridges director.

Mr. Som Chanmony came to Peace Bridges in 2003 as an Associate Administrator. Since then, he has worked as an Associate Training Coordinator, Training Coordinator, and General Service Manager. In August 2010, he became Peace Bridges’ Director. Chanmony is married with one son.


Mr. Barry Higgins, Advisor

“As a ‘peace and justice person’ living cross-culturally, I’m a strong advocate of being slow to make judgments of others. We need to work from the assumption that there is usually more than one interpretation of any event or conflict.

"The problem is that I sometimes do the opposite of what I advocate. I forget to take planks out of my own eye before inspecting dust in other people’s eyes.

"I’ve found that conflict counseling, mediation and peace education make me a better person - it's a good way to reduce blind-spots - and better communicator. That’s also why I’m happy to recommend getting some support from an organization like ours when relationships get a bit rocky - or, even better, before things are rocky!”

Barry Higgins (Bach. Theology; Post-Grad. Diplomas in Mediation and Family Therapy) was the founding director of Peace Bridges. He is married with 2 sons and has lived in Cambodia since 2001.

Prior to working in Cambodia, Barry worked more than 15 years as a Baptist minister and community development worker in Australia. This included working as a mediation consultant for family, community, church and business disputes.

Barry enjoys his family, jazz, swimming and reading a good thriller.


Mr. Nop Sokha, Staff Mentor and Partnership Coordinator

I coordinate our partnerships with community peacebuilders and organizations. I also provide Conflict Counseling & Mediation services, teach Peace Education courses, and train with the Peace Bridges' Training Team.

The Cambodian people and I have met so much physical and mental difficulty and our country still suffers from too many years of war. I remember a proverb, "Even fire, turned to ash, makes you black when you touch it.” With the Cambodian situation, we find it is difficult to escape from the ash or coke. The war that has the fighting zone was finished, but the war still continues in our life and in our mind every day by the issues that we face.

We can say that someone is at peace when he is at peace with his body, peace with his mind and peace with his faith. Those with injuries to their body from the war have many difficulties, but they also have many services in Cambodia. But for those whose have injuries to their mind or their heart face great challenges finding help, because these services are still small and not yet trusted. The mental problem of Cambodian people is still alive with us now.

In 2003, I participated in the ‘Conflict Counseling and Mediation’ course provided by Peace Bridges (formerly Christian Peace Building Services or CPBS). Not only did I learn new skills, but I also received healing for myself. Starting with this training, I have had the opportunity to provide this service to other people who need my help. For me ‘Peace Education’ is important because there are many lessons that can coach us to manage anger and support our mental health as we learn to respond to problems peacefully. These reasons encouraged me to work with Peace Bridges in 2004.

In addition to serving as the Staff Mentor & Partnership Coordinator, Mr. Nop Sokha is a member of Peace Bridges' Management Team and the EFC Executive Committee. He is an assistant Pastor at Light Life Free Methodist Church in Phnom Penh and has many years of experience working in government departments, companies and NGOs.


The Peace Bridges Board & Donors

Board history:

The board grew out of a unity task group formed by the Evangelical Fellowship of
Cambodia in 2002. It operated as a “collective” of concerned volunteers planning
and managing under the leadership of a chairperson, two advisors and eventually
with four paid staff. Approximately three years ago the board restructured with
appointment of a director and management team. As the management has started to demonstrate capacity to manage, the board is now beginning to consider ways of focusing more on higher level policy matters.

Key Donors:

We are very grateful for the generosity and support of our donors who sustain our work. Peace Bridges currently receives financial and/or human resources from the following organizations: