Cambodian Organisation for Children and Development (COCD)

Cambodian Organisation for Children and Development (COCD)

The Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (COCD) is a child-focused, development organisation which operates within the remote areas of Cambodia. COCD’s vision is that all children have access to quality social welfare and are free from all types of abuse. To achieve this, COCD aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable and abused children in Cambodia through tackling structural causes of poverty, inequality, social exclusion and child abuse.

COCD have been an active PACE partner since 2017. The COCD office is located in the Russian Market area (Toul Tom Poung) of Phnom Penh.

Find more information on the COCD website.

Students have the opportunity to work creatively across a multitude of thematic areas within an interdisciplinary team. Previous activities have provided students with experience in:

  • social research
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • health promotion & policy
  • legal research
  • project cycle management
  • media & communications

Accommodation: Typically hotel twin-share accommodation.

Activity Timing*: Winter Vacation (June - July), Session 3 (December - February)

Activity length: 4-6 weeks

PACE Units*: HLTH3050, INTS3050, MMCC3150, MQBS3000, SSCI3090

*Please note: unit availability, timing and activities are dependent on partner needs and are subject to change. Not all units are offered each session.

Location and highlights 

The COCD office is situated in the Russian Market (Toul Tompoung) area of Phnom Penh. Toul Tompuong is a rapidly developing with trendy eateries, gyms, coffee shops, markets and clothing outlets of various prices. Phnom Penh sits at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers, with an established riverfront that is a hive of tourist activity. The city has many historical sites that are easily accessed by tuk tuks, including the Royal Palace, Central Market, Wat Phnom, Toul Sleng and the National Museum to name a few. Spotted around the city are Buddhist temples (wats) along with an alluring and abundant cafe culture, clubs, bars and a diverse food scene to suit every budget.

COCD activities typically include field trips out to rural communities, some which may be overnight.

Previous Activities

AreaDescription
International studies / International developmentChild Protection through Poverty Reduction - Students developed a funding proposal that was submitted to the international donor landscape based on an evaluation of COCD's recurrent programming effectiveness. The funding was able to support two communities through WASH improvements along with providing economic opportunities for livelihood improvement.
Marketing /
Sociology
Community Support & Awareness - Students reviewed COCD's health promotion resources, met with stakeholders & independent research groups to design new promotional brochures for their public health campaign. Students also conducted case studies based upon community projects that were included in donor reports.

This decision reflects a similar decision that has been made in respect to Macquarie International student travel.

This means that all PACE International in-country activities (including student-nominated activities) in Session 1 and Winter Vacation will need to be cancelled.

Our students’ health and safety is our primary concern at PACE International.

We understand this news will be quite disappointing and some of you may have queries or concerns regarding your unit enrolment.  Please contact our teams at PACE International, or your appropriate Faculty, if you would like to discuss this further.

Eligibility

PACE International applications are open to all currently enrolled students at Macquarie University. To be eligible you must:

  • Have completed one session at Macquarie University
  • Be enrolled – or eligible to enrol - in a PACE unit as listed in the Partner search on the PACE International website
  • Hold a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) on or above 60* (LAWS units require a LAWS WAM of 70* or above).
  • Be assessed as suitable using the PACE International Selection Criteria

* If you do not hold the minimum required WAM you can apply for special consideration in your application form.

Please note that placements are allocated based on number of places available at the partner organisation, students’ skill set, student preferences and unit requirements. While we aim to place all eligible students, some placements are very limited, and applications will be considered competitively. Please also note that activities and partners are subject to change.

In assessing your suitability, PACE International will review all components of your application including your application form, academic transcript, CV, and referee report. We may also seek advice from your home Faculty, Student Wellbeing, and/or Macquarie International.

If your WAM is under 60 (or under 70 for LAWS), or if your transcript lists Academic Caution or Disciplinary Issues, you will need to complete a special consideration form alongside your application to provide further information.

In some cases, we may require additional information to properly consider your suitability and may invite you to either submit additional supporting documents or to attend an interview with PACE International staff.

Before I apply

  • Use the PACE International Partner Search to learn more about our opportunities
  • Receive academic advice to see how a PACE International activity will fit into your degree
  • Check you meet the eligibility requirements
  • View the PACE International information session online or visit one of our drop-in sessions
  • Read through the Application Top Tips for advice on submitting your best application
  • Review the Example Application Form to plan how you will answer application questions
  • Refer to the Ethical Volunteering Guide for more information about ethical community engagement and how PACE International works internationally.

How do I apply?

  • Submit an online application form during the key opening dates and apply through the Current Opportunities page.
  • Select your preferences for host organisations (if applicable). Please research our partner organisations before you apply.
  • Attach to your online application a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV), your academic transcript and the contact details of your referee

An automatic reference check will be sent to your referee on submission of your application. Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified via email on the outcome of your application.

Application Timing

SessionApplicationsOverseas Activity
Winter VacationFebruaryJune-July (4 weeks)
Session 2AprilSeptember (2-4 weeks)
Session 3JulyJanuary (4-12 weeks)

Activity Cost

PACE International managed activities incur an activity cost. The Activity Cost is dependent on the location, work requirements, time frame and duration of your activity. Additional costs, not included in your activity cost, are paid for directly by you. Financial support is available through grant funding.

COVERED IN ACTIVITY COSTS
  • Accommodation
  • Pre-departure training
  • In-country orientation
  • In-country management
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance for activity duration
  • Field trips
NOT INCLUDED IN ACTIVITY COSTS
  • International airfares
  • Visa (where applicable)
  • National Police Checks
  • Unit tuition
  • Vaccinations (where applicable)
  • New/renewed passport (where applicable)Personal travel insurance and all related expenses for personal travel and leisure activities
  • Incidental living and travel costs (e.g laundry, transport, souvenirs)

Funding options

There are a range of funding options available to assist you with the associated costs of a PACE International activity. For more information on eligibility and application requirements see the Funding tab on the PACE International website.

Contact us

Email: paceinternational@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 4473
Instagram: @mqpace

Make an appointment or attend a drop-in session: If you would like to speak to a PACE International staff member, please email us at paceinternational@mq.edu.au.

Meet our alumni

Shelby Sewak, COCD, Winter Vacation 2019


What do you study and where did you go on your PACE International activity?

My role was to co-develop an international funding proposal to be sent by COCD to international donors. The project involved evaluating and redesigning COCD's core programs relating to three root causes of poverty in a specific communes within the Kampot Province including:

  1. Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
  2. Economic empowerment through education and vocational training
  3. Social empowerment through the facilitation of women's active participation in decision-making about issues affecting their community.

We also proposed a brand-new idea for menstruation education about hygiene and management for primary-school aged girls and commune women, which was accepted by COCD and is now integrated into their program structure.

We also participated in a field trip to the target area, interviewing the COCD staff, local authorities and villagers about the effectiveness of the current programs and which reforms align with their best interests and needs. This feedback was incorporated into the program design.

Ultimately, we produced an international funding proposal with a new project title, goal, objectives, outputs and activities. Once funding is received, the programs that we helped redesign will be implemented in the target areas to address the root causes of poverty and facilitate sustainable livelihood improvement for vulnerable members of the community.

What was your role or project at your host organisation?

I was looking for an opportunity to practically apply the academic knowledge and personal and professional skills I acquired throughout my studies in a meaningful and impactful way.

I knew that if I wanted to contribute to real-world change that reflected my Law and Social Justice degrees, I needed to step outside my comfort zone. Therefore, I applied for PACE International to intern with an international organisation that aligned with my interests and career goals, and simultaneously took a leap of faith by visiting a country I had never been to before!

I was also attracted to the PACE International program because I knew it would be a fantastic platform to further strengthen and develop my leadership, cross-cultural communication and teamwork skills in a new environment. I was not disappointed!

What attracted you to the PACE International program?

I was looking for an opportunity to practically apply the academic knowledge and personal and professional skills I acquired throughout my studies in a meaningful and impactful way.

I knew that if I wanted to contribute to real-world change that reflected my Law and Social Justice degrees, I needed to step outside my comfort zone. Therefore, I applied for PACE International to intern with an international organisation that aligned with my interests and career goals, and simultaneously took a leap of faith by visiting a country I had never been to before!

I was also attracted to the PACE International program because I knew it would be a fantastic platform to further strengthen and develop my leadership, cross-cultural communication and teamwork skills in a new environment. I was not disappointed!

What advice would you give a student who is thinking of applying for a PACE International activity?

Just do it - it will be one of the best decisions you make! PACE is a compulsory component of our degrees, providing us with work and industry experience in our area of study. PACE International is an opportunity to add an international and cross-cultural perspective to this experience, thus shaping your employability, personal and professional development in a way that prepares you to be a global citizen through projects and activities that can have profound global impacts.

Once you begin the placement, my advice is to challenge yourself and put things into perspective. You may initially be confronted with seemingly complex or foreign ideas when working in a social and cultural environment. It is important to adjust your mindset to understand and appreciate the value of your skills, knowledge and contributions for the organisation. Embrace each challenge, seek guidance if needed and engage in continual reflection to see how far you have come and what you have learnt.

What was the best part of your PACE International experience?

As I am nearing the end of my studies and am pursuing a career in international human rights advocacy, my PACE International placement gave me invaluable exposure to a real-world NGO project that aligned perfectly with my career goals and interests. This direct engagement has strengthened my international networks and provided me with deep insight into the nature and operation of NGO advocacy work, particularly in developing nations.

While I will undoubtedly draw upon these internships and experiences throughout my career, for me, the highlight was meeting and working with like-minded individuals who shared my passion for social justice. As a team, we effectively combined our skills and strengths to deliver a project that will contribute to COCD’s mission and lead to positive change internationally. This is an accomplishment that I, and my newfound friends, will forever be proud of.

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