This Online Dialogue features Elizabeth Chafcouloff, Alice Smith, and Sidrich Chhour and their clinical, academic, and volunteer work in Cambodia. In this 3-part dialogue, they discuss:
- Their work providing speech, language, and swallowing services in Cambodia;
- Their involvement with Speech Therapy Cambodia, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide SLP education and certification; and
- How you can get involved with these efforts!
Part 1: Alice Smith
Dr. Alice Smith is a speech-language pathologist who has taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona, and the university of Iowa. She specializes in craniofacial disorders and is Chair of the Speech Council for Operation Smile International. Dr. Smith has provided speech therapy for children in Cambodia since 2002. She adopted two children in Cambodia in 2000 and 2001.
Dr. Smith provided a social and historical context for understanding Cambodia as a developing country and its need for speech, language and hearing services. She discussed the impacts of poverty on access to healthcare and education in Cambodia. She also shared her own experiences working with children and training professionals in Cambodia through Operation Smile Cambodia, All Ears Cambodia, her own E & E Speech-Language Therapy Clinic over the last 15+ years, and her partnership with Elizabeth (Betsy) Chafcouloff via Speech Therapy Cambodia since 2013.
Resources mentioned in Alice’s video:
- Facebook Group: Operation-Smile-Cambodia
- All Ears Cambodia Website: http://allearscambodia.org
Part 2: Sidrich Chhour
Mr. Sidrich Chhour is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders. He is currently employed as a therapist in Applied Behavioral Analysis. He volunteered with Elizabeth in Cambodia in July of last year. Sidrich is a second generation Cambodian-American and he shared his family’s story of immigration to the U.S. as refugees. A search for “Cambodia and SLP” while he was an undergraduate led to him finding Elizabeth and Speech Therapy Cambodia. He shared his impressions of Cambodia and what he learned from his visit as a volunteer.
Resources mentioned in Sidrich’s video:
- CABDICO (Capacity Building for Disability Cooperation): http://cabdico.org/
- OIC Cambodia: http://www.oiccambodia.org/
Part 3: Elizabeth Chafcouloff
Ms. Elizabeth Chafcouloff is the director, president, CEO, and founder of Speech Therapy Cambodia. She has 14 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist, treating speech, language, swallowing, and cognitive disorders. She specializes in work with the geriatric population. Ms. Chafcouloff travels to Cambodia for 5 months each year to develop speech therapy programs.
In this presentation, Ms. Chafcouloff recalled falling in love with Cambodia and how that led to the founding of Speech Therapy Cambodia. The mission and goals of Speech Therapy Cambodia include treatment for adults and children, training of medical professionals, and building local capacity for speech-language therapy in Cambodia. Ms. Chafcouloff described the nature of the work, what they’ve accomplished, how the program has grown, the challenges along the way, and the need for more volunteers. She discussed future directions, such as supporting the first university-level course in speech-language pathology in 2017, expanding to village communities, tracking patients’ long-term outcomes, and fostering Cambodian teachers of speech pathology.
Resources mentioned in Elizabeth’s video: