Before Speech Therapy Cambodia (STC) began operations in Cambodia in 2014, Cambodians had little to no access to speech therapy services. This was because there is no profession of speech therapy in Cambodia.
Public hospitals serving the poorest Cambodians could not provide evaluation or treatment for stroke survivors who experienced life-threatening swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).
Our organization started small with our co-founder, speech-language pathologist (SLP) Elizabeth Chafcouloff, visiting Cambodia as a self-funded volunteer to provide short-term trainings to doctors at one public hospital in Phnom Penh, Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital (KSFH.) The organization expanded trainings the next year to Calmette Hospital through recommendations from KSFH.
Elizabeth was supported in her work by additional teams of volunteer SLPs.
In 2016, Speech Therapy Cambodia set up a Cambodian NGO with a Cambodian Board of Directors–Speech and Swallowing Therapy Cambodia (SSTC)–to facilitate in-country services.
Cambodian Board of Directors
Speech Therapy Cambodia now provides ongoing training and clinical supervision for seventeen Cambodian doctors, nurses, and physical therapists across three public hospitals in Phnom Penh, now also including Kossamak Hospital.
These dedicated Cambodian clinicians undertake dysphagia screenings and interventions for all post-stroke patients at their hospitals.
To ensure the continuity and effectiveness of these Cambodian clinicians, STC’s Cambodian partner organization (SSTC) employs a year-round staff of two licensed speech-language pathologists to provide ongoing training, consultation, and clinical supervision to STC-trained clinicians. These experienced SLPs also develop training materials which will provide the foundation for future university courses.
Our work is also greatly facilitated by our Cambodian executive assistant, Leng Veasna, and our interpreter, To Sichoeun. (see also OUR TEAMS)
Although our long-term goal is the university certification of Cambodian speech therapists, our immediate focus is ensuring that our Cambodian trainees have the skills to safely and effectively treat stroke survivors when they enter the hospital.
In addition to its ongoing work at public hospitals, Speech Therapy Cambodia provides specialized short-term trainings, such as training in FEES or Tracheostomy Management, taught by visiting SLP clinicians and university professors and provided free-of-charge to qualified participants.
During the past few years, we have worked with Cambodian universities to establish limited-scope pilot courses in speech therapy, as steps toward our ultimate objective of establishing speech therapy as a profession in Cambodia.
We are now in the process of instituting an MOU with the Cambodian Ministry of Health and are collaborating with other like-minded organizations in Cambodia–such as OIC Cambodia–to establish eventual university degree programs in speech therapy.
How you can help
We are looking for experienced SLPs who have worked in Southeast Asia or other developing/ majority nations, or who have traveled extensively in these countries. Come to Cambodia and teach with us!
IT and social media skills are also needed to help with our website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Like us on Facebook; connect with us on Twitter and on other social media. Spread the word! Let your friends know about our work.
Connect us with organizations or people who might be able to further our mission, including major donors or foundations.
As a 501(c)(3) we rely on donations from people like you to support our mission in Cambodia. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation today please click the link, or visit our page on Razoo.com.