Assessing Long-term Impact of Values-based Community Health Education in Cambodia
Introduction: Community Health Education (CHE) is a development strategy which aims to address the needs of communities in developing countries through an emphasis on moral values and civic education. The syllabus of the CHE program guides a trainer to find the needs of a developing community and take a moral values-based approach to health issues such as alcoholism, smoking, injuries to accidents, and sexually-transmitted illnesses. The fundamental philosophy is that of development as opposed to aid.
Methods: In November 2010 and February 2011, this training was conducted for leaders and volunteers from two Cambodian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in HIV prevention education and training in Cambodia. In order to investigate long-term impact, participants who underwent training sessions in November 2010 and February 2011 also underwent Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs).
Results: A total of 28 participants partook in the 3 FGDs and 5 participants took part in the KIIs. Participants were able to recall a number of moral values and concepts from the training. These included forgiveness, love, altruism, unity, respect, empathy, teamwork, optimism, and hopefulness. The organizations were then able to use the CHE model to change the way their organization worked together to achieve the goals in their communities. The participants were also able to use the teaching modalities employed by CHE sessions in their own work with their target communities.
Conclusion: The CHE training system has had a number of positive effects. They have influenced the personal lives of the participants, the way their organizations are run and the way they reach out to their target communities. In light of the themes identified in our results, we propose further research to compare the relative magnitude of all of these effects on these organizations in the long run compared to the short run.
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