Country of Origin:
Graduate Program: Master’s program in Social Work at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Background & Goals: Sophak Kanika Nguon worked in the field of disability rights and women’s human rights for over a decade prior to attending graduate school. She worked for the Lutheran World Federation/Department of World Service-Cambodia Program on gender and disability issues. She also served on a variety of disability rights committees such as the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization, the Disability Action Council’s Women with Disabilities Committee, and the Cambodian Disabled Group. Because of her work, Nguon has been selected to participate in a variety of workshops and forums, including Mobility International USA’s Second Annual Women’s Institute on Leadership and Development (WILD) , and the 2004 InterAction Forum, among others. The goal of her studies is to enable her to teach in the first social work program in Cambodia at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and to more effectively advocate for women’s rghts and the rights of persons with disabilities.
Post-Degree Projects: Ngoun completed practicums with several Seattle-based organizations during the course of her study. She graduated in June 2009 and took a position teaching in the Social Work Department at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. In 2010 she taught Community Empowerment Practice I & II to second year social work students and planned to teach Policy Practice and Analysis.
Based in Phnom Penh, Ngoun also consults with the NGOs Cambodia Trust and Handicap International Belgium which advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and give opportunities to students to study at the university level. She continues to provide technical assistance to a local organization, the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO).