Lori Phillips, Cambodia

MPH, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

I served as an Education and Health Volunteer in the 3rd Peace Corps group in Cambodia. I lived in a district town in Kampong Thom Province, located in the middle of the country. My primary job was to teach English at the local public high school. In addition to those classes, I helped begin the school’s first girls’ volleyball team, put together the first Kampong Thom Provincial Spelling Bee, taught a conversational English class and an anatomy class for advanced students. I lived with a Cambodian host family for the entirety of my service and my host mother was a midwife at the local hospital. I was able to assist her in deliveries and do a lot of informal education on child nutrition and health with women who recently delivered. Another secondary project I completed was a first aid workshop for future teachers. I collaborated with two other volunteers and taught various first aid skills at a Teacher Training School to about 200 future teachers.

While my successful projects in Cambodia were very fulfilling, I found my failures had the biggest impact on my service. They taught me that no one knows what a community really needs but the community members themselves. Peace Corps allowed me to learn how to deal with failure and grow from them. It also strengthened my interest in pursuing the public health field. I was able to personally see the importance of not just having medical personnel, but having health educators to teach people how to improve their own lives and control their own health.

lori phillips first aid workshop
First Aid Workshop

lori phillips spelling bee
First Annual Kampong Thom Spelling Bee

Lori Phillips volleyball team
With the girls’ volleyball team at the Provincial Sports Tournament

Lori Phillips Delivery Room
Delivery room at local hospital (my host mother on the left)

Lori Phillips Home
My home for 2 years