ODOV is a local Cambodian NGO, which has an office located in Mesang Town, Prey Veng Province, less than one kilometer from the Mesang Market.
ODOV initially began as the Mesang Integrated Community Development Program, a project of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), before becoming localized in 2004. In April 2005, ODOV was recognized and registered with Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior.
Since its localization in 2004, ODOV worked toward sustainability and self-sufficiency in its projects. ODOV set up 76 self-sustaining Village Banks with 50 farmers each. Within each group, there are five leaders trained with financial management, business development, team building, and problem-solving skills. Along with the Village Banks, ODOV implemented Village Model Farms which serve as a demonstration site, centre for practical training for community members, and a source for agricultural inputs and technical training. ODOV trained more than 10,000 farmers in family nutrition, food preparation, and sustainable agricultural techniques. 10 Agricultural Cooperatives (ACs) and 22 Producer Groups were formed by ODOV and became self-operating, however, ODOV still continues to strengthen them to be self-sustaining and completely independent institutions.
ODOV has been implementing and completing projects supported through multiple international and national donors. ODOV received grants from Canadian Food-Grains Bank over the past six years. ODOV implemented the Integrated Community Development projects with grants provided by the Mennonite Central Committee for more than ten years. ODOV also received ten years of grants through Helen Keller International, Cambodia to implement homestead food production for improved food security and nutrition among mothers and children. USAID contributed a four-year grant to ODOV through Pact Cambodia to implement a project called “Local Administration and Reform” promoting decentralization and de-concentration as well as improvement of local governance at the sub-national level. ODOV received a one-year grant Forum Syd to implement a climate change project and has received funding from World Renew to implement holistic community development. Currently, ODOV received funds from the Cambodian government through the General Directory of Agriculture to implement a food security project. This project encourages farmers using Good Agricultural Practice to produce vegetables to meet the demand of the market.
ODOV staff has a diverse educational background. The majority graduating with university degrees with specializations in rural development, agronomy, business administration, and finance and accounting. ODOV staff have gained intensive training and capacity building in the areas of gender equity and empowerment, climate change, sustainable agriculture, and essential nutrition and organizational management from previous partners such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Helen Keller International, World Renew, Forum Syd, and Cord Cambodia. More recently, ODOV’s Executive Director participated in an Asia gathering and Situation Assessment organized by CFGB.
The training and knowledge has led to implementing sustainable food security, community finance and income generation, homestead food production, local governance, community nutrition, and climate change projects have given ODOV’s technical staff adequate knowledge of community mobilization, finance management, business principles, family nutrition, proper food preparation and sustainable agriculture technologies, including those adapted to climate change, such as water management (drip irrigation; bed preparation and mulching; expanding fish ponds to improve rainwater collecting; and food production), crop diversification (year-round vegetable production), and soil management (crop rotation, inter-cropping, compost making, and natural fertilizers), poultry production, and fish cultivation.
ODOV has set up an accounting system using the program QuickBooks and Excel, and has a clear financial management policy for internal operations. Additionally, ODOV has developed a financial management and record keeping processes, as well as a training manual, for village banks and agriculture cooperatives. ODOV ensures that staff in the financial department is properly trained and have an educational background in financial processes. ODOV also has training in good governance and stresses the importance of transparency and accountability in the village bank committee and cooperatives trainings.
ODOV is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of 7 Cambodians all working as leaders in the development sector. The board provides direction and guidance for the organization in accordance with ODOV’s vision and mission. Additionally, organizational strategy is regularly assessed through an internal Management Committee. ODOV’s Executive Director, Mr. Tes Sopheat, is accountable to the Board of Directors.