Faces of Change: Ham Oudom
Oudom received his Masters of Art and Sociology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, where he studied on a scholarship. His thesis research on access to education for indigenous people led him to a research position in the Koh Kong province, where he quickly became disillusioned by the human rights abuses committed in the name of development. It was then that he realized he would dedicate his life to finding better solutions for his country, no matter the risk.
EarthRights School Mekong provided Oudom the opportunity for deeper understanding of the environmental, social, and economic issues his country faces and how to empower communities to confront them. After graduating in 2013, Oudom facilitated a meeting of two communities facing potential negative impacts of controversial hydropower dams, providing an opportunity for the exchange of experience and information. Empowered by this meeting, one community formed a human roadblock and has prevented progress in the development of the dam to this day.
Oudom has also been instrumental in ERI’s efforts to stop the Don Sahong Dam, working closely with communities in northeast Cambodia and assisting in filing the complaint before the Malaysian Human Rights Commission against the project developer Mega First.