Myotherapy student opens volunteer programs in Cambodia

Rotana Cheng is a Clinical Myotherapy graduate from the Southern School of Natural Therapy.

He is currently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia creating volunteer programs for myotherapists and other health practitioners to provide their skills and expertise to the most disadvantaged groups as well as create ongoing access to physical health services.

Rotana was born in Australia after his parents fled the Cambodian Genocide of the late 1970’s.

“I had just finished the BHSc of Clinical Myotherapy and created the Clinical Myotherapy Group with fellow Southern School of Natural Therapy (SSNT) alumni Susan Nichols. During this time, I had the good fortune to meet an entrepreneur who was creating projects that were benefitting a rural community in the Philippines. After some inspiring discussions, I decided it would be a good opportunity to explore how Myotherapy could be used to benefit the wider world community. Reaching out through the myotherapy network, I spoke with fellow myotherapist Elaine Stevenson and was given the contact details of the CEO of Hands On Health Australia, an organisation that focused on delivering quality inter-disciplinary health care to the wider Australian community and communities abroad through training, education, research and treatment.”

Improving access to health services & health education for all Khmer people

After speaking with the CEO, he was put in contact with the International Program Coordinator who wanted to explore the idea of providing myotherapy programs in the Philippines.

He was offered the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and Cambodia to inspect the Sustainable Teaching and Training Programs operating in each country.

“I was there to evaluate the STTEP (Sustainable Training Teaching Employment Program), a program designed to teach basic myotherapy training as well as community welfare services such as first aid, primary healthcare, sanitation, nutrition, advocacy and social care training. During the course of supervising training, I found myself inadvertently teaching new techniques to the class. I was just showing the lecturer some basic techniques. It wasn’t until I looked up that I realised the whole class had stopped what they were doing to watch. I could see the enthusiasm and curiosity in their eyes and it was palpable. It was then I realised how hungry they were for this information and starting to see how badly services in physical health were needed. With continued training & support, Cambodian people could be given the opportunity to improve the level of the physical therapy in the country thereby helping improve the level of health & health education in their communities.”

In 2017, he moved to Phnom Penh with two goals in mind:

To create opportunities for international health practitioners to share their knowledge and skills and to use that knowledge to provide services to marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

Giving access to health services for disadvantaged groups

Khmer therapists participate in mobile treatment clinics offering complementary physical health services to the most disadvantaged groups in the poorest areas of Phnom Penh. Many of these people are unable to travel to or afford physical health services.

Improving access to health services & health education for all Khmer people

Training programs

We provide continued education and opportunities for training workshops of physical health practitioners to further improve the industry to an international level and improved access to quality care. This is done by developing vocational programs for the visual and audible impaired allowing them to become financially independent and contribute to the health of their community

Employment opportunities

Provide permanent positions for full-time therapists and trainers to provide both complementary physical health services and administer our training programs. In the long term, these programs will help to fund the development of a Sustainable Social Enterprise Clinic, designed to provide long-term employment, education and provide ongoing support & mentorship to local Khmer physical therapists.

If you are interested in volunteering to check out their next intake in December 8-18th.

Learn more about Rotana’s company The Remedy.