The Welcome Committee is a team of ten monitors, who have volunteered in the summer camps before, and who orchestrate the arrival of the 185 monitors who are, for the most part, coming to PSE for the first time. They are a team of ten people coordinated by Paula Samaniego and Alba Saiz, who arrived in PSE on the 17th of July.
I spoke to Paula about her experience organising the Welcome Committee:
We arrived here on Sunday 17th and started planning the arrivals of all the new monitors. We had to make a timetable for the activities they would do when they arrived to PSE, like a tour of central camp, a visit to the dump site where PSE was founded, and a trip into Phnom Penh to see the S21 museum and the central market. We also organised some games so everyone could get to know each other. The ten Welcome Committee members arrived yesterday and since then we have been cleaning and preparing the different spaces we will use throughout the month.
This weekend each Welcome monitor will have one group of new monitors to take care of. There will be many trips to the airport to pick everyone up, and those arriving by bus or train or boat will make their own way to the camp on Saturday and Sunday.
It was a little stressful to organise, mainly because there a lot of people for whom we are not sure of the arrival time… It was difficult to plan a timetable for all the groups without that information. But I think we are pretty much on top of things and that everything will go smoothly. We are really excited to meet everyone tomorrow and get to know all the groups, I think it’s going to be really great!
Alba Saiz, the other Welcome Committee coordinator, went on a scouting trip to the dump site where PSE was founded, to check where the new monitors could walk through to see it well, because a lot is changing in that area at the moment. That is also the location of Paillote 1, where one of the summer camps takes place.