Interview with Weh Yeoh – Introducing Speech Therapy To Cambodia

Weh - Yeoh - founder of OIC Cambodia and the co-founder and CEO of Umbo

Running a social enterprise is about making a positive change in the world. That’s exactly what Weh Yeoh, the founder of OIC Cambodia and the co-founder and CEO of Umbo, is doing.

Even though Weh’s background is as a physiotherapist, he has mostly worked with children with disabilities in the public and non-profit sector and has volunteered in Vietnam and interned in India.

After arriving in Cambodia in 2012, Weh discovered there wasn’t a single Cambodian speech therapist in the entire country and so he founded OIC Cambodia to introduce the profession, with the aim of having 100 therapists in the country by 2030.

But it’s not just developing countries Weh is invested in helping. With Umbo, he’s is trying to bridge the gap in health care for children with disabilities in rural and remote Australia so they can participate better in society.

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Episode highlights:

  • What OIC stands for
  • Weh’s background as a physiotherapist but mostly working with children with disabilities in the public and non-profit sector
  • Finding out there wasn’t a single speech therapist in the whole of Cambodia – a country with 16 million people
  • How do you solve problems in developing countries?
  • Feeling an emotional reaction and knowing how to act on that
  • 600,000+ people in Cambodia need speech therapy but the profession doesn’t yet exist
  • The difference between solving symptoms and solving problems and applying that logic to projects internationally
  • OIC Cambodia started making itself redundant from the start – it will have 100 speech therapists in the country by 2030 and then it will dissolve
  • Key priorities in the first five years – structure, strategy, right people
  • Weh is most proud of the fact that OIC Cambodia was founded by him, led by him for four years
  • Applying the principles of social model of disability and how it’s showing up in OIC Cambodia
  • Social model of disability – gently challenging some of the traditional notions and the medical model in Cambodia
  • Australia plays it too safe – too many rules and regulations to keep the status quo
  • What motivated Weh to start OIC Cambodia and Umbo
  • Umbo stats – been going for 11 months and just signed first partnership with a non-profit based in NSW who are registered with NDIS
  • How do we get a great face-to-face clinician to become a great online clinician?
  • Umbo’s first goal is to become a service provider and to learn everything it can
  • Tipping point in the world – the number of wealthy people is equal to the number of poverty-stricken people
  • Weh’s vision to expand to Africa – it’s where the opportunities lie
  • Umbo’s goal to become NDIS registered
  • Umbo’s social impact and how to measure that to be able to show people what they’re actually doing to help people
  • Umbo is looking for trainers, clinicians and partners – visit the website for more information on how to work with Umbo


OIC Cambodia Website

Umbo Website

Weh Yeoh LinkedIn

Weh Yeoh

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