Changing Cambodia _ 2017 – 2018

It almost got me, but it failed. From a few little red spots, it formed a round shape and slowly turned into blisters. They were everywhere on my body — five spots to be exact. Those were ring worms. I unexpectedly got infected by dogs. My life was in a hot mess after I got back from my project’s mission at Mondulkiri, under an intention of diminishing human and animals’ cause of death from rabies by providing free rabies vaccines. Another mission appeared to be a few weeks after the previous mission. I would admit that I was not ready for it since my infection had not recovered: I was frustrated. I even asked to not touch anymore animals due to my concern about ring worms. On the actual mission day, my only main role was to raise rabies awareness to villagers who brought their cats and dogs to our place. But, I could not  help by just staring at my teammates doing the work, so I jumped in anyway and started helping with the vaccinations.

Being able to support and be the reasons for other people’s enhancement is my elation. The helping process itself can be frustrated, exhausted, uncomfortable and sometimes could be harmful, but it is worth it. We born on the same planet, but not with the same identity. Some people already had so much while some others are still struggling to find paths for a proper life condition. Building up motivations for others is like bringing smiles and hopes. We help by providing supports for others to get a better quality of life.

Cambodia, with an approximation of 15 million people, are suffering from rabies. Based on a data that was collected by Pasteur Institute in 2009, dogs population is ⅓ of Cambodian population while roughly 800 people died from rabies every year. In a group of 10, we took these information into actions. We collaborated with two experts to host two free rabies vaccination events, Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society (PPAWs) and Animal Rescue Cambodia (ARC). We worked with PPAWs for two days down at Mondulkiri to raise rabies awareness, provided rabies vaccines, and offered free health checkup for dogs and cats. We then organized and advertised a second free rabies vaccination event with ARC at Koh Krobey village (a village near our school). It took us the whole day for the event and we successfully injected 167 dogs and cats. Both missions were impressively successful! We can see the care from those animals’ owners. Tuk tuks, motos, cars were coming from every directions to our vaccination location. I found the experience worthwhile and that it’s doing two jobs at the same time. Both animals and human are safer from rabies.

Equally important, Camkids, an NGO down at Kampong Speu opened a primary school. Children are allowed to go to school with no payments required. Camkids guided villagers to collaborate and be the leader for their own community. Villagers are delighted with the existence of Camkids because without Camkids, their children might have to go to some far for schools in Kampong Speu or villagers might not even consider sending their children to school. During a seven-week project, I worked with a group of seven to create a well designed survey to see how Camkids has improved the communities around it since it was built. We used our knowledge from AP statistics to structure our survey. We then went down to Kampong Speu and surveyed about 103 villagers from three villages around Camkids (Chbar Chross, Trorpaing Mean,Ta Ngov) on three categories: health and nutrition, education, as well as wealth and income. Each survey took us about 30 to 45 minutes. We modeled our survey from a previous survey that was conducted when Camkids just started. We analyzed our data and displayed them in best way possible, using graphs and description. Our work will be display on Camkids’ website and could be seen by possible donors. I would be looking forward to hearing more about how my team’s data has helped with the improvement of those three villages. Currently, villagers’ access to power supplies down at villages around Camkids are still depending on batteries as well as solar. At the same time, education is also another important aspect that still need improvement. I volunteered to spend a few days during my last summer break down at Kampong Speu to work with a few Princeton students to install solar panels at the school, so students there could have extra english classes in the evening.

We all fully aware that education is necessary, but I am sure we should be both physically and mentally healthy as well. Besides learning time, I am also a frisbee player and has volunteered to dedicate my weekend time into teaching Camkids students frisbee. Many children at Camkids, never know what frisbee really is; they have never seen nor touched one before. I went there with my girls teammates for half a day to train around 60 children frisbee. They seemed to enjoy playing and learning about this new sport. We are also looking forward to pick determined players from Camkids to join our first, Cambodian women ultimate, Bee Force.  

As a matter of fact that the idea of offering support is essential, putting it into action is the next step. Times were being dedicated into variety of projects with a clear intention that we want to see change, a positive one. As a 16-year-old, I found this tough, and I sometimes uncertain if this goal is too big to accomplish. But, I carried out one quote from mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” Doing what we are capable of would be ideal. Being the support for others could take a lot of courage to keep going especially for someone who is a shy person like me. It is putting ourselves into being uncomfortable, but it is my pleasure to see what I have done has actually create impact. Going on field trips gave me unforgettable memories. I learned to become an empathetic person and be braver to share what I’ve got. I believe and I will keep on doing what I can and see Cambodia, my home country, grow into a better place.

Changing Cambodia 2016 – 2017

Changing Cambodia

First year of high school. The school year of 2016 and 2017. It has been really challenging including learning to be independent like cooking by our own and be sure that assignments are ready on time. Besides, it is a year that every second count. Whatever useful things I work on will be counted. Another school year had passed, the course of 2016 – 2017 is over. Thinking about changing Cambodia, there are many projects and events that I would like to point out. There were three seven weeks courses and three events that I had participated and that that they helped to create lots of positive impacts to Cambodia either in the present of Cambodia and in the future.

One of the seven weeks courses calls Waste Management. Our main focus was to create our own business plan for an idea of compost business, where we will work with villagers to collect inorganic and organic wastes. There were many things that needed to be solved and find out, so we as a team discussed and worked on various segments of the business plan on how the business should be operated. At the same time, we also created four tumblers and we were using those tumblers to test out compost idea. We also contacted companies that are currently working on compost and are having more experience in this kind of job to share us some ideas as well. We got the idea jot down and made sure it is ready for the next group to carry on. Then we also shared the idea to an organization called “Little Hearts” because they are also working on similar project. At the same time, Climate Summit has also played an important role in making Cambodia into a better place as well. Our main focus in that project was to run an event related to climate change issue that occurs in real life in the present. We had invited young Cambodians, who were 9th graders to participate in the event. It was the first Climate Summit being held in Cambodia. It was a tremendous experience when we get to contribute the world’s issues to this new generation so that they would also take the action and deal with the issue in order to make a modification. The event adjusted participants’ perspective so much. This statement is based on a survey that we did with every participant before and after they participated in the event. Last but not least is a project called Robotics. This is the first course ever of learning more advanced robotics besides the Lego robot. We had created our own robot and programmed it to work. We then got the robot to a competition in Taiwan. We didn’t really do well since it is our first time combined with lack of materials issue. But anyway, we got our robot to process and we were awarded from judges the “Judges Award”. We are really looking forward to improve our robot if we get another opportunity. When we came back from Taiwan, we went out to many events to share our experience and also to inspire other Cambodian students to be in technology and to be in competitions internationally.

Besides curriculum education in school, I also have some projects going on with other students. One of them is Tos Tov. This is an idea to aid everyone from ended up wasting their time waiting so long for buses or taxies to leave. This idea also encourage Cambodians to be more into technology. We are currently working on the project and we expect to make it work as soon as we can. It is challenging since me and my teammates also got school work, cooking as well chores to be responsible for, but we manage to find time to meet up anyway and work on our project. In the process of enhancing the application, we all went out to interview people to get a big picture of what our target audience like. As soon as the idea launch for everyone to use, there will be a huge change and now we are changing people little by little. Another event I had been to was Hackathon. It was a two whole days event and required participants to come up with ideas in creating application that will aid to deal with the word’s issue or their country’s issue. There were four members in our team and we got our idea down to health issue. The project will help to improve people’s livelihood since they just require to get on their smartphones or non-smart phones for approximately five minutes. The app will be like a real doctor based on real study. The online doctor ask questions to patients and make some statement like what kind of infection the patients has and whether the patients should exercise or go discuss with real doctors. We also got awarded in third place as “Promising Team”. We have a faith that as soon as the application ready to get to the world, there will be a huge, positive impact on Cambodians and the rest of the world. Last but not least, this is a sport related program that I participated in, which is Frisbee. I spend 3 hours in the afternoon every Sunday to practice. I also got selected to be apart of the Cambodian international team to go and compete in Manila, Philippines. The sport is challenging and also is new to Cambodia. But, I am glad and proud of myself that I can be on the team as well as being an international team representing Cambodia as well as women into sport. From this, there will be more girls get inspired and also believe that girls could also play the sport.

I am proud to be a Cambodian and that I get to do all these amazing projects to help develop my country. Even though it’s not in a huge way, but by taking this little baby steps, some days there will be big changes. I am looking forward to doing more projects next year and keep the changes going.

Changing Cambodia 2015 – 2016

In the presence, Cambodia is still a developing country, so there are always things to be changed to a next and better level. Though my eyes and what I had been taught, education, environment and so on are still big problems to be solve.
This school year, I was apart of five Explorations. One of those was Phnong Indigenous Minority. We created a book about Phnong’s lives because as our country is more developed, their lives also change, so we would like to help preserve their culture by creating a book, which includes their livelihoods, culture etc. Another one was Project Based Learning. We want to know if the government school students are interested in the Project Based Learning or not. So we had created projects for them to work on and they required to create a water filter out of natural resources such as sand and coal. When went back to check what they had got. We could see that they finish it on time, their idea was creative and the quality of the water from the filter was awesome. They told us that they like this Project Based Learning curriculum a lot because they get to practice in real life not just learning the theory from the book. Besides, when we got the answer from this school, we told the result to the next group. The next group had worked with a school in Kratie to continue this work, but I wasn’t apart of that group. That school in Kratie was suggested by the Minister of Education. Another Exploration was Entrepreneurship. Our mission was to create our own chill sauce with our own label, names, making our own product and doing our own marketing. I was in the marketing group. Finally, we got the label ready and our name is Cambodian Dynamite! Last but not least, my last Exploration of the year was Coding! This Exploration was for those that are interested in learning about it. So we took a test and I passed it, so I got to be apart of this Exploration. Our mission was to create an application that is related to economy. Me and another three members were in the Engine Team. We used lots of Javascript to make the application works. Finally, we can do it!
I feel really great to be in these Exploration, because I can be apart of change in Cambodia. This year, I was helping in education sector, where I helped to introduce Project Based Learning program to the government school students and they were interested, so we can give idea to the minister that this curriculum might help students to be more interested in learning. Secondly, in the Phnong Exploration, I had published a book about their lives. I think this might help them to their new generations to know about what their culture used to be in the past. The Chilli sauce Exploration. I was making a Cambodian product, which made by Cambodian kids and using many of the famous Cambodian ingredients. Coding was my last Exploration, but it’s an amazing one. I didn’t like coding much, but after this Exploration I feel like “Coding is amazing”! I could never believe myself that I could learn how to program an application and understand in a deeper level in technology! There were also other Cambodian boys and girls learning with me as well, so I think they are also apart of change in Technology when they could understand even deeper than now, they can help to create new things out of technology!
This year, I was in three, huge competitions. I had this special opportunity to go to Singapore for Robotics competition and the theme for this year is Trash Trek. I had created a commercial about trash in Cambodia to submit in the competition and our group were in the 2nd runner up for creative solution! Another big part of the competition was to program our robot to do what the competition required us to do. They had a competition board and our robot have to follow what they required with the board. It was a great experience to be on the plane for the first time ever in my life and also to visit one of the developed countries in Asia. The same video was also submitted in the “I Am a Role Model” competition, which was created by the Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen. We need lots of likes from other people to be in the top ten winners, and my video won the vote. So I was in the top ten and got this special opportunity to get a certificate and other prizes from the Cambodian Prime minister, Hun Sen at his work place. It was an amazing experience in my life because I could only see him in the TV, but that I saw him in real life, which was so great! Another big one was the Phnom Penh Youth Film Festival (PPYFF). My partner, Marary and I wrote a ghost movie titled “Haunted House”. We filmed the movie at night with some helps from our facilitators and from our friends. I did the editing and our movie was submitted in the competition. We got two prizes on our movie! Marady got a prize as Best Actor and we both got a prize as Best Director.
Since then, Marady and I had a plan that we might want to make more movies next year. We also feel that we like lots of filming staff. This year is an amazing year for me because I got to do lots of extraordinary things! As a Cambodian and that I got to do all these things. Besides, I did some works to help Change Cambodia this year, besides as a Cambodian and I got opportunities to improve myself, it was a part of great change in life too as a young Cambodian!

How I Changed Cambodia 2013 – 2014

Cambodia is my country. I want to develop it a lot. Now I am the kids it really hard for me if I want to change some thing. So now I have many different knowledge that can be my foundation for me. So at the future I can use them to change my country and my self future. At Liger I learned many different subjects. But the most that I interested at them are: Forest Ecology, Public Relation and Architecture. These three things make me so excited a lot because in Forest Ecology I had the chance to went to the forest to have a looked at Cambodia forest and knew about the problem that Cambodia had now. This make me want to protect that forest and animals a lot so when I grow up I also can use my knowledge in this exploration and aother extra study to help my self understand more about that. So at the future it also can be my job too. It make the positive thing because I got the more ideas to help change Cambodia. Other thing was Architecture that I can draw the floor plan of the house and side view. I can make the different for Cambodia because it not easy for the students like my old in Cambodia that have the chance to learned about that liek this. So I really happy because I can learned many knowledge that my young in here not have the chance to do. The last thing was Public Relation the different that I made in that was I can shared my knowledge to the other students that not very good at that. So if I don’t know they teach me and if I don’t know they teach me. Anther thing is it make the different between my old school and here. At my old school everyone alway chasing each other to get the best by them self not like in here is to teach each other. But we both had the same goal was to change Cambodia to get the bright future.

Changing Cambodia 2014 – 2015

This is the third year that I have been learning at Liger. During this years I have improve many things. One of them is my my english reading skill. My english level have moved so far from other any other students when I did my reading test with my Literacy teacher Caro. At Liger if we do something good like this or you get best at something teacher will give you some prizes. So that mean I also get to choose a prize from my teacher too because I get to be the best at my reading skill. I also have learned Grammar Bootcamp. Grammar is one of my challenging skill because I am not good at that skill at all even khmer. But after I have learned grammar bootcamp I have improve a lot. I can understand about grammar more than I have expected. I also have learned many Explorations. I have been in an Exploration called Cambodian Economy. I have done many research about that. I also went on a trip to Men Sa Run rice mill factory to learn because this is one of the sector that help the economy in Cambodia grow. I have met a man at there. He is the director at that rice mill factory. We have asked him about his factory and also about how he can export his product to the international market. We went there is not just the purpose of learning, but our goal in our Exploration is we want to publish a book about Cambodian Economy in the present. I also have learned about Water Sanitation in Cambodia. I have went on two trips to Battam Bang and Siem Reap. I have learned how is the filter work at there. The one that I am really interesting at is at Siem Reap because lots of tourism go to visit there, so there are many hotels and restaurants are located in Siem Reap. The system is also very interesting because before they build the filter system they need to think about the sun, wind and many thing because they don’t want the stench to go into the city by how the wind blow, so they need to build it far from the city. Beside what I have learned in school at on that trip I also get to join a option project call Technovation. I always spend my whole Sunday weekend to go to meet my team at a place call Development Innovation (DI). This project is all about girls around the world with technology. The intention of this project is for all girls that have divided in team to make an app to help their own country. There are about 1000 teams have joined to compete. So everybody worked really hard to finished our work. It took us about three months every weekend on Sunday to go to and work at DI for the whole day. According to what I have learned I think I am a child in Cambodia and I can do all this things, which is challenging, but I can do it. Even I am the girl, but I still can do many thing with technology to help my country. I think if there will be more girls know more about technology our country will become a developed country because we can generate many new thing out of technology. Also water is one of the thing that we need to think of and also have some idea with water. I know that I can share to other people to know how important it is to keep the water clean, so when they are really understand about that it will be a great thing for people to know like our country that is still developing.