Chea Sim Takeo high school is the home of knowledge to many students in Takeo province, Cambodia. There are approximately 2,000 students enroll each year. In 2013, Chea Sim Takeo high school only had 13 educational buildings but as the number of students grew larger and larger each year, the school has recently built 2 new educational buildings. This shows that the school is working on improving the quality of the school which lead to quality education. Click here to see the changes between 2013 and 2019.
Some of my relatives have said girls shouldn’t play sports, girls shouldn’t be leader, girls should stay home and be a good housewife, girls don’t need to get high education because as soon as they grow up, they’ll marry. However, due to the development of society in this modern day, girls have more rights to involve themselves in anything that they wish. Girls have their own choice and more freedom to make decisions. I feel really thankful to be in the Liger society. I can choose my own path and work towards finding my own passion. Since I’ve been in Liger, my parents give me freedom and always support me because they believe that I can better learn and develop if they don’t put pressure on me.
Freedom is given to me, so why should I wait. I started my year by asking myself “What have I done to change and impress those who think that girls are just housewife?” Life is always occupied with work, but I know that in order to change people’s mindset, I must start moving. As Cambodia is a developing country, it takes a very big leap in technology and business field. Additionally, Liger is a project-based learning school and is focusing on STEM, I have participated in many events in relation to those fields; Technovation, robot competition and other environmental related which is No single-use plastic at Liger.
Technovation is the world’s largest entrepreneurship program for girls age 10-18. Their goals is to empower the world’s underrepresented young people, especially girls, through engineering and technology to become innovators and leaders. They aim to have all participants to develop mobile apps and startups to solve problems around a diverse range of problems in their communities. Technovation has reached 23,000 girls in 100+ countries and I was one to participate. It is a 12 weeks program which allows girls to further develop their understanding about entrepreneurship and coding.
I and the other four girls decided to walk and fight through this journey together. We have come up with the idea of creating an interactive event hub where performers can promote their performances and audience/tourists can have easy access to the information such as location, date, time and contacts. We aim to prosper Cambodian culture back by giving tourists/audiences authentic experiences and performers greater job opportunity. During the 12 weeks program, I had experience how does it feels like to do a business startup. I learned to critically analyse the problem and the solution, and also make connection with varieties of people. It was the moment where argument and disagreement had initiated. In order to have a successful business, we need to discuss not just taking ideas of each individual. Discussions do not always go with the flow, there must be arguments and disagreement, but because of each individual’s creativity, we were able to get things done and also we have made strong connection together. Our project require reaching out to different people and different organizations. I didn’t know those organizations before, but I got their contacts from people that I know.
Throughout the program we the Credos has created an application called Amara in the vision of empowering Cambodia art and culture. The app is ready to be launch, but we still need money and support in order to get the business running. This shows that girls have the power to create change in the country. I also believe that girls is a big factor to develop the country too.
Another great experience that I had so far this year was robot competition. We have 4 members in the team, 2 boys and 2 girls. We are the first and the only Cambodian team to compete in 18th Guangxi Adolescent Robot Competition (GARC) and the ASEAN National Adolescent Robot Invitational Tournament in China. This competition is not only focus on robot but they also include cultural exchange. As the representative team of Cambodia, we had won the best ASEAN competitive spirit and we also grab audience attention through our two performance of Khmer Classical Dance, Neary Jea Jour and Saravan the social dance. Cambodia is a country rich in culture and even though the technology is playing a big role in developing the country, we should at least support it. Furthermore foreigners are eager to learn about the culture of each country not just the geography. During our trip to China, we made connections with different people and this has shown that Cambodia is a friendly country.
Now let’s come to the environment part. As you know that plastic is a convenient product to use in our daily life, especially single-used plastic. Although it benefits us in our everyday life, it also has consequences. Our country is getting dirtier due to the amount of plastic littering in the environment and the paucity of waste management. As students who cares about the environment, we have started a project to help reduce the use of single-used plastics in our school. Even though we only start in our school, but a long journey start from single step. We have to do it step by step in order to pursue the big dream. As a team, we tried to find alternative products to replace plastic products like straws, plastic bags and then we tried to implement it our school through campaign and presentations. As a result, our school had reduce so much used of single-use plastic because people are aware of the nature around and how it affects their health. I believe that once people start to realize about the consequences and how it affects them, they will start to make a little change.
Overall, I understand that change does have to be big. It needs to start from small steps and it starts from each individual. I also believe that I have made people around me think that girls have the power to create positive change for the country and they are better than just a housewife. Lastly, I want to say that all morning and night will pay off.
2017-2018 is my second year in Liger and I feel like I have improved rapidly my studying especially in my English. Also in Liger, we are growing to be a change agent of our country, so I would have to start changing little by little, step by step because big thing can’t happen if you don’t start from small.
Technovation is a program that make specially for girl all around the world. In this program, you have to think of the problems in your own country and then find the solutions for those problems and have to think of how you will become a successful entrepreneur. You will create an application then share your idea to world by getting through some pitches. My team and I have found a problem that nowadays in Cambodia, people think that suppliers have a lot of money when they start to work. In fact, they got less money because some of them can’t connect with the customers and then the poverty start. For the customers, they are facing the mechanical, electricity and plumbing problems but they don’t know any suppliers. So, our team decided to create an app called MEP Center ( Mechanical, Electricity and Plumbing Center) to connect the customers with the suppliers. We had present our idea through mini-pitch and nation pitch. In those pitches, judges had ask many questions and our team could afford to answer it and after the presentation, they said that it was very impressive. We had two judges who have the same idea as our team, which mean that this problem is really exist in real life. For the national pitch, our team won the first place of junior division team. We want to launch our application to the market because we want to help people. There are problems everywhere but you just don’t considered it.
I and the other four girls get a chance to involved in the robot competition with the other five boys for the third round of exploration. For the first time joining, I don’t know how to code at all but the one of the boy teach me the coding staff. I understood the coding lessons and I did code the robot by myself and also having support from my team-mate, my facilitator and my family. We got to join the First Lego League ( FLL ) competition in Singapore. Our goal of joining this competition is to get experience not to win (If we win, it’s good ) and my own goal of joining this competition is to experience it, to show that girls can do anything like boys, girls doesn’t have to stay home all the time doing house chores. Beside the competition, We also did some interview to find the problem in our community about water then we will find the solution for them and the reason why we are doing this because the theme of the competition is about Hydro Dynamic which everything has to do with water and the competition’s purpose is to use technology to solve problem in our own community.
My fourth and Fifth exploration is about geography. Everyone of us in the junior cohort will have at least one same topic of exploration throughout the year which is making the Cambodian Geography book and this is very new to me. There are a lot of process in making it. We have to go on trip to collection information, interview people, do some research online, then write the information in both Khmer and English. We have to make sure that everything is correct and the information has to be reliable and not copyright from anyone or the internet. I and the other 15 juniors with two facilitator and one driver had went the Eastern region of Cambodia which are Kratie, Steung Treng, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. We have been to many places and have met a lot of people and for me I have learned about the outside world and how can I work formally. Furthermore, I’ve been helping a lot with editing the content of each provinces which in this section I have to finalize the information, finalize the sources and have to make sure everything is correct. The book is going to publish in the next school year and if it is publish I will be so proud in myself because I have put a lot of my work in it and I am a young author.
For the last round of the year, multimedia class is more likely to be working independently on some specific projects that has been introduced to us from the past. I chose to work on Adobe Illustrator because I want to do some digital art, not just drawing on paper. Adobe Illustrator was introduced to us since the beginning of the year. This leaves a challenge for me because I don’t remember the tools, so I have to go on Youtube and watched the tutorial. Researching is hard. When I have question, I couldn’t ask anyone but searching and finding the right video of what I wanted to know. Sometimes I spent my time on the video that doesn’t even relate to my question. So what I did was trying to find the official website for Adobe Illustrator. I found it easier to look for tutorials on the official website than on Youtube since there are varieties of videos that are already sorted into categories for me. Even though I chose to work on Adobe Illustrator, but I found myself not enjoy doing it due to the time limit and the lack of skill that I have related to Adobe Illustrator. I felt like I didn’t learn much in Multimedia class this round. I prefer learning as whole class.
Math is very complex. As English is my second language, solving word problems is one of my struggle in math. Those word problems include tricky words that sometimes left me a headache all day. I have set my goal to work more on the word problems for math class. I did go over the exercises in the workbook and I usually practice on Khan Academy. By doing that for so long, I felt like I am better with those word problems now since I’ve identified the key words and the important part is I did a lot of practice.
Humans of Cambodia is my fourth exploration of the year. The exploration was inspired by Humans of New York. We interviewed different people in Cambodia including individuals and families and then we interpreted those stories into short meaningful and powerful captions to put in our blog. Those stories came along with a photograph. We asked people about their life stories and the questions that we asked were usually relate to their feeling, memories or their experiences. For examples:
What is your happiest (it can be any of the emotion) moment in your life?
What is your best childhood memory?
Do you think money can buy happiness? Why or why not?
Throughout this project, I had improved my skills of approaching people that I don’t know and interpret long stories into short and meaning captions that match with the photographs. Can you tell people stories through photos? How would you tell those stories? Different person has different perspective and point of view. Check out our blog for human of Cambodia stories. “Don’t judge the book by its cover”
The theme of round 4 literacy is “Happiness”. We’ve read many articles relating to happiness and how people can achieve it. Different people have different perspectives of what happiness is. We have come together as a group and discuss what does happiness mean to each individual of us. Furthermore, we wrote some poem about something that inspire us to be strong and happy. Take a look at my golden shovel poem below.
Failure is Helper
People afraid of FAILURE
Somehow it is
something that what
Make you stronger, get experiences and the word F.A.I.L. makes
You try harder towards accomplishing your
Goals. If you FAIL, you can think of it as the First Attempt In Life
Don’t give up, investigate your mistakes, improve it and make it meaningful
Round 4 of Multimedia was still about Python coding, but we were learning about new materials such as Python functions, Python lists and Python dictionaries. While we were learning that we also got to do some hands-on project in Code Club. There were different tasks for different material and I found it really helpful because when I set things into practice, I received a better understand of that material. Beside working on code club, we also met as a team for Q&A session to help anybody who is having struggles. By doing that, we can share our knowledge of coding with each other. Below is my project on Code Club that is related to Python functions.
Outdoor Leadership is a project that teaches the students about survival skills and the environment awareness while we are outdoor. Those involve trip planning and preparation, traveling strategies, risk identification, management, first aid training, emergency response and self awareness. We have 17 students and 2 facilitators in total.
Throughout the course, we have had a lot of activities. The first week (December 3rd – 7th) of this exploration was just an introduction week. We got to know what are the goals, rules and how to do sit and spot in nature. Sit and spot is an activity that allows us to explore the nature. When doing this activity, we take notes or draw picture in our nature journal book that include what we see, hear, smell, feel, notice, what does it remind us of and what we wonder about what we choose to spot. I felt like this activity help me a lot. It helps me to express my feeling, emotion (sometimes) and it has catch my feeling to love nature even more because I get to look closely into it.
On the second week (December 10th – 14th) we did a lot more things than the first week. 1/ Outdoor leadership promises. I had to write three of my strengths that can involve in the exploration and what are my three goals throughout the whole course. 2/ Want or need. This helps students to think either the staff is what they need or what they want when going anywhere. 3/ finding sources of our survival. Our survival needs are really important. In this case, it teaches me how to find something in the nature to replace my needs when necessary. For example, I am running out of water so what can I do to get water. Where can I find water and things like that. 4/ risk identification games. There were so many games that we had played (but I can only remember some) such as trust fall and getting over a rope without touching it (pretend that the rope is a hot wire). Those activities has trained me to think of suitable solution for some emergency situation.
On the third week (January 7th – 11th), we had a trip to Kirirom national park for 3 days, but before that happened, we need to prepare our needs for the whole trip. I enjoyed the trip so much even if we have to trek for long distances. I enjoyed seeing all the birds, plants, mountain view, sunset, sunrise, camping, cooking, sit and spot to explore the nature and the life without using the technology media.
The fourth week (January 14th – 18th) was mainly about risk management. We learned about the meaning of risk, types of risks and how can we manage it. We know that there are risks in every situation except we have to think about how high can it be. We have to ask ourselves about the severity of the risk that we take like is it low, moderate or high. Another thing is the probability of the risk like how likely is it going to happen. Those help us to decide whether we should take the risk or not. When making decision, we also need to know about the human, environment and equipment condition too.
Let’s come to the important part. We had spent the fifth week ( January 21st – 25th) learning about the first aid staff. We need to check a lot of staff when helping someone and if we are not fast enough they could have died already. First of all we need to check the scene and then second one is how the victim looks and how are they doing. Finally, ask yourself what your plan. I found it very hard since there are so much to remember, but by learning this I think I could help to save someone’s life. So, to get used to it, we had to act in the role of victim, lead rescuer and assistant rescuer. To do that we were given some medical scenarios to follow. Rescuers had to follow all the steps to make the victim feel normal again.
The sixth week(January 28th- February 1st) was the most ridiculous week ever. We took a trip to Mondulkiri to go trekking and camping again. We met different people such as the Phnong and have done so much things that I can’t describe it all. We had longer trek than our first trip, eat different foods from different region of Cambodia, spot different cool birds and bugs, play with each other a lot and I feel so thankful to the nature that has given me the opportunity to see the things I’ve never seen or done before.
After all the fun things, this project has come to an end, but we also prepare ( February 4th – 8th) presentation to share our knowledge to the other people too . On Friday the 8th, we had our presentation done and all set up. We had three different stations such as Naturalist which we present about the places that we visited, birds and plant that we saw during the trip, Phnong soup which we cook the Phnong soup, and the Shelter station that teaches people how to built tent and bivouac. Everyone did a good job sharing the knowledge and I am proud of all of us.