How I Change Cambodia 2018-2019

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. 

The Credos members

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.  

18th Guangxi Adolescent Robot Competition and the ASEAN National Adolescent Robot Invitational Tournament in China

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.

Cultural exchange event
Saravan, the social dance performance
Neary Jea Jour, the classical dance performance
Dragon dance

 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. 

No single-use plastic team visited BetterU to interview about grass straw

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.

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