2017-2018 How I change Cambodia

Mohandas Gandhi once stated, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In our life, we’re having so many goals that we’re headstrong to achieve. Yet, we have to acknowledge that on our way to achieving our goal, we’re going to face problems that we want to see the solution to; and changes that we want to see. If we only keep walking toward our goal and take no action to create the change that we eager to see, there is a great chance that the change will not occur. So as a “change agent,” I have to pause my journey and plant the seed of change that I wish to see. Still, I have to acknowledge that the seed wouldn’t just grow big overnight; it takes time. As a 15-year-old “change agent,” this is how I plant my seeds and be the change I wish to see in the world.

Growing up, I got exposed to so many gender-based stereotypes from my surrounding. Even though it’s not specifically from my parents, but those words are really effective in my early life. For instance, the phrase “Boys should not cry,” has always been an immense threat to my ability to express my feeling. That because people have always define crying as being weak, and so do I. In many tough situations, this phrase acted as a blockage and constrain my tear. Even when I became a Liger student I still struggle to express my feeling because I haven’t exposed to any discussion about this topic yet. Fortunately this year I got the opportunity to be apart of the Gender Equity exploration where I’ve changed my perspective one hundred and eighty degrees. From the first few days of deep questions discussion, “crying is weak” has become a myth and the crying blockage has dissolved. Yet, this is only one facet of the exploration that changed me. In further conversation, we’ve talked a lot about the gender gap how we don’t really want “Gender Equality” instead we want “Gender Equity”. Because with gender equally everybody would have the same opportunity or resources, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get to the same stage. For example, in the technology field male are already had a huge head start so if we only give women the same opportunity as the man, it would be really hard for them to catch up. But for gender equity, we would give women a little bit more opportunity than the man so that they can catch up easily. From these fruitful discussions, we decided to create an event called gender summit where we invited about a hundred students from 4 schools in Phnom Penh to come together to discuss gender under the theme of “How can we empower change while preserving the culture”. The event was a huge success with both languages: English and Khmer. Moreover, we have created a website as a platform to publish our gender-related articles for the whole the world to see.

After the project, I found out something really different about myself. Every time I open mouth and start speaking, I think about it at least twice before I disperse my words. Every time I hear someone make a sexist joke or say something sexist, I tend to feel uncomfortable, I tend to feel disappointed, and I tend to feel like I really need to speak up. My freedom of speech, I need to speak against the old outdated-mindset; the mindset that only maintains the gender gap. Furthermore, I have an acute willing to fight for gender equity and to empower all men to support women. Finally, I declared myself as a feminine, and I’ll use the independence I have to do anything I can to be the change I wish to see.

Learning at Liger, I have a clear idea of what changes I want to see and a clear vision for my future. Even though I have a clear path to walk, but many more students in my country doesn’t have the skill needed to create their own path as we do. We -Liger student- are able to plant the seed of change because Liger has exposed us to many experiences so that we can set our goal and our vision. For those students whose not in Liger, they never get the chance like we do so they might not even have a goal for their future. In fact, this is not just a problem in Cambodia it is actually a problem for the whole world. Therefore, the International Labor Organization(ILO) work to improve this problem by providing soft skill to students from high schools to colleagues. As a really great opportunity, the Liger Leadership Academy get to be a part of this process. For instance, we help the ILO to make the training more culturally appropriate and help them to enroll in the training to four high schools and three universities in Cambodia. The training is called “Vision Setting and Professional Development” which has a goal to help students – especially girl – to get an idea and set a clear goal for their own development and their future. The module that we’re enrolling will allow them to look deep into their self, create their own path to their future, and develop their own strategy to reach their goals.

With all students having a clear goal for their future and a strategy to achieve them, they will have a successful life which will then allow our country to grow at a really fast rate. If the seeds of gender equality keep growing, I believe that it will turn this country into a country where everybody has the same right, same opportunities, and the same resources regardless of their gender. This is how I change Cambodia, and this is the change I wish to see in the world!


In our literacy class, we were learning about ancient Egyptian. So besides their amazing structure of the pyramid, there is a belief of afterlife for the wealthy people such Noble and Pharaoh, mummy. Mummification is a step for the god of death, Osiris, to judge on the person soul whether or not they are going to the afterlife which was believed to be much likely to the life on earth and that the soul would like to use the old body.  Therefore, while learning about the process of mummifying, we actually assigned to perform the steps of mummifying.

Here are the steps of mummifying.

  1. Removal of the Brain: With long hooks, the brain is extracted through the nasal passage. The Egyptians didn’t think that the brain had any special use.
  2. Organ Removal (Evisceration): A cut is made on the left side of the body, and the liver, lungs, and other organs are removed, dried out, and stored in sacred vessels called canopic jars. The heart is left in the body, because it will be needed to be weighed in judgment by Osiris.
  3. Dehydration with Natron Crystals: Now the body must be dehydrated (have the liquids removed) to stop decay. A type of salt called natron is used. Natron crystals are packed around the body. The crystals absorb body fat and fluids and keep the body from decaying.9 After being treated for about 40 days, the corpse10 is washed and dried.
  4. Stuffing: Because the body has lost much of its mass, resin11-stained clothes or bits of sawdust are used to pack the corpse, which by now has also lost its eyeballs. Pieces of cloth are stuffed in the eye sockets and painted black. At this point, the corpse’s lips and cheeks are painted.
  5. Oiling the Body: This elaborate12 process includes massaging, perfuming, and anointing (blessing with oil) the corpse.
  6. Coloring: After the nose and mouth are filled with cloth scraps to restore the shape of the face, the body is colored. Men are colored red; women are colored yellow. After the coloring, resin is poured into body cavities.13
  7. Arrangement of the Body: Depending on which period of Egyptian history the deceased lived in, the arms are either placed to the side of the corpse, folded on its chest, or placed with hands on shoulders.
  8. Wrapping: The body is wrapped in several layers of fine linen; and various body parts receive particular attention. This process takes two weeks, after which a resin is added to the bandages.
  9. Funerary Mask: A mask, sometimes made entirely of gold, is fitted to the mummy’s body. Symbols of gods often adorned14 masks.
  10. Burial of Waste: All materials used to prepare the corpse (such as natron and bloody linen) are placed in a jar and buried away from the mummy’s tomb.

Pictures coming soon…

Should We Blame Our Ancestor?-Gender Article

This is a gender-related article that I wrote for my literacy class.

Should We Blame Our Ancestor?

“Boys, what is your opinion on girls keep getting these sports opportunity and you don’t,” asked Dominic Sharp the country director of the Liger Leadership Academy when he visits the gender equity exploration. No one answer.

The question then changed to, “Why do you think these opportunities are only available for girls?” Then one of us said, “That’s because back in the old days these opportunities were only for boys, so for gender equity, these kinds of opportunities are now opened up more to the girls.” After this discussion, I asked myself “Should we blame our ancestors for limiting  boy’s opportunities today?”

In many cultures, girls are defined as weak because they are often physically weaker than men Therefore, physical activities such as sports have been seen as masculine and only for males. For example according to the Football Association (FA), in 1921, the association bans women from playing on Football League grounds by the statement of  “…the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.” Despite the fact that women have a long history in this sport, they are still seen as unsuitable for the game.

After half of a century, the FA finally lifted the ban, yet there is still lack of support for women in this field. Even though women are no longer banned, Regardless of the unban, for many countries like Cambodia, women are expected to be soft and gentle and sports are still sometimes taboo. Therefore sports are not under the category of what they are supposed to do. In fact, once a Cambodian girl hits puberty, they are sometimes forced to stay home and learn to do all the house chores and prepare to be a wife, which is known as “into the shade”. So there is no sport for women from family level up to nation degree. For instance, the most followed event in football, FIFA World Cup, wasn’t created for women until 1991 which is 61 years after the men tournament.

This outdated cultural belief not only limits women in sports but also education. In Cambodia, girls were not allowed to attend school until after French colonization. Boys were educated in pagodas and since girls cannot interact with monks, they were forbidden.

Even in contemporary Cambodia, some girls are still battling for higher education from their parent’s limitation. Once the girls reach high school, they have a high dropout chance due to many economic reasons, plus their parents perspective. So one of the most important reason is the parent’s mindset on how girls don’t need high education since they are going to be man’s wife one day. Thus, they force their daughter to quit school, help the family economically, and wait for the legal age to marry. Without education, women can’t really get into any high development field such as technology. Therefore, it has created the stereotype where this is not the field for women and women shouldn’t be in this field.

So, due to these opportunities limitation, right now there are so many more opportunities and encouragement in those fields for girls. For examples, in sport, there are many spots open up for girls to train and compete in a variety of tournament. For example is that there is an opportunity open up only for girls to play in a frisbee tournament in Philippine.

In education, there are many programs which giving girls full scholarship to many good universities. Moreover, there’s even world-class competition for girls in technology such as Technovation where they offer girls from all over the world the opportunity to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders in a competition form.

From these girl’s opportunities, boys are actually feeling upset about it, and sometimes even complain that it’s not fair. However, if we look back into our history, we can see that girls have never had any opportunity that boys have up until the last century, in fact, they still not completely have those opportunities today.

So is this the fault of our ancestor? Maybe it is their fault for not fighting for the women right back in the day, but not at all. It’s actually the belief and mindsets which had developed since the birth of human raise which had waylaid them from denouncing for women right. Therefore, we should not blame our ancestor but instead, we should continue fighting for the gender equality in any field in around the world.


Future Food

Name that one thing that all human needed to survive, of course, food! Where are food come from? Well, agriculture is where most of our food came from. We grow a variety of food using soil and water. But as the population growing rapidly, we don’t have enough of those resources to do this old farming method. So what can we do? Well, we can instead of using soil, use a system called Hydroponic. Hydroponic is an agricultural system using sponge/perlite as growing median and water as the nutrition source. Unlike the traditional agriculture where we need a large space of land to farm, hydroponic is a system where we can install it in such a small space such as wall etc.


So basically we mix the water in our reservoir with nutrition solution, and as the water flows through the system, the plant will observe the nutrition and water to grow itself. Once the water flows through the whole raising bed, it flows back straight to the reservoir and ready to reuse again in the system. By growing produce in hydroponics, we can save both land and water which are really essential for our growing population.


So in an exploration called Future Food, we’re working on getting one of this new technique running so that we can supply the product to the main kitchen and for the senior cohort. In a group of eight students, I am working as a 3D designer for the project. So for any project, we need a clear plan on how things going look and how things going with each so I designed a 3D model of the whole system using a software called Inventor. One of the biggest challenges I face during this process is finding the exact measurement for all the parts in the system. The thing is that I started working on this project without any actual parts to measure, so I have to look through all over the internet for those measurements which take so much time. This challenge gave me a good practice in my researching skill, which is a really good opportunity to improve.

The front view of the wall in Inventor
Right/Top view


Fishermen (Poem)

The views of the ocean (Taken from the Vagabond Temple).


មើលនាយសមុទ្រសែនវែងអន្លាយ                             មើលទៅសែនឆ្ងាយដាច់កន្ទុយភ្នែក

នឹកឃើញពេលណាឲ្យខ្ញុំសង្វេក                                    ចិត្តចង់តែស្រែកឲ្យ្មេឃបានដឹង


អស់ឱសមុទ្រអើយសមុត្រខ្មែរ                                     អរគុណអ្នកដែលកំពុងខំប្រឹង

អ្នកមិននៅស្ងាមអង្គុយសញ្ចឹង                                   តែអ្នកខំប្រឹងទាញភ្ញៀវទេសចរ


អ្នកខ្លះមិនឃើញគុណតម្លៃនេះ                                   បែរជាត្រិះរិះធ្វើអ្វីមិនល្អ

គេបានបំផ្លាញសមុទ្របវរ                                            វើវាបន្តរដើម្បីកំរៃ


គ្មានអ្នកណាក្រៅពីអ្នកនេសាទ                                 ខំប្រឹងសង្វាតជារាងរាល់ថ្ងៃ

អូសអួនហើយឆក់ធ្វើយ៉ាងព្រៃផ្សៃ                            ទោះយ៉ាងណាក្ដីត្រីមួយកញ្ជើ


មិនមែនកំហុសគេទាំស្រុងទេ                                    នេះក៏ព្រោះតែឥការងារធ្វើ

ជារាងរាល់ថ្ងៃរាល់គ្រប់អំពើរ                                       គ្រាន់តែទ្វើដើម្បីក្រពះ


ជាចុងក្រោយកវីសង្ឃឹមថា                                         រាដ្ធាភិបាលនឹងប្រឹងជំនះ

បង្កើតការងារមុនថ្ងៃថ្មីរះ                                           ជួយដល់ក្រពះអ្នកនេសាទ




Look at the ocean is so wide

It looks so long out of my view

When I think about it make me feel sick

I just want to yell so the sky can hear


Oh ocean, Cambodian ocean

Thank you for your hard working

You do not sit still

But you work hard to attract the tourist.


But some people didn’t see this benefit

And they intend to do bad thing

They destroy the beautiful ocean

Do it more and more for money


There are no other than the fishermen

Trying hard every day

Electric Trawling brutally

However just a bucket of fish


But it’s not totally their fault

It is because lack of job

And every day, every action

They just do it for their stomach


At last the author hopes

The government will help

Makes more jobs before the new sunrise

Help the fishermen’s stomachs.

Mental Retreat

As it gets closer to the graduation year, pressure built upon each student, including me. Through all the hard work we’ve done to develop our self and help our country, is killing us all with the huge amount of stress. So on November 16th, I got a really cool opportunity to actually pause from all of the load and relax. Thus I went down to Kep province with the Liger Marine Research Team (LRMT) for a three-day yoga session with professional yoga trainers and many other people from all over the world. As I mentioned above we were there to relax, so along with yoga courses, we also have the meditation session. It’s not my first time doing yoga but it is my first time doing meditation; so it’s really hard for me at first because the main point of meditation is to relax both mental and physical actions, but I am terrible at relaxing my brain and stop thinking about stuff. However, after two meditation session with the trainer, I finally find a way to actually relax my brain and feel the meditation. Another challenge that I face while going through the course is still learning to relax when I got free time. The thing is that at Liger there no time for relaxing during the day which means that there are always things after another to do, but at the Vagabond Temple, we got more than four hours a day of free time which is insane! But the whole point is that the given time is for us to use that time to relax our mind by doing stuff that is not related to our daily life such as reading. A key take away that I got is the skill to relax through meditation, which I found really helpful for my study life.

About Me

Hi there, welcome to my blog. My name is Sophat. I was born on December 10, 2002, in Kandal province, Cambodia. Six years ago I’ve moved from a government school to the Liger Learning Center. More than just a free education, Liger had provided a really important thing that is really meaningful to me which is independence. Through the education and independent Liger had provided, I finally find some of my passion that I never know before; I am a fourteen-year-old who obsess with technology and entrepreneurship. As a change agent, I believe that those two things could easily make many positive impacts on Cambodia and the whole world which I’ll make it true one day.



I like to play many kinds of sports, and one of my most favorite sport is ultimate frisbee. I like playing this game because of so many reasons but one of them is that it’s one of the only sport where and male and female playing together as a team. Another reason is that frisbee is a game of friendly meaning that by playing this sport I made so many friends. So as a senior I am leading an After School Activity (ASE) where I teach the junior how to play frisbee, but most importantly showing them how frisbee is a mix gender sport and how easily they can make friends from playing this game.

Coming of Age – Personal Narrative

As a literacy assignment, our teacher asked us to write a two pages essay about our personal experience of “Coming of Age”. So I decided to write an essay about an aspect that made me felt like an adult; which is independence.


Independence is the beacon to maturity. It took me about twelve years to gain my independence my family and the world. For twelve years, I was just a kid that only wanted to have fun. For twelve years, I lacked independence, bravery, and maturity. Ten years in a small world just home and school disrupts me from seeing the immense universe full of creative steps and dazzling path. Until one day I found an amazing place that helps me to have my position today.

I was born on December 10, 2002, in a village of Chumposka-eka. As the big brother in the family, I didn’t get as much attention as my brothers. I grew up in a family that valued education and encouraged me. At age five, my mom decided that it was time for me to start school. however, my first school was full of corruption and wasn’t a place I would go by choice. Time passed and I adapted. In fourth grade, everything changed. In 2012, my mom gave me a huge opportunity to take a test for a scholarship at Liger Learning Center. I was hopeless about passing the test because I had not been very successful in school. I remember back then in a class of forty students, I would be the thirty-third student. Nevertheless, the test for Liger was not the same material from school and I actually did pretty well on the test and received the scholarship.

Within the first two years at Liger, my mindset completely changed. I used to be this kid who’s doesn’t like school, doesn’t have many friends, and have really bad scores in class; Within the first two years at Liger, my mindset completely changed. Being independent is a massive challenge for me at first. Due to the lack of independent before Liger, I was really inept at utilizing my independence, but as I got older and worked harder, I became more adept. Project-based learning really helped me use my time more wisely.

When I was thirteen, it was the first time ever in my life, where I felt so much of the freedom from my parent. It was back in summer of 2016. In the middle of the break, I got phone calls from my Phnom Penh-Liger-friends inviting me to attend a small party with them. Those phone calls make me really happy since I had never been invited to any party by myself. However, during this happy moment, I had a feeling that my parent won’t ever let me out there by my own. Follow this thought makes me afraid to ask for my mom’s permission. Nevertheless, the energy of the party, the energy of wanted freedom, and the energy of friendship is much stronger than this small though. So I dispatch the fear and walk bravely toward my mom asking for her permission. For this first attempt, I was so happy since my proposal got accepted. Disputed the happiness and hide emotions was my idea, but I guess the stupid smile still leak out. Her permission is like a ticket for roller coaster ride through amazing adventures.

Finally, the party came. I was so excited for the day despite all the rule that was given by my mom, about what I should and shouldn’t do, that postpone all the fun thought that I had. The closer I get to the party the more I get pumped up. With eight people at the party, it was the best party yet I ever attend. After the party end, we decided to go to another place to relax with wifi and air conditioner in town. While walking through the town, I felt no longer as a kid. The level of independence I got at that moment is enough to change me. Then we arrived at the destination and having fun. Due to all the fun I had during the trip, I just realized how powerful is independence.

Independence is a key to unlock all of the characteristics leading to adulthood. Additionally there no need for the insanely huge amount of independence to become an adult. For example, within just a single trip that my mom allowed me to go by myself, was enough to unlock the characteristics of an adulthood. So I believe that independence is all we need to be an adulthood.


To Spray or Not To Spray?

To Spray or Not To Spray, is the first exploration of the academic year that I’ve involved in. In this exploration we focus on a topic of pesticide. We work tirelessly in order to make a magazine for our final product; to spread the awareness of what is going on here with all pest control at Liger . We knew close to nothing about this topic, so we search all through the internet and trips to gather all the information we needed for our articles. As the result of hard working, we created a magazine with 11 articles. Out of the 11 articles, I wrote an article about all category of pesticides which called Insect Assassins. Writing this article is pretty challenging for me since I needed to google every single aspect of the article. At the same time, I learned so much from my article which makes me really happy about my work and hopefully it will teach other students about all the thing I learned from it.

This is the link to the