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!

2016/2017 Yearly Reflection

Agency is a really important thing for Liger. Over the years, Liger has created and given many opportunities for us in terms of changing Cambodia. However, we can’t, change this splendid country instantly. But the opportunities that Liger has provided us in these last few years, has helped us make many positive changes in Cambodia. The changes that we created are not huge. However, these small changes are building blocks that lead up to big changes in our country. This year, Liger has provided us many opportunities that potentially could help Cambodia in a really positive way. For instance, I’ve involved in many explorations that potentially make changes in Cambodia, like Game Design, Waste Management, and Khmer Rouge.

Education is really important for Changes. This is the first exploration of the year, and the exploration that I think could really create positive change in Cambodian education is Game Design. For this project our team working to design a game that both fun and educational for government school students. While designing this game I felt really strongly that this game could really change Cambodian curriculum. The game that we’re designing is a game that contains two major aspects. Well, first it helps students to review their lesson in the class by answering the question in the game. Second, it introduced students to Climate Change. The game mechanic work by players answers the question in the game to get point. Players could use those point to implement solutions due to climate change such as wind turbines, solar panels, Hydropower and more. When players implement those solutions they would earn something called carbon credit, where the player with the most carbon credit will win the game. While player implementing the solution they will read a small introductory paragraph about the solution that is implementing. Not just that students reviewing the content that they’re studying and climate change, the game also require students to use their critical thinking/strategy to win the game. This game would create a new style of learning for students, which not just sitting classroom listen to teachers talk. This changing in learning style would help students to develop their strength on critical thinking and study with more fun. By this new way of learning would lead students to big success.

Game testing at Chbar Ampov high school.
Students having fun testing our game.

Trash is always a huge problem for Cambodia. In the last decade, Cambodian people got a much better education and understand we even more about this problem. They always want to make it better but there’s lag of solution. For my second exploration, we worked on this problem. We got an idea of running a waste management business in the community around Liger. It impossible to run this business in seven weeks. However, there’s a quote says “Million miles start with the first step”. So our first step in order to start this business is to write a feasibility study. A feasibility study is a study to see the possibility in term of doing something. In this case, we try to see is it possible to start this business. Which mean establish and make a profit out of it. In order to write this feasibility study first, we go out into the community and observe the trash pile around our community and analyze what in those pile. We see that about 80% of those trash and organic. So we decide that we’re going to make a composting/recycling business. Then we start to write our feasibility study for this business. At the end of the exploration, we have written a FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR A WASTE MANAGEMENT/RECYCLE FACILITY IN CHUMPOUS KAEK VILLAGE. Even though we haven’t done any of the physical work to start the business but, writing this feasibility is a huge step. It’s locomotion for our business. Unfortunately, we couldn’t establish this business yet this year, however, we going to continue this project next year. This business is potentially a huge solution to trash problem all around Cambodia. It going to help Cambodian people to clean their environment.

Link to the Feasibility Study


We’re observing a trash pile near our school.
Writing our feasibility study

Khmer Rouge, the third world biggest genocide, is happening in Cambodia for about 3 years which from 1975 to 1979. However, many Cambodian doesn’t really know much about it. So Liger had created a four rounds exploration learning about Khmer Rouge. After we learn whole lots of content, we’re going to make our final product to share with other people on sharing and other events. I actually learn in the last round of Khmer Rouge. For this round unlike any other rounds where they learning in depth about each specific part of Khmer Rouge, we’re learning about the whole picture. Which contain before, during, and after the Khmer Rouge. After we learn all the content in class, we finally work on our final products for our exploration in order to share it with other people.

In the past Khmer Rouge exploration, there’ve been so many amazing products that are unique and really powerful. These amazing products include plays, audio tour, painting and small museums. My exploration makes a variety of products; most of our products are just some new information about Khmer Rouge such as Khmer rouge timeline, a 3D design of S21, and a map with Khmer Rouge zone leaders. But our biggest goal is to run an event with DC-cam in Phnom Penh in order to spread more information about Khmer Rouge. This event going to happen next year since we don’t have enough time to do it this year. However, this event going to be a really powerful event in term of sharing Khmer Rouge information through young Cambodian. This event is more than just presentation to groups of people, we try to give them as much information as we can by play and experiential presentation. By this event, we sure that Cambodian will know Khmer Rouge even more detail. Also, this will help guide young leader to not step on the footprint of those terrible leaders again.

Trip to S-21 prison
Trip to Choeung Ek killing field

In conclusion,  I can see that I’m a change agent. Throughout my three explorations, I’ve been working to change the style of learning (game design exploration), helping to clean the environment by writing a feasibility study for a composting and recycling business, and working to share Khmer Rouge’s  information to young Cambodian. Follow this small actions, could make really big positive changes in Cambodia.


Marine Conservation

Marine Conservation is a group of 12 student from Liger Learning Center that learn about marine conservation during a seven week long project.The group researched and learn more about marine life and understand the recent problems of marine ecosystems in Cambodia. The goal of this project is to protect Cambodia marine ecosystems. To accomplish this goal we work very hard to finish our Proposal for a Feasibility Study of Algal Farming as an Alternative Livelihood for Cambodian Fishermen. This document explain the problem of Cambodia marine ecosystems, possible solution, proposal for a feasibility study for Liger student in study year of 2016-2017 and information about what we doing in pilot exploration. We took a field trip to Koh Seh in Kep province to visit MCC Marine Conservation Cambodia. MCC is a organization that protect Cambodian marine ecosystems. We spent 1 week with them and we got to learn so many thing from them. We learn about marine organism, history of the island and last thing was snorkel and scuba diving. We not just learning we also do beach clean up. We collect about 130 kg of trash in an hour.

Ministry day

On 1/12/15 is a special day for Liger. There are around 50 top educator from Phnom Penh coming to Liger, to see what Liger education look like. All of the student were presenting to them about part of Liger learning program. I was presenting about one of Liger learning program called STEAM. STEAM is stand for Science Technology Engineering Art and Math. In STEAM we have an activity name Roller Coaster. In this activity we let them build a roller coaster with a highest. In this activity the student be the guy who giving some idea but not helping them building it. We use the foam representing roller coaster track and mable representing roller coaster car. The resent that we do the roller coaster activity because we want to shear them how we learn STEAM in liger. Also we want to show them that they can find a simple activity in their school that make student understand the concept easily.