This year, I started my first online learning course about “Management And Leadership”. I strongly believe that these skills will help me with my future plan. What I want to do right now is business management which requires a lot of management and leadership skills. Moreover, these skills are what we all need in life. Even right now I worked on so many projects in need it.
As a Liger student, we want to make possitive change in many different ways. We all came together to host the first-ever Khmer Literature and Cultural Festival, which is an event aims to leverage Cambodian literature and culture among students and authors through engaging activities, booths, traditional Khmer games, workshops, and panel discussions. This event went really that the school suggested us to put this event into the calendar that will happen everything year. My main position in this event is to invite schools to come to our event. So are so happy that we got around 300 students participate in our event.
“Girls play sports too? Girls are slower than boys! You will get tired easily; if you play sports your skin will get darker! Sports are not for girls!”
In Cambodia, when people hear the word “Kei La” (sports) they immediately think of boys. Vicki Chan’s article in 2014 about Ultimate (Frisbee) Cambodian Women declared “I notice that it is exclusively dominated by men, even though my school is 75%, women.” During recess, girls often sit under the shade of a tree and chat. The boys would use that time to play volleyball and soccer based on Vicki Chan.
The question is “Is this the girls’ fault?” I bet it’s not, this is because of the Cambodian history of how it shaped the girls. During this era, girls had strict commands, one of which they had to “go under the shade”, which is referred to in Khmer as “Chol Mlobb”. Girls would Chol Mlobb when they hit puberty. They would always linger inside the house and take care of their beauty. Furthermore, those girls had to learn various rules that get them ready to become wives. On the other hand, there also girls that in this society that passion in sports but feel frightened to ask the boys to share the field.
As a young girl lives in a typical life in a rural area, where that’s a lack of understanding about gender equity. One of them is sports if you were to walk to the sports field the boys dominate it. Is this because girls don’t like sports or because the field is dominated by boys?
This young brave girl named Horl Sokra has joined the first women frisbee league in Cambodia. Sports is apart of her life because this young athlete’s girl believes that sports would her to be a bolder person, more confident, healthier, lose weight, and fresher after playing. She plays soccer which is very common in Cambodia for boys. She repeats again no one forces her to play sports it starts from her
Horl Sokra expressed, it’s a huge struggle to coax the boys to share the field or play with them. The boys would respond to Horl Sokra: “Girls play sports too? Girls are slower than boys! You will get tired easily; if you play sports your skin will get darker! Sports are not for girls!”.
Horl Sokra angrily express her feeling toward the boys “We have legs and arms the same as the boys too; girls also have their own passion for sports same as the boys too.”
People can’t just make assumptions and judge a girl by her cover. We need to understand the situations they’ve been through and put yourself into someone’s shoes; one should understand how the other feels. This is only one single girl’s story and there are many Cambodian girls also have to confront these struggles as well.
Sreyneang Oun is 16 years old, Liger Leadership Academy student, if she was Horl Sokra, she would say “Don’t look down at the girls!” then she would walk away; she will form a team with other girls with the same passion and train themselves so one day they prove boys that “She can do it”. It’s much better than having conflicts with the boys.
If Cindy Liu, Liger Leadership Academy facilitator, is Horl Sokra she would respond that “there are no biological differences that women can’t play sports. I can choose what to do. There is no law said women can’t play sport!”
As a boy, Vuthy Vey calmly mentioned: “As a boy, we don’t really know what are the girls’ struggles unless they tell us.” Vuthy wants to clearly know that girls actually love sports and tell him reasons why they want to play. Then I asked him if he is a girl in this situation what would you reply or react? He paused then takes a moment to think. I could see it’s hard for him to think about what to response. A moment later he suddenly said, “If I would be a girl I would say, I play sports because it’s fun and it’s food for my health”. An hour later he gave me another statement “If I’m better than you what do you think? When you started to play you think you did well? Let me tell you nobody is perfect when they begin to do something! ”
I asked several students and staff from the Liger Leadership Academy what they would do if they were in the shoes of Horl Sokra. Bunthan Un, Liger Leadership Academy stated: “People have their own passion and have the right to play sports”.
Kangnaneat Sophea quickly responded with confidence: “I don’t want to be the girls that shape by the society, I want to be different. It does not affect anyone, if they stop me in a bad way I won’t stop following my passion.”
Puthea Kimhan would response: “Sports it’s not only for boys but it also for girls, girls can help to develop sports too, there are fewer girls in sports in Cambodia , so we need more girls to participate in sports”
So let me ask you a question if you were her in that situation what would your response?
A group of Liger’s students implementing the first Cambodian frisbee league, we want to empower rural girls in Cambodia and challenge stereotypes through the facilitation of a more gender-equitable environment in sports. Our frisbee league will bring sports for girls in Cambodia in the next level, changing that reality for hundreds of girls in rural Cambodia to participate in sports. There will be more girls on the field, boys will see the power of girls in sports.
I am one of the organizing members of the second Cambodia Youth Film Festival (CYFF). So CYFF main goal is to contribute to the growth of our national film industry, allow students to open up their minds to different ways of expressing their thoughts and addressing different problems in society. This is open for students aged 15-20.
In order to make this successful, we, the organizers will be going to several different schools to host a film workshop. The workshop will last for three days, and the attendants are required to submit their film during the workshop. The top 4 films from each school will be showcased during the Youth Film Festival with those additional films from Phnom Penh.
We went to schools in Kompong Spue and Kompong Thom. We can see the students already got some skills since Cambodia have developed so much even though we are still developing. We got two films from KPS and 2 films from KPT. The workshop itself is only last for two days but we can see the whole process everyone was very productive with their work. Most of the team got the film done in two days: writing script, shoot the movie, acting, editing, etc. Basically, we took one morning to explain them all of the processes and then the rest of the time students were working on their short by themselves and we were there just to help them a little bit and wait for questions.
The last two year at Liger Leadership Academy before graduated, we all need to finish a research paper. In Cambodia, dropout is a widespread and common problem. The dropout rates are especially high in rural areas due to intensified economic pressures on the family and a lack of formal higher educational opportunities. The number of children involved in work is really high. By going to work, kids are denied from school because of their family finance or education. So, the kids can help them with their business at a young age (ILO Unicef). It stretched out to both rural and urban schools regardless of if the students are girls or boys (KOICA). As with the dropout rates, rural communities are not as successful in retaining students as urban communities. School dropout can be due to social and academic problems in school. Lastly, students are lacked of support and resources from their families, schools, and communities.
Researcher in Cambodia mentioned before students drop out these were the symptoms irregular attendances and completed fewer assigned homework. The students’ parents divorced or passed a ways they are most like to quit school very fast. Parent level of education also might effects their children attended school according to their wealth and the education’s level. Also, Cambodian students helped their parent to do house chores and work. In Cambodia, there have been few studies conducted on school dropout rates and rationale. Additionally, these studies only focused on select provinces in Cambodia. The studies were from 2010 to 2016, and the statistics show that the percentage of student dropouts remain the same, that means the problems researcher’s found haven’t fully solved yet. Since the information was years ago, it won’t be valid anymore to represent the new generation. Currently, the dropping out is still a problem that needs to solve. My research will be the next research paper that focuses on two areas in Siem Pang and Phnom Penh of why students drop out in 2019 (identify the differences). The information will help to reduce the amount of dropout in Cambodia currently. The Phnom Penh Post stated, “The Kampuchean Action for Primary Education’s (Kape) school dropout pilot program currently operates in six provinces – Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Kampong Speu, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng”. My research is different from other researches because there has been no study conducted in Stung Treng regarding student dropout yet. Moreover, this research will reduce the rate of the dropout in Stung Treng because more people will notice Stung Treng and realize that it needs help to solve this issue. Even though, my research focuses only on a small area, I will try my best to make the data as precise and accurate as possible. The information will be from students who dropped out and their parents. The information will help school availability reduces children’s work involved and increases enrolment; school quality helps working children to remain in school. Most importantly, to compare the changes of reasons why students drop out from eight years and two years ago to now. It’s a sign for everyone to do something to reduce or retain of students that drop out. In 1999, more than 96% of primary enrolment in Cambodia has increased, the retention helps by providing breakfast to the students. Most of the students have to choose to attend school or help their family (World Food Programme, 1999).
I will survey by interviewing. The survey will focus only on the students that drop out of high school and their parents. The survey will focus only on the students and parents of the drop out high school; both of these parties will receive separate questionnaires. This research will begin next year: 2019. Basically, this second term of exploration in research we focused on writing our research proposal to the school so we can get the fund and the agreement to start our research idea.
One of my dream in the future is to be the screenwriter so why not start it now? In Liger Leadership Academy I got an amazing opportunity to be a part of the traveling theater group. Create a Traveling Liger Community Theatre troupe which would include a variety of performances written and performed by Liger students that have social impact on Cambodian culture. This could include short plays around meaningful topics such as healthy habits, sanitation, etc. Musical and other creative performances would be developed. The portable set and cast would perform perhaps one weekend a month in different rural villages with performances lasting 1 to 2 hours. Last round we focused on writing our own play which our main theme is a healthy relationship. This round is the opposite our main focus is actually doing the play that we collaboratively wrote it. The play was around the goal who judged by the society because of how she looked. There are two spirits, one is beautiful and slim, another is overweight, buy eat whatever she wants. Then she realized no matter how she looked she’s still judged by the society anyways. Just be who you are and be yourself. I am one of the actors. I represented the beautiful spirit. On Wednesday, 12, 2018 we performed our first play to Liger students; this play was organized by the students in the group: the stage, costumes, acting, and screenplay. We got a lot of excellent comments which encourage us to push ourselves harder in the future when we perform to the local audiences.
This term we’re seriously planning for the workshop with the students. Our first experimental workshop was working with students at the Dey Dos high school in Ta Kmao. This was a very successful workshop and we believe these workshop should be distributed to the students in the provinces. What worked best during the workshop is that the two teams complete their film very quickly. This is the experimental team where it is close to our school. We have some feedback, and problems we can improve later in the future for the workshop in the provinces. We need to push the students to write the script because it will be more professional and that’s the reality. Maybe next time give them the specific theme, so they have a more specific idea of what to write. Also, we need to give a specific timing to them so can be on time. We really need to have a better communication with the director. Most importantly ask the students how can we improve and how can they improve at the end of the workshop.
ILO stands for International Labour Organization. In this exploration, we collaborate with ILO to facilitate soft skills training. Basically, students read and understood one or two skill-building modules, created by the ILO – a UN agency – specifically for corporate-level training. Students then offered these training modules to high schools/universities in Cambodia, monitoring as other students engaged in the self-guided modules.
Before you lead others, first lead yourself, lastly together lead for results. On Friday, International Labour Organisation Collaboration team went to Happy Chandara School to offer the “leadership” soft skill training modules in Khmer (we translated the module ourselves) because our main target audiences are high schools/universities in Cambodia. We were there to mentor and answer questions but mainly this training is students engaged in the self-guided (in teams).
Frisbee League Pioneer is to create the first Cambodian frisbee league that is replicable and scalable, enabling empowerment of rural girls in Cambodia, challenging female stereotyping, through facilitation of a more gender-equitable environment.
Gender inequality affects many facets of society: business, education, and sports; Cambodia is no exception. Many Cambodians, not unlike others, have developed a mindset against girls playing sports. However, contemporary society is deconstructing these stereotypes by embracing girls in the sports field. With 65% of the whole population being under the age of 30, it is crucial to educate and empower the youth of today to support youth of the future.
Achieving gender equity has been, and is still, a struggle the world tries to overcome; it’s also listed as the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Although the goal is set to be attained in 12 years time, it’s never too early to start taking action now.
Our pilot project is designed to address this goal. We envision that our league will impact a wide range of communities listed underneath Community-Based Development. With a valid measurement and proof of the shift in opinions on girls’ enrollments in sports, we might present a White Paper to the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports and possibly establish a female sports policy. Introducing frisbee is merely our entry point, rather, equity and female empowerment is our end goal.
On Thursday, 6, 2018, early morning, nine of our of us in this exploration traveled to these schools to run initial frisbee sessions and gauge interest among the girls for the league. We have about thirty minutes with the girls to convince and throw frisbee around with them.
We were blown away by the results. They loved playing frisbee. A few voluntarily came back for the afternoon session after school to play more. Some said they had never played sport before, because of social or family pressure. All in all, 266 girls indicated today that they were keen to join the league.
Additionally, on Wednesday this week, we went to the four schools again to do our official pitch to the girls that were interested. We wrote down all of their names and around 200 hundred students are still interested. This means we really more discs before January when we start our training sections with the girls.
We are all really proud of our solid work so and we’ll continue to push ourselves to work harder. Most important we need to find sponsors before the training starts.
The first round we did research about the healthy relationship then we design the workshop for teenagers. This round we distributed the workshop to Liger Juniors and Seniors. At the sharation we discuss gender based violence. This a tough topic to discuss, but this is a very important topic. Gender-based violence is mostly violence against women. Why only women? One reason why is that the society had taught boys and girls differently when they’re born. Actually, we are all born to be the same. Boys taught to watch violence cartoon and girls taught to play with Barbie. This is why men are more violent than women. Another topic that we brought up is consent, watch our video below for more information. We entered this video into the Gender-Based Violence competition (November is a gender-based violence day) and we won first place.