Changing Cambodia 2017 – 2018

Silent, that’s always been a part of me. I was never a person who likes to speak. Ever since I was young, I was a shy-introverted kid who got a list of things that I wanted to, which included helping my country. Sometimes, I even feel like it safer and more comfortable not to speak up. However, the thoughts about things I wanted to do are always stuck in my mind.

After joining Rabies in Cambodia, Solar Pi and volunteering for Khmer Sight Foundation projects, I realized that I have to get out of my comfort zone in order to become a better change agent. By joining these projects, I had to overcome my introverted personality in order to become the best change agent I could be.


Rabies might not seem as a big deal in Cambodia. However, according to the research conducted by Pasteur Institute, had shown that there is actually greater death from rabies than malaria and dengue fever combined. The most common animals that contained the viruses in Cambodia are dogs and cats. Nevertheless, in order to spread the awareness of this aggressive disease, our team were working with Phnom Penh Animals Welfare Society (PPAWS), Pasteur Institute, and Animals Rescue Cambodia (ARC).

During mid-January and start of Feburary, our exploration was working with PPAWS and ARC to hold events in Mondulkiri and two pagodas nearby our school. For these events, we provided free injections and dissecting for the pets. Throughout the two-day-long event at Mondulkiri, we got over a hundred of animals injected and dissected. While the one-day-long event at the two pagodas got 179 dogs and cats injected. Besides giving free vaccines, we had prepared short presentations about rabies that included our knowledge and the awareness of rabies that we gathered throughout this 7-week long project to the villagers.


This is my second time being apart of the project called, “STEM Activities in Cambodian Secondary Schools Using Solar Powered Computer Labs.” If you entered a coffee shop, you’ll see people busy with their technology devices. If you visited international schools, you’ll see students focusing on their laptops. Yes! You can see technology devices everywhere. However, although Cambodia is now developing in technology field, not all Cambodians have access to it–those who live in the rural areas. Throughout this project, we are hoping to successfully installed two computer labs–one run by solar power, while one run by electricity.

Recently, we have installed the electric-powered computer lab in a school that located outskirt of Phnom Penh. Now, the lab has already been using by 245 students. Another lab will be finished installing in the near future. These computer labs curriculums included English literacy–which we are using Edemy program. The other two included FreeCAD that is a 3D design program, while Scratch is a basic coding program which is good for the beginners that are new to programming.

By installing these labs, we are hoping for more access to technology for Cambodia’s students. This project will introduce the students to new type of learning curriculums such as 3D design and coding that are not known by a majority of Cambodians. Nevertheless, it will give the students extra knowledge and experiences about computer, which is one of the big advantages for them to apply to university or college. Our team believes we can use technology to empower young Cambodians to their full potentials.  


Earlier this school year, a few senior students and I had volunteered a day to help Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF). Basically, KSF is a program that is trying to help old-blind people who cannot afford to get their eyes’ surgery done.  Free surgeries are provided by KSF and were held in one private hospital in Phnom Penh.

Throughout the whole day of checking up with the patients, we got a chance to bring some of the serious patients to Phnom Penh and got their eyes surgeries. Rather than brought them to hospital and leave, we were there the whole time staying by their side until the surgeries done.

Although they got this free surgery, I know that somehow they were feeling nervous as well as excited about how they will view the world differently. Luckily, all of the surgeries for the patients were going well and I was so glad to be a part of the changes.


Throughout these projects; rabies vaccinations, installing computer labs and volunteering for KSF, it made me became a better change agent. Furthermore, I hope that these projects would not only be the lives changing moments for the people that I was working with me. Besides, I hope it would help to improve their lives in certain ways. One thing that I realized is that you had to overcome your fear or get out of your comfort zone in order to be a better change agent.


Changing Cambodia 2016-2017

As we can see today, there are tons of issues in Cambodia such; a lack of understanding about healthy living, inaccessibility to computer labs and know nothing about the change in their environment, but no one seems to care about those problems. However, in Liger we care about every problem in Cambodia and try to find solutions to solve those problems to make Cambodia a better place. As one of the change agents in Cambodia, I am so glad to be apart of these amazing exploration based-learning projects such as; Preventative Health, Geology of Cambodia and Raspberry Pi which already helped to solve the problems that mentioned earlier.


Apparently, Cambodia today is facing with a big issue about healthy living especially with the people who lived in rural areas or people who lived on islands. One of my favorite explorations this year was Preventative Health which we have a goal of helping the people on the island of Koh Rong to have better lives. For us to be able to solve this big problem, we collaborated with Song Saa Foundation to bring a play to the students there. In this play, we talked about healthy diet, how to avoid from getting diabetes and how to brush the teeth in the correct ways. After the play, we played games that connected to the play with the students so they won’t forget the information that we told them. Moreover, we believed that those students will spread what they have learned from us to their communities with their powerful voices which will change people’s perspective. As we collaborated with Song Saa Foundation, we get an incredible opportunity to snorkel at their private coral reef site, scuba diving and exploring bioluminescent in the middle of the sea at night. This exploration had given me a lot of new opportunities that I never had before in my entire life such as; snorkeling, scuba diving, explored and learned about bioluminescent and visiting the island.


Most of Cambodian would not think of how much their country had changed over times because of the environment that they are living in, has never changed at all. This is a big reason why Liger created this exploration called, Geology of Cambodia which I was also of the members. The goal of this exploration is to travel around Cambodia and learn about the environment in each place, like how does each place form and how can it get there. After we gathered all the information about each place, we started to share those throughout social media such as Facebook group and our own website. Our team not only shared information about each place that we visited but we also shared what have we learned in class time. So far, our team had shared a lot of characteristics of the rocks that we had found in different places such as quartzite, rhyolite and how does those rocks from. For the few week of this exploration, it was quite hard for me because all the information and what I have learned are all new to me, however, I really enjoy it. When we were on trips, I get to see many types of landscapes and I really enjoy to figure out how are those things happened and why does it look the way it is.


Technology is still one of the big problems in Cambodia. Nowadays, Cambodians can access more to technology by having smartphones and a few computer labs nearby their houses.  However, as we can see, they mostly use it for social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. For the government schools that have their own technology classes, they only use it for typing courses not other courses like 3D Design. To solve this issue, our team called Solar Pi has an idea to install a solar-powered computer lab in public school and we will have our curriculum. Our curriculum mainly focus on 3D Design, where we have FreeCAD as our main program for teaching. We think 3D Design is a great idea to bring to the public school because as I mentioned earlier, most of the computer lab is only using for typing classes, not something else. Also, 3D Design can improve the student’s creative skills because it allows the students create whatever they want in 3D views like houses, building or something simpler than that such as desk and chair. We will also include other educational programs such as Enemy, where the students can learn English. Moreover, this exploration will continue until next year of school.


In conclusion, based on what I have done this year of school, I had helped to solve a lot of issues that Cambodia is facing right now. Even though I have been in a lot of explorations that help to change Cambodia but those changes are only a small part of the big change. However, I really enjoy doing those projects to get new experiences, getting to know new people and improve my skills a lot. In addition, I hope I can be on bigger projects in the future and make a bigger change for Cambodia to become a better country.


Changing Cambodia 2015-2016

This school year, I learned lots of different subjects and projects in Liger. As a young Cambodian, I also had joined many school projects to help changing Cambodia to be a better country. In addition, I went on many many trips to explore and learn more things in real life. These projects below are the projects and exploration that I joined this year, which can change Cambodia such as Artist of Cambodia, creat science book and etc.


The first create your own exploration (CYOE) that I had was Artist of Cambodia. Our team goal is to get people to know more how plastic and dry waste can affect to the environment around us. We mostly focused on recycling dry trash and different types of plastics. As we want to change people’s perspective about how do they think about plastics, we had gone to one market near our school to tell people there about the disadvantages about plastics. So, for this project, I changed Cambodia by changing people’s perspective of plastics.


For my second CYOE is called “WAT, Cambo!”. This project I worked with the other three girls. Our goal for this project to go to many amazing places in Cambodia to film Cambodian’s talents and share it with the world so the world knows how amazing those people are. We also created a Youtube channel (WAT, Cambo!) to share those amazing videos.


This year Liger had a really special project, which writing science books and distribute it to Cambodia’s government schools. I was working on one book with Chimean, which is about the blue ringed-octopus. The special thing is that the books have two languages are English and Khmer so even the foreigners can read our books too. So, I help to change Cambodia by creating an educational book and share to the Cambodia’s young generation.


Lastly, even though I did many things to try to change Cambodia but it’s just a small part of the change. I hope that I can do even better in the future and not to forget to work hard on my study.  

Changing Cambodia 2014-2015

This year I learn a lot of different things in each exploration and in each project that we have here in Liger Learning Center. It also make me think why Cambodia have a lot of concerns? Before I don’t think there a lot of problems but while I learn more and more I see that I need to think how to change it so it will be better. It really hard to think how can we change because people have different perspective and sometime they don’t think kids ideas are better than them.


One important thing that Cambodia need to change is education. Education is really important because most of the time when I went on my trips I see many children not went to school. Mostly they go to work for money to support their family because as you know Cambodia is not a rich country. Also it hard to change other people’s perspective because how they think about education are different from us. Most of the families in Cambodia just think about money to support their family. They let kids do a work anywhere then when they get a salary they need to give most of money to their parents. Also some kids really want to learn more but they have no choice so they go to do a work like homeless people or work at factory.


My solutions are get more people to know how important education is. We can make a poster or kind of flyer to give to community people. In that poster we can write important facts and explain them why it important for kids to go to school. If there are school far away from their house and if I have money I would like to build one place for them to learn. It have teachers and it similar to the school. Then kids can learn there so they don’t need to go to school that far from their house and they can take that time to learn more. While we teach them we can make some project that they can go outside like go to community to interview people so they can have a lot of experiences and be brave. Also we can teach them more about other things such as sanitation because when they go outside they can see how people live everyday.


This year I went outside a lot especially in explorations classes. In Water Sanitation group we went to Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. At there we went to floating area and learn about how they use the water there. Also we interviewed them about how do they use their toilet. Most people said that they not use a proper toilet they only have toilet that go straight to the river. Then when they need the water to take shower or for clean something they take the water from that river to use. so it make me think if they have a composting toilet it much better for their health. In another exploration I learn about water safety. In this exploration we focus a lot about drowning because there many kids had drowned but people don’t know that most kids death from drowning. Also we have on program that teach community kids how to protect their self from drowning. Our goal it to get them to know how to move in the water and can swim 3 – 5 meters so when they get drown they can protect themselves. Also in our class we have made water safety messages. When we go to one organization call Camkids we explain to most of the kids there so they know what can they do if they want to swim. After we explain them, we hope most of the kids their understand and can share what they learn from us to other people.


One of my exploration this year is about 3D Printing. In class we learn about create a new product from 3D Printing to solve the problem in Cambodia. My product was Book Standing. This product have a lot of benefit such as you can use it while you do housework, cooking the food play instruments etc. We also went to one government school to explain the students in one class about the 3D Printing and our team product and we do rotation when we do it. When I went there I learn a lot from them and also share my knowledge and experiences that I have in this class to them so they can pass the information to other how amazing 3D Printing are because it new for Cambodia and have only one in Phnom Penh.


It is important to know about safety and  I want more people to know water safety. I want people to know about it especially kids because they can get drown anytime when to go into the water enough though they knew how to swim. So they should know how to protect themselves when they enter the water. For the parents should know to when they should allow their kids to enter the water. In this exploration we went to Camkids and explain kids there about our messages because we think that when they know how to protect themselves and can help reduce drowning in Cambodia.
This year I have five explorations and in each exploration I learn a lot of things not only in class also from trips. One of my favorite exploration is Water Safety. I like this exploration because I can teach students how to swim and it the time for me that I teach the students how to swim. Also I can give them what I know and what I have been learn in this class to them.  As I know that not many kids know how to protect themselve in water so I shared them about my messages. My messages it about if you want to go swim you need to know the weather and water condition and other messages. It mean that I reduce drowning in Cambodia because when they know how to protect themselves they won’t get drown. Also it not only me that help change but other people in my group also help change because in a group we come up this idea and discuss with each other. In every explorations that I learned it new for me and it give differents experiences and knowledge.