To support International Women’s Day in 2012 not only did we focus on women in our lives, I ran a writing competition for our students. The topic was “What is it like to be a woman in Cambodia in 2012?”. Students were asked to write a short essay setting out their own opinions, experiences and ideas.

I was very excited to receive 26 essays as the students already have many commitments so time is precious. The content of the essays varied greatly and included comparisons with the past, ideas about the future, women’s rights, equality and the abuse of women. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the essays and gaining an insight into perceptions about society and everyday life for Cambodian women.

It was difficult to select only 4 winners as all the students did so well. The essays were not judged on the accuracy of the information, the grammatical structure or being inline with views held by JWOC or myself. I was simply looking for students who had tried really hard to express their views, whatever they were, which is not easy when learning a new language.

I am very proud to announce that the winners were:

Female under 18 years old student – Kheurndiya , aged 15
Male under 18 years old student – Kao Seth Kosal, aged 15
Female over 18 years old student – Heng Saki, aged 19
Male over 18 years old student – Yann Yon, aged 19

All students were presented with a pamper pack of products. They were delighted with their prizes and it was lovely to see the pride on their classmates faces when a winner was chosen from their class. Congratulations to all students who participated in this competition, I was very impressed.

by Jackie Wall, Education and Volunteer Manager, JWOC

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