The education system in Cambodia continues to face many challenges, but during the past years there have been significant improvements. JWOC is one of the organizations in Cambodia that builds the capacities of young people by helping them become youth leaders who engage with their community. To partner with Cambodia youth to fulfil their potential in education, employment and engagement with their community to have a quality of education, decent work and reduced inequalities.
To increase number of youth leaders who are ready to engage with their communities, 33 students in Year 3 and 4 of JWOC’s University Scholarship Program had proposed 7 projects divided in 7 groups of each project to design and implement the social projects supported by JWOC’s Team and Kea Eng (our Youth Leadership Coordinator) would monitoring them when needed.
Here are the 7 projects they had implemented throughout the year and challenged they had faced during the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on period of them they were doing their project for the community:
Youth Awareness of Environmental Issues
The team decided to do this project because they see the major problems in this issue in Siem Reap and in Cambodia as well. Plastic can affect their health, life on earth and deep inside the sea. They interviewed one of the coffee shop owners, where 10 percent of their customers bring their own cup to get coffee. They used social media to spread the information to the community by taking video from YouTube and translated foreign plastic educational videos to Khmer about using recycled plastic bottles.
The challenges they faced were the videos weren’t good enough to attract their audience. They said: “we got lack of skill for making video and content and youth was not interested to join our projects and only few of them join the one bottle challenges and several views being watched by their audience”. KHOEUT Sochea, team leader of this project said that what we had learnt from this project is related to working as a group, discussion and collaboration to identify good contents. Next time to be more creative we need to improve our skill of making videos on our own to attract the right audience and hopefully our next project will run smoothly. This project was useful to raise awareness of the bad effect of plastic and to reduce using plastic by recycling it as much as possible because environmental issues are the global issue for the whole world as well.
This project was created to encourage the youths to love reading books. They worked with students from JWOC‘s Better Future Program and the goal was they wanted them to know the importance of reading books and wanted those to spend their time at least 5 minutes a day to read books. They created a video that aims to provide some method to our target audiences under the topic: “Encourage the youths to continue reading books“. First, they layout their baseline survey into the group to collect baseline data, Second, Post survey. After that, they collected data, they analyzed and then presented it to JWOC team management. Finally, they found that 92% of Better Futures students reported that they like reading the books.
Awareness of Chikungunya
Actual situation in Cambodia through the rainy season a large number of our people have been sick of Chikungunya Fever and Dengue Fever, as well as people in our community are not yet fully aware of this disease. The students in group of 4 had decided to run the project of Chikungunya Fever prevention, symptom and treatment (for home care taker before sending patients to the hospital).
They identified the difference between dengue fever and Chikungunya by creating the video, Facebook group to post daily and see if any question in comment they were ready to share. 32 youth did the pre-test and for the post test only 10 of them engaged throughout the entire process due to different reason of covide-19. The challenge they faced was time management to discuss the details in a team meeting, not all students involved due to an announcement from the government of Covid-19. They strongly believe that the project they had implemented should go through to the community by having the participants share it with their family and friends.
Social media platforms are modern technology communications for people around the world. Most of the people familiar with using them, but they can also have bad effects if using in the wrong way. Ms Neth Chuon who is a team leader of online safety project in group of 5 members wanted to raise youth awareness of the effects of improper use of social media base on some of people in the community, friends and their self-experience .They did pre-survey with scholarship students at JWOC and youth who are between 15 to 35 years old, finally collected the data and found that, “Only 16.7% of 54 students and youths know how to use social media in a limited, safe and effective way and protect themselves and their accounts from negative impacts. The participants believe that they will continue sharing what they have learnt from our research papers to share to their friends and families to be safe of using social media.
Sexual harassment can be defined as unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or offensive environment. It can also be seen as a form of violence against women (and men, who can also be sexually harassed) and as discriminatory treatment. Borey is one of our scholarship program who is the leader with team member of 4 raised this project to raise awareness of sexual harassment to local youth and their communities.
This group did research on internet and through some friends such as a nurse working in the hospital In Siem Reap. They had invited 12 Better Future Program whose age between 15-18 years in to do the pre-survey to get to know how well they knew about sexual harassment. They presented the posting of sexual harassment signs and prevention posters online. After the posttest being done online due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as the result, 11/12 (5/12 baseline) of youth reported that they were aware and confident in preventing themselves from the sexual harassment.
JWOC’s Green Gardening Project
During Covid-19 pandemic, students could not complete their first project idea about setting goals, so they decided to do spring onion gardening according to what is popular in the market. 7 of them had no experience related to gardening, so they depended on researching on the internet and asking people in the community. They brainstormed idea to implement the project step by step ahead of visual implement, planned and divided responsibility with great cooperation And teamwork. They got enough material from JWOC’s Team, but the challenge they faced during they were growing spring onions is that they did not think of the heavy rainy season coming and as the result their spring onion gardening was damaged by the flood. They learnt from their faultiness as gardening technic, team work, plan and Implement, market demanding, weather forces and location. This project is useful for the community to encourage them to grow home gardening and selling for income to help the family financially.
Overall, our students have shown great efforts in helping their community while they were also in the challenging time. As a result, some of them hadn’t been successful for their project due to climate change and the impact of covid-19. However, what they had learnt by their projects were, improvement of communication, commitment, teamwork, skills for the projects like making video and so on. By learning from experience and commitment to improve, we strongly believe that students will continue to develop themselves as the future youth leaders of Cambodia.
Thank you to the Collette Foundation for funding this program in 2020!
This blog post was written by Somnang Phalla (Donor Relations Officer).