Have you ever known that you can find your way back home by using your watch? Honestly, I did not. Have you ever known that there are hornbills and pine tree in Cambodia? I did not, and it amazed me when I know it. It all comes in one in Outdoor Leadership exploration. Base on the name, we explore thing outdoor with leadership. During these seven weeks, we observe nature, learn about caring and loving nature, emergency first aid and living with nature. We went to two trips. The first trip was in Kirirom and that was the time I realized that Cambodia has hornbills and pine trees. We trekked for hours to reach our goal, heaven cliff and it is the cliff of heaven. After we arrived there, we did a lot of activities. One of my favorites is roasting marshmallows. It’s hard to get the good taste of marshmallow because you need to pass the hot fire and stay for a while to wait for it until it is brown and that’s when it is a perfectly roasted marshmallow. After three weeks, we went on the second trip to Mondulkiri. We camp near the valley and we spend two days on trucking to discover the hidden waterfall in the forest. The water was cold and there are a lot of wild guppies swimming around. I also saw one fish that looks like a gecko. I don’t know why, but it swims and then pause. I really want to get it into my palm, but I’m afraid that it would be poison or something. However, I finally got it into my palm since it did not move that fast and also because I really love fishes. It was a memorable moment. We trekked back. In total, I think we trekked more than 20 km in both days. I was tired but at the same time it worth it. I found out a thing that I’ve never known, I also realized that I love trekking so much now.
My round 3 exploration is indigenous community. In Cambodia, there are at least 19 groups of different indigenous people all over in Cambodia. Some of them such as Pnong, and Kreung. However, the other indigenous groups, not many of Cambodians know that they exist. After my facilitator, Bunthan saw this problem, he created an exploration which is indigenous community to promote and to raise everyone’s awareness that they actually exist. The two indigenous groups that we were focusing on are Stieng in Krate and Kui in Preh Vihear. There are 16 of us and we were divided into two groups, which are video group with 7 members and 9 members of the book group. By the end of our exploration, we expected to create 7 videos about Stieng and one book about Kui. I am one of the book members.
We went to Krate and Preah Vihear to collect all of the information about their community. During the trip, I’ve noticed that they were just like us, accept their daily life and their langue. For Stieng, I think they are no longer an indigenous group anymore because of their daily life, clothes, langue, and tradition is time by time turn into typical Cambodians. However, Kui people still speak their langue and follow their belief with the big population.
When we back from the trip, we were trying to write a book and editing our video. After we finished our book, we think we should come back to the community to verify the things that need to be changed. We’ve print our first version of the book along the trip. We finally, made a lot of changes. Hopefully, we can print our second version book soon and hand it out to different places to promote Cambodia indigenous groups.
In the second round of the year, my exploration was traditional food. As the name of this exploration, we were doing research on the different type of Khmer traditional food, how do food interact with humans, and story behind those foods. The goals of this exploration are to have knowledge of Khmer traditional food and one website that contains documentary film, photo essay, and journalism writing.
To reach our goal, we went to different restaurants in Siem Reap to seek out different Khmer cuisine in this tourism province. The restaurants that we went to are Mahob, Cuisine Watdomnak, and the Sugar Palm.
One of our traditional food is Khmer rice noodle. This food is so common for Cambodians, but I’ve never seen how’s it made. Until this four days trip, I can know clearly of each process to make Khmer rice noodle.
My teammates and I started interviewing, filming and taking photos to get all the sources that we need to create each of our products. During the trip, we met some problems such as losing some footages and interviewing problems.
With all the hard work, We’ve done all of our products and have it post into our blog.
On the first round of the third year at Liger, I was one of the members in the “Community Documentary” exploration (a type of project to explore new thing and find our passion). In this exploration, we were creating some products that would capture information and allow communities to share with future generations.
On the first week we were learning some basic skill, such as interviewing skills. We also thought about what kind of product that we want to create. We found that 4 products that suited our needs the most; podcasts, videos, blogs and photos, therefore we decided at the end of our initial investigation to utilize these products. The facilitators asked us to identify our interest level in each product in order to split us into groups. Each group would work on a particular product. I was one of the 8 members in the video team. Making videos was my second choice, however, I tried my best to make this product as good as possible. “I really want to be an agent for change in Cambodia and encourage people into education, I learned how to use a video camera and started to look at the process around making a documentary. By the end of the first week, I felt I was able to make a worthwhile contribution to the team.
Even though we had the idea of making videos but my team and I still did not know what topic we needed to focus on yet, so we had a pre-trip on the second week to explore the topics. We visited four villages in Kampong Speu; Srey Sompong, Tropaing Leap, Chrok Popul, and Prey Ansear. It was a two days trip and I felt really anxious the day before because I was not sure how to plan for this pre-trip. I found it harder in class than being in the real situation. Because our exploration collaborated with World Renew we were introduced to World Renew students as we traveled as we were working with them. Working with them was really pleasurable. During the trip, my team were very flexible and had a positive attitude, this made the trip more enjoyable and productive.. We received a lot of good information for each of our products from this pre-trip.
We started to gather all the information that we got from the pre-trip when we arrived at school the following week. My video team’s idea was to create three videos with three different topics. They are; education for Srey Sompong, jobs for Tropaing Leap, financial institution for Prey Ansear and Chrok Popul. We have made the decision of having one topic for two different villages because of these two villages have the same community bank, which let the villager borrow or save the money with 2 % interest. Next, two-day trips to create our products was planned, while we shared our knowledge of using cameras, video camera, creating blogs, and podcasts to World Renew students at our school. Our team had to ensure we planned our project very clearly as we were a large team so we wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were doing and when things were due.
The trip went to plan. We set up our equipment, then we divided into groups based on the products so we could interview people, as planned, with specific topics for each village. we had to walk a lot during the trip in order to collect information and images for our product. The main problem the video team faced was the fact we were not able to meet with the people we had planned to interview because they were out for farming. Fortunately, we have two World Renew students from our team, who could help us figure out a solution to that problem, by introducing us to different people that we can be interviewed. We also had meetings for each night during the trip, so we could discuss as well as sharing experiences with what we had done during the daytime trip. Even though it was a challenging and tiring day, our team still showed our optimism and enjoyment for this trip, consequently, the video team got a lot of good video and information.
All the videos, photos, and information were assembled by each team. The video team uploaded the video and picture that we needed from all the of the cameras. The next thing that we had decided was which program that we should use to edit the documentary video. Most of my teammates recommend ‘Premium Pro Adobe’ because it makes a good quality video and many of the team have prior knowledge of how to use this product. Even though I was not familiar with this programme I decided, I decided to use it because of most of my teammate’s agreement. I was not the only who did not know anything about Premium Pro, so we learned together as a team. “After we had become familiar with and learned how to use the programme each team member started the job they had been allocated to. with Premium Pro, we started to do our jobs that have roled for each person in the team. Cheta and I were editing one of the three videos which were for Srey Sompong, the topic was education. I gave a lot of ideas to Chetra for our video and felt a great deal of trust from working with Chetra. We had a lot of challenges since Premium Pro is an advanced program and one of the main problems was our laptops were not working well. Moreover, there was not enough information for our video, so we needed to contact the other team to create a better video. We have lots of comments as well as changes from our facilitator (Cindy) for our video as the result, our video was created successfully because of our hard work.
When we had finished this product, we had planned to show them to the villagers, so we planned our final trip on 3rd October. In order to show the villagers our product, we needed to prepare the materials for the presentation such as; projectors, speakers, blank sheets to project etc. For this trip, we divided our team (base on our product) into two because we were going to different villages at the same time. We needed to be on the bus at 5 am to be on time in order to present to each village. After we arrived there, we started to set up the materials to present. Unfortunately, I had not given the correct video to the other team, I took full responsibility for this and felt so bad that I had let my team down. As they arrived there, Chornson who is one of my members call me on the phone said that they did not have any video, so I swiftly took my USB from my bag that has a copy of Tropaing Leap village video to the driver, who drove back from Tropaing Leap to get the USB, so they can present. I felt so frustrated that time. However, my friends encouraged me by saying that it was not my fault, and it can be a good experience. when it came time to present, I did it well and was confident. After my team and I had shown the video to the people in Srey Sompong village, which was about education, it seemed like it was an effective video. They said they really want to have their children have a good education. They also told us that it was the right thing to do and encouraged us to keep doing it.
I felt really righteous to be a part of this exploration because I have helped to change people’s opinions by just making a video. I hope there will be future projects on community documentary exploration so we can keep helping our community. I really want to be an agent for change in Cambodia and encourage people into education
After the first year been past really fast. One thing that I notice and wanted to do for the second year was joining Technovation ( a program that let girls participate in technology and business to create some applications for solving the problems in their communities).
What we can really do in this program is to explore out the problems in our communities and trying to create applications to solve those problems. Because I really want to join this program so badly, I have been set up the group, the name of the group, the idea and even some of the works. In my team, there are five members, who are I ( business), Angely (Leader/business ), Bopha (code), Wathna (code), and Votey (business). There are three members of our team are from my room, so we were able to discuss a lot about it. Our team name is Five Infinities. Our app name is Mirra, which is trying to solve mental health.
Finally, on January 10th, 2018, I officially sign up to join Technovation and form the group in this program. We were working really hard on our idea to reach our goal. We’ve just realized that there is another group in our school has the same idea as us, too. In addition, we started to know that our idea kind of does not work really fluently. However, we still continued and fought for this idea.
On 22nd February 2018, we were really struggling with our idea. We really know that it does not work, while we were doing customer research. We did a video call to get to know the new idea that Angely was trying to introduce to us. This new idea is about M.E.P ( Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing). Angely told us that this there is a problem with the lack of connection between Customers ( who are facing M.E.P problems) and Suppliers ( who are M.E.P experts ). Some of us don’t really like this idea much for the first time hearing it. I and my team started to love and get closer to it. We were working really hard to improve our application. Because of our hard-working, our app works really well and we were ready for our min pitch which was about to happen.
Our app connects the customers and suppliers, help Supplier to Post the information of them, Customer can Post the problems, customer and supplier are able to contact by using contact functions, conditions and terms are shown, Location showed, and all of the things make our app convenient to use.
on 29th April 2018, we got an opportunity to present our idea to the audiences and the judges. We were up on the stage and believed to do our best to the judges. However, the admin there confused to show the wrong slide presentation. We started to feel worried about it, and unfortunately, we did not finish the last statement that we have a plan. After having our presentation, the judges started to ask us questions. We answered the questions really well, but one thing that still in our mind is we did not finish our statement ” Customer no need to worry about Mechanical, Electricity and plumbing problems, for suppliers you can earn more money” . When we back off the stage, our mentor gave us a high five to each member of our team to encourage. When we arrived to our seats, one of our members was crying really hard because she thought that we were not going to be selected for national pitch. It was a really long time to wait for the result, so we went back to our school. We were doing our homework as usual afternoon. About 3 pm, our mentor told us to open hangout to see a live of the result. It was a really long to time to set up. I was ready for it. My team and another team carefully listened to the result, too. It was the 11th team and I have not heard our team name yet. I started to put my middle finger on top of my point finger to wish, then I said “ Five Infinities”. As what expect they’ve called our team name “Five Infinities”. We all jumped around and scream out loud. After knowing that we have been selected, we were back to our slide presentation to be as best as we can.
On 16th May 2018, We also went to Living Iching Decor, which is a company doing a business about decor. Because of they interested in our idea, we were presenting to them as best as we could. After presented to them, we were showing our app and how our app work. They were so impressed with our idea and they also gave us some feedback to improve the idea. At the end of the presentation, Benita Sharp who is the general manager told us that she will use our app 100% if we launch it and if we are not able to launch it she will help us to reach our goal.
Finally, on 20th May 2018, We were doing our best in our presentation. We got a little clue to own the first place national price now because it seemed like we stool all the attention from the audiences and the judges were asking us really hard and unusually questions. While other teams were present, there were some people interview and that made me really excited and nervous to know the result. At the end of this exciting competition, the results were announced. “Junior division winner is going to…. going to…..”. Microphone controller was trying to get us nervous. I started to wish and said really loud “Five Infinities”, then everyone started to look at me while the microphone controller announced our team’s name.
A picture of our team M.E.P Center as the 1st place national winner.
M.E.P Center members with our mentors.
The second year at Liger Leadership Academy has been past really fast. I have done so many things. I have participated in some interesting opportunities. After I participated in an exploration, (a type of project to explore new thing and find our passionate) which is Disabilities exploration. In this exploration, our facilitator “ Caro” facilitated us to know more about people with disabilities, type of disabilities and the correct words to use with people with disabilities. I started to see some really huge problems for people with disabilities. Those problems are people with disabilities discrimination, looking down on them and do negative things that affect their feeling.
I started to think more about things that I can help other people to see people with disabilities uniqueness and to be proud of them, so other people would stop doing things that can affect people with disabilities feel. We have decided to choose to have a performance for Sharation (the event that we share the thing that we have done with our exploration to everyone that participate). Because it is fun and relax to have a performance as a Sharation. However, everyone would see the meaning of the performance that we would want to show them so easily, which is no to look down on people with disabilities and no discrimination. This performance was going to be about the boy who has only one arm because of an accident. He was getting incredibly affect his feeling from two of the other students in the school because they are unawareness about the affection for that boy. However, This discrimination was gone from those two student’s mind by getting advice from their teacher and another student.
Finally, our facilitator(Caro) decided to have a performance for Sharation. Everything was set up for Sharation. I and my performance team started to do our best, so everyone would understand our goal.
After having the performance, we started to see that most of the people, who have participated in the performance started to get the main point of our performance. They also really impressed with our acting skill.