“Today you are listeners, tomorrow you will be speakers.”, Rith Sarakk – PEPY Executive Director
With those empowering words, we kicked off our 2nd Sharing Event in Kralanh! Last May 27, we had more than 250 student attendees to our 2nd Sharing Event with three inspiring speakers who shared their challenges and successes to Cambodia’s next generation.
The first speaker was Sokh Sotheasey. Sotheasay currently works in Siem Reap Provincial Department and he joined us to share the philosophy of the “The Good Son, the Good Student, and the Good Friend, the 3 characteristics that every young person must try to be. The good son is a role model, he listens to his parents’ advise and supports his family. The good friend will always be there to support and guide his friends. Lastly, the good student works hard in school and is active in both school and social activities.
Our second speaker was Thon Thavry, a writer, translator and tour leader. Thavry has been working in different organisations and has also visited a lot of countries. She graduated from the University of Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic, majoring in Information Management. She shared her story and the motivation that keeps her going to achieve her goals, she calls this “The Power of Believing in Yourself.” When Thavry was young she’d always dreamt of becoming a writer and to publish her own book. With hard work, perseverance, and determination she was able to do just that! Her story and lessons hit a mark with the students as they listen in awe to her, realisation and determination showing on their faces.
The final speaker was Soun Kheun, the Executive Director of Lataste. He was like a father figure to the students that day, speaking about the six characteristics that the young people should always remember to practice: respect, proper time management, honesty, a sense of responsibility, sharing love and keeping love. He told the students that in order to change their attitude towards life, the students have to know what they want to be in the future. When they have a goal, an early start into achieving that goal will be worth it in the end.
Ou students also shared their stories with the rest of the attendees. Dream Class student Heang Sothearakk talked about changes and how he handled it with the help of his friends and classmates in Dream Class. How to adjust and adapt to new surroundings and new people and how to accept that not everyone is the same. People are unique and the way to a peaceful interaction with different people is acceptance. Our scholarship student, Choun Sina, shared her fears and overcoming them when she started studying in Siem Reap. She was a proud and accomplished student when she left Kralanh High School, but felt that her abilities fall short when she started university in Siem Reap. It made her sad, but it did not break her spirit. She faced the challenges, kept believing in herself and worked harder because she knows that she can make it. Phoeurng Phyrom our scholarship student from Srey Snam encouraged his younger audience to be more involved with the community and, if possible, to spend some of their extra time volunteering for good causes. Phyrom shared his experiences in volunteering and has this gem of a reminder to his fellow students, “We won’t earn money, so why volunteer? We can help people in need, we can help our communities grow and at the same time, we will grow as a person, too.”
We closed the day with the high school students performing traditional Khmer dances and Kralanh High School’s Principal, rallying the young people from her school to dream more and to dream big.
Our sincerest thanks to Kralanh High School for their unending support and for allowing us to hold our Sharing Event in their School Resource Building and our honoured guest speakers for sharing their hard earned lessons in life to the younger generation. We believed that this experience has definitely given them something to look forward to and that dreaming is where it all begins, hard work and perseverance will pave the way and a strong character and the right attitude will get you there.