Kralanh High School
On Friday 11th January, PEPY Empowering Youth organized Kralanh High School’s first Sharing Event of 2019. This event encourages students to explore new ideas for their futures and exposes them to new experiences from professionals and other local role models. We invited three guest speakers, Mr. Lok Ratanak, Mr. Soeum Hoeung and Mr. Lam Lay who kindly spent their time to share their experiences with 373 students and 4 teachers in Kralanh High School, as well as Kumro Secondary School’s principal and 3 representatives from BBU University.
Mr. Lam Lay is currently working in two different fields, as an author and part time as a human resource officer. “Detached Perspective” was his first book which was published last year and sold all around Cambodia. His second book is currently being edited. As a human resource manager, his work includes staff recruitment and work orientation. Having grown up in a farming family, he values and continues to do farming. He grows his own vegetables at home even though he has a very busy schedule at work and school. At the age of 21, he seems very successful in his life. However if we look back to 2016, Lay actually failed his grade 12 national exam. Due to family encouragement and self-motivation he was able to study hard and eventually pass the exam.
Miss. Soeum Hoeung is a Scholarship Officer at Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC) in Kralanh. When she was young she dreamed to take a flight somewhere around the world after seeing planes when she and her friends were flying kites. Her family’s main source of income was producing rice spirits to sell. Her mother worked very hard to earn enough money to support her kids to go to school. Wanting to lighten the burden of her mother, Hoeung worked a dangerous job collecting tamarind leaves to earn money support herself. Luckily, when she reached high school, a few teachers let her study in their part time classes for free so that she could catch up with her peers. She now has a good job where she can work to support her community especially marginalized and threatened women. She has also traveled to many countries around the world.
Mr. Lok Ratanak, a financial manager at Sokha Hotel in Siem Reap, has experienced failure many times but despite this picked himself back up again and again. He was born during the war and was forced to be a soldier. However, he managed to get out of being in the army and had many jobs. However, two of the businesses he worked at closed, and another caused serious health issues, and soon became hopeless about being able to provide for himself. However, he managed to find work again at different financial institutions, determined to move up the ranks from assistant to manager. Now that he has succeeded, his message to students is to not give up on your dreams.
Besides the above guest speakers, 2 students from Dream Class and 2 others from the Learning Center bravely shared about their stories of and advice for overcoming life challenges on stage.
Some participants said that the stories inspired them and it was empowering to see their friends speak so confidently. They suggested that we should conduct it every year and that they want to share on stage also.
28 Makara High School, Srei Snam
Srei Snom’s Sharing Even happened on January 25th 2019 at 28 Makara High School. In addition to Mr. Rith Sarakk, Executive Director of PEPY, 3 other local leaders were present to give introductions to the event: Mr. Thi Theng, Deputy Director of 28 Makara High School and Mr. Mek Merl, a representative from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport in Srei Snam district.
We invited three excellent guest speakers from different fields to share their experiences to 509 students and 30 teachers. Participants expressed appreciation for the speakers’ lessons about self-motivation, positive thinking, self-love, and surrounding oneself with good and forward-thinking people. Many students asked to keep in touch with the guest speakers to learn more about how to apply these lessons to their own futures.
The first speaker, Mr. Meas Saophea, is a student at IFL of Phumen Phnom Penh University and he is working as a teacher trainer. He also had his own business called “Green Farm.” The lesson he tried to emphasize to all students is how important it is to have a positive mindset good habits, especially when it comes to studying independently.
Ms. Sor Seileang, speaking second, is Head Marketing and Human Relations Officer at Angkor University and has been involved in social work in Siem Reap province for many years. In her opinion, youth are essential to the development of the country, as they are vital human resources for social and economic growth. She gave tips on building self-confidence and preparing to study different majors at university. “I hope everyone here will think long-term about the life goals, and do what you love. If you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first,” she said.
Mr. Soun Kheun, a training manager at Manulife, came for his second time as a Sharing Event guest speaker. He used to work at Lataste organization as Executive Director, and he is also an English lecturer at Build Bright University. His topic was “Dare to Be Different.” He advised students to work hard and pursue their passions despite the judgment of others; this, he said, is important to being a goal-oriented leader.
One student from Dream Class, Doeurn also discussed how Dream Class has helped her manage her emotions and improve her attitude, specifically by making her less shy and able to communicate with new people. 2 Scholarship students discussed what they have learned so far at the PEPY Learning Center, including what it’s like to live and study in Siem Reap. One additional student, Ousa (a Scholarship student who finished at the Learning Center last year) from 28 Makara HS shared her story of change and how much she has improved after being a PEPY student. She was a great role model showcasing the benefits that higher education can have.