A microscopic change can cause a multitude of positive impacts to the entire system of a country. As an adolescent citizen of Cambodia, I have the agency to positively affect current issues in society with deliberative and deep thought. Throughout the fifth year of the school term, I investigated and address the solution to a few problems Cambodia faces today. Change agent characteristics such as communication, opportunist, passionate, proactive, initiative, competitive, networked, creative, innovative, calculated risk taker, dot connector, problem-solver, are the change agents characteristics, that influenced me to become a current change agent.
During these school year, I investigated in so many projects, such as Vex Robotics, Liger Digital Currency, Waste Management and lastly Khmer Rouge, and because of never giving up on my work, all of those paperwork, data, and the consequences from every single projects that I did are what motivate me to proceed to the next step. Every time, I travel, not just Phnom Penh but everywhere, there always something that needs help to changes. In my opinion, based on visiting difference place all around the country, currently, Cambodia’s education is still the main problem for children and everyone who lived under the poverty line. Furthermore, although there an opportunity, educational events, organization, and orphans whose offered them a learning cause or experience those people still need support. What is more, is that every single changes needs its own time to develop and speculate the problem, so that there’ll be an alternative solution in help, and just like this problem it can’t be a one minute talk and then take on an action straight away, it needs times to discover, design, discuss and document the problem and implement the solution.
So, in addition, to be a part of making a change to this problem is that, in the following month of the school year, I participated in the VEX Robotics Competition. We called our team, Botjitsu. We spent about 14 weeks to prepare for the competition. As one of the members of the team, I felt so proud of what we had done because we are the first Cambodian high school students who participate in this VEX Competition in Taiwan. During exploration, this competition required us three big skills such as coding, mechanical, fundraising skills. Simultaneously, this is our first year of doing the advance robotic, as also this competition, is going to be happening in Taiwan. This was a very challenging project to keep going, however, we all still working hard, try our best ability and of course never giving up on our work. Finally, on December 2016, we were there at the competition and it was the greatest experience, I ever had from this competition. During, STEM Festival 2017 that was happening in Phnom Penh a while ago at the Olympic Stadium, some of my teammates and I were there to give a presentation about our project. I felt very grateful for this opportunity that I can explain and introduce them to our project to many others high school students in Cambodia. All of those students shows a lot of interest in this field and that this such competition should be introduced to them in a STEM project in the category of Technology. Moreover, since Cambodia is a developing country, government and the elders in the country who have the potential to inform those students who study in the government school about new technology or competitions that are currently happening in the country and all around the world, this will give a very positive impact to the Cambodia. Nevertheless, our team also made a presentation during our sharation at school, to showcase about our project, to many others. This sharation had given many adults in the country to change their mind that we are the change maker and we are the one who brings back the big hope for Cambodia. Although this competition does not involve in doing investigation of a specific problem of the country and finding ways to solve it, however what have this competition help me to changed Cambodia is that my team, Botjitsu had introduced Cambodia to a new opportunity and put Cambodia named out for the others countries such as Japan, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and many more, to know who we are and realized how effective and hard-working of Cambodian new generations are. Therefore, I’m proud of myself to be a part of this team and help the team to build an accomplishment and finally spread the word out to everyone in the country.
On the other hand, I also spent most of my school time to work on Liger Digital Currency which was one of the exploration during this school term. This is another opportunity that brings Cambodia a new technology application which is similar to Bitcoin application, that many people know that it a type of visual currency. I spend more than two months in working on this project, it was very challenging, but our team still keep bearing with this project and solving the issues with my team. This project claimed a lot of hard working, concentration, problem-solving and lastly communication skill. Without these skills and characteristics, we can’t make any progress and carry on until now. This is a system which called Liger Digital Currency, this is an application or a website which everyone in the whole world can access to it, however, it’ll be using in just around Liger community for Senior cohort, which is mean that only Liger students can actually function the application since our team set the domain name for user is only for Liger students. It has two big functions such as Transferring and Exchanging. Students are allowed to transfer their money to the other student, and that they can also make an exchange with the bookkeeper who’ll be in charge of the money. While at the same time, I learned a lot about bootstrap which is a type of program and that it changes my thought a lot about the programming of the application. In this project, I worked as a user interface designer for the website, it was very hard and challenging for me, however, I still appreciate my work and still keep continue. Again, this is also not a solution that actually functionalized for solving the problem in Cambodia, nevertheless, this brings a lot of new technology, new codes and all of these are what made Cambodia becoming a standout and popular place in the world. In addition to making a change to Cambodia in this exploration is that we had share our project in our sharation and Impact Hub a place where there is full of inspirational speakers and educational idea. After giving a talk about our project, many adults shows a lot of interest through our project, which had to give us a feeling that this is a very impactable project which was designed by the new generation of Cambodia in young ages, 14 and 15 years old.
Moreover, I had studied in a waste management exploration, it was a year-long project, however, I was in the third one. This project is basically learning about turning organic waste into compost and transfer it into a business for our Liger student, in particularly solving the problem of reducing the waste in Cambodia. We figured out that there are about 70 to 80% of the waste in Cambodia is actually an organic waste, and that is why it bring us into an idea of making compost to reduce the waste. My team went to Battambang in addition, to learn and understand more about the process of making compost. We visited COMPED, an organization that provides an education to unprivileged students that lived close to there, and also a place where they created a compost pile from dry and wet waste and combine into compost, which all the waste was transferred from Battambang city. The planning of creating the organization was in 2007 and was established in 2009. This organization is in collaboration with the government in Battambang and Cintri branch in Battambang itself in the devotion of helping the community. When the organization started they were having to work with community and Cintri in order for them to get the organic waste that they were needed. But the idea of working with Cintri isn’t that efficient for the organization to do their business, so in 2015 they decided to buy their small bus for the labor to ride on to collect the waste from the market it is easier to separate waste and less money consumption. The two main places that they collect the waste from are Pumpuy Market and Bang Chuke Market these are the two targeted places that they collect from. The main waste that they are mainly collected on is cabbage but even though they still collect others kind like pineapple leaf etc. We spent a whole day with David, a guy who give us many facts and information about his business. It was a great experience from him of learning how to make compost. Moreover, we also bring our two books which Animal Wildlife of Cambodia and Cambodia Economy books to give to their school and present all of those students to learn about our country. Personally, by doing this had made me feel that I have helped those children to understand and learn by giving them a short presentation about the book I write. I also see their smiles and I just felt that all of those smiles are so touching to me and affect me as a generation who will be the change agent for my country. So, through this project, I had given many presentations to many people around me by telling them about the awareness of organic waste and how harmful it is of producing to much waste. This gives a lot of positive to the country and also me as a student.
Another, exploration that I was working on at the end of school year is Khmer Rouge. This is also a year long project which all the students get to involve and learn about the history of horrible Khmer Rouge genocide during 1975 to 1979. We visited S-21 and Killing field to understand clearer about this terrible genocide. We spent most of our time investigate in this project and learning of how Khmer Rouge actually exists and how the senior leaders actually form their party. Pol Pot was the guy who has this terrified idea of creating this country from diamond into a small rock. As a younger generation, who had never experience and see the real things that were happened, I felt very sorry for all the people, nothing can compare. It a very powerful history of Cambodia. I learned so many things, and that I really hope that from today until the end of the world this horrible genocide or war will ever happen to Cambodia or to the world ever again. Based on this experience of learning about Khmer Rouge, our team decided to make a documentary video about S-21 reflection, Scratch project about zones leaders and a performance that involve in all Liger students. What in this video, is that it’ll be including many true facts about the genocide and the expectation of every member in my team of going to the S-21 prison. As one of the members of the team, I felt proud that I can learn about this genocide history and that I can spread the words to my families, friends, in expanding my knowledge to everyone around me and help everyone to learn about this history. So, for this exploration, what had I made a change to Cambodia is that I can share my words and my knowledge through the documentary and by talking to different people to analyze about this hot topic.
As well as, during this school term, I participated in many educational events such as Makerthon, Hackathon, Startup Weekend and Engineering without Border. These are the events which are bringing young and teenage Cambodia students to learn how to start their own business. In Cambodia, we required human resources and support from everyone in the country, of course, everybody in the country wants, peace, happiness and every sector of the economy and the whole system in the country to develop. As an adolescent for this new generation, you and I should be guiding each other through and lead each other to find our own future destination. I am proud, of myself and Cambodia, of involving such events like these. These type of events had made me felt that as a young girl to think about my country problem and finally coming up with the alternative solution is a very complicated process, so in addition to make a change in my country, I really need to consider and optimize the whole problem to make a strong solution for it. In all of those events, I was asked to think about the specific problem in my country and find a better a way that can help develop my country and prevent the problem. As an example, my team and I created an application on the phone and available on the internet, that connect everyone together with doctors, nurses, and expert to communicate about how to prevent the sickness from it getting into a bigger disease, and so this application uses SMS and messenger to connect with our application. This idea was presented to the judges during the Hackathon event, and we had been selected to be in Third Place for being a potential team to make a change. This such of events, had guided me that even though we think that there is a little problem, however, there always be many other problems that come along together which need to change and those changes starts from us. So, my team and I are hoping to publish this application and make a change to Cambodia.
In conclusion, as a young citizen of Cambodia, to have the agency to revolutionized the problem in the country, is very complicated and abstract. Last but not least, in this school year, I had involved in so many projects which lead me to see the changes and the perspective of Cambodian thinking about coding, programming, and basically Education sector. All of those projects such as Vex Robotic, Liger Digital Currency, Waste Management, Khmer Rouge and many educational events are what guide me to see the problem that I have to solve and change by implementing my solution. Finally, this year of 2017, I felt proud of myself that I had accomplished in so many projects, in which was one of the parts of making changes to Cambodia this year. As also, every year from 2012 to 2017, I had just understood and realized how many projects, I have worked on and making changes in my country. This is also a part of bringing myself in learning to the next level of life. So, during this 2017 of school, I have made those changes in my country and I believe the more I’m working hard and never giving up on my work I will always find the success destination, and of course don’t be afraid of being a failure.