This is the fourth year at Liger and I have made, promote and think of some changes in Cambodia. I had a lot of opportunity to do those things in different ways.
I involved in a project called Google Science Fair. It is a competition that encourages young people around the world to make changes with science. I have thought that plastic or/and polystyrene are very harmful to our environment and health, but we can’t stop people from using it because it is convenient to everyday lives. So, my project for my Google Science Fair is to develop a method of making biodegradable styrofoam. I worked on this project with my partner, Vattey. We spent seven weeks doing research and experimenting. Even though we didn’t make the styrofoam during that period of time, we want to continue working on it to help the living of people in Cambodia. I also think Google Science Fair is a new concept to Cambodians and there haven’t been any Cambodians that join this competition the past years. So, I would like to share with others about this competition, so they can join it too.
The first Exploration I had was about the Phnong indigenous minority. Our teacher notice there’s no book about this indigenous group written in Cambodia. So he decided to bring the team of twelve students to Mondulkiri to explore the Phnong living. We spent five days at there and came back with tons of information. I was in the writing team for making the book. I’ve wrote the introduction, the conclusion and some other topics in the book with my three other teammates. In the conclusion we’ve raised three main problems that the Phnong people are facing, along with solutions for those problems. Even I can’t really solve those problems, I shared my understanding about the issues with a lot of people that came to Sharation. A lot of people bought our book, which mean they all can involved in sharing the knowledge from this book with other people about the Phnong culture to help preserve this very old tradition together.
This year all of us had the chance to create and lead our own Exploration (CYOE). My CYOE was created with five other students and it’s called Khmer Interior Design (KID). Our goal in this Exploration was to design an apartment for Liger and also promote to Cambodian people about the interior design job because we notice there aren’t a lot of cambodians who are interior designers. We also realized that interior designers are also change agents. As they start their designing job, they would completely change the space they work with.
This year, Liger were very honored to invite the secretary of state from the Minister of Education, as well as some other important people in education in Cambodia to participate in a workshop to get to know all things we did at Liger. Every students was presenting about something we do at Liger and I present about the Khmer and English literacy at Liger. I was talking about the overview of literacy in Liger, English immersion at Liger, contextualize learning and writing (both in Khmer and English). I feel like I have shared with the leaders of education in Cambodia about some ideas to change the education in government schools.
Next year all the liger senior students will live by our own and that’s include cooking our own food. I was in a team with other eight students to make a cookbook for living next year. In those books there are recipes of some Khmer traditional and nutritious food. So, that means we promote Cambodian food to others. Also, if the students share the idea of the nutritious food with others Cambodian people, they would impact the nutrition and health of the Cambodian people.
Liger also had a special project, which all students worked with a partner to make a science book for students our age because there aren’t a lot of science book written for young Cambodians. All the books are both in Khmer and English with beautiful arts. I’ve written a book about how temperature affect density. I complete this book with my partner, Seyha. Hopefully, these books will be distributed to Cambodian government schools, so students can learn about science through this book. So, this project have changed Cambodia by helping to educate students about science in a simple way.
I got to have another CYOE in the fourth round. I and the other three girls worked on a project that’s called “WAT, Cambo”. It is project where we went to different places in Cambodia to film people about different talents they have. We created a Youtube channel (WAT, Cambo) to store those videos about wonderful talents Cambodian people have. Our main goal for this Exploration is to bring the talents that amazing Cambodians have to the world, so they can know how fantastic they are. So, we changed Cambodia by sharing the talents with other people.
A big project that all Liger students involved in was making Cambodian Dynamite sauce. This is one project that give us the experience to feel what it’s like to start a business. I was in the last team of making this business. My role for this was to finalized the label of the sauce and to advertise the business. This sauce is unique because we used premium Cambodian ingredients and it is made by young Cambodian students. If this business can run in Cambodia, we would bring a new product for Cambodian people to taste.
After Water Festival, the ministry of environment had a campaign, which people were divided into different teams to pick up trash from different places around central Phnom Penh. There were so much trash around because people are throwing them during the festival. I spent the morning picking up trash, including plastic bags. Also, during STEM class with Karen, we spent the one hour to pick up trash in and around Liger. At Liger, we also use cloth bag to package snack one weekend, so we reduce using plastic bags. So, I have helped protecting Cambodian from plastic bags in many small ways.
There are a lot of little things that I have done for the my country. I wish to help change Cambodia more and develop more bigger ways to change Cambodia.