"Second chance is always available." – Venghour Than
Explorations are project-based experiences during which students work together in groups to explore a relevant, often complex question, problem or challenge. This project-based learning is almost always enhanced with intensive activities that involve student immersion in real-world experiences outside of the classroom.
Have you forgotten Journeys of Change? I bet you are not because I have some updates! Currently, we have a total of 23 students (Seniors) who are interested to become a tour guide. This means that those 23 students have to go through a seven-week expertise course by becoming trainees. In order to become a certified tour guide, they have to cover up all the provided courses: Liger Tour Guide Handbook, Mission, Responsible Tourism, Emergencies, Customer Service, and Tour Script, go to a professional bike tour in Phnom Penh, test with a business manager, and go to two of Journeys of Change tours by becoming assistant guides.
This may seem to be a difficult journey for the 23 people, but so far, we already have a new certified tour guide, Rika. It is also seemed to be a long journey to certify all the trainees, but we are on our way.
Our first Journeys of Change tour was when the press team came to our school in November. We gave a tour of many famous journalists and reports. There were people from Good Morning America! It was not an official tour yet. We were giving the tour to them as a welcoming to our school. It was actually an honor for all the tour guides. Surprisingly, Ron Claiborne, a Good Morning America journalist, talked about Journeys of Change on the show! Overall, it was amazing.
Then, on December 2, 2017, Journeys of Change launched a soft launch. At this time, we were taking the money from the clients, it was half of the price since it was a soft launch. Unexpectedly, one of our clients is a college counselor. It was a great time to network with her. As the result, we were able to get the support from her with SAT preparation and college informational sessions. It is all turning out now that Journeys of Change actually gets us in touch with many incredible people. Not to mention, it actually help us with our education.
Are you waiting for the official launch? We just launched our first official tour on January 13, 2018! It was phenomenal and it felt really good to have our first tour with full payment. Now, tour guides are able to make some profit to support their further education. Again, we met amazing people; there were people from U.S Embassy and SHE CAN.
Last updates from Journey of Change is that we are having many platforms to advertise the business now. We currently have our facebook page and Tripadvisor! If you are interested in going to our tour, you can book through our Facebook page and later on, you can give us a review through Tripadvisor and Facebook page. I hope you our tour, the Cambodian Insights: Past and Future.
I came out to people about my sexuality about two months ago and now, I am a part of something big−something could potentially change my life forever. I thought revealing my identity was the final step of my life; in fact, it was not. I thought of wanting to expand my love and passion of promoting the positivity for the people who struggle with their gender. Well, that opportunity communicated to me. I got the chance to be in exploration called, “Gender Equity.” My team and I created a mission which “is to raise awareness about global gender issues with a focus on Cambodian society. In order to affect positive change, we must examine the past to transform the future. Through communication, passion, and risk-taking we will investigate various aspects of gender discrimination and inequalities by sharing stories, exchanging knowledge, and interacting with others to create a healthy and constructive dialogue about gender equity.” Personally, I do extremely love this mission because before, I have thought that what is the best medium I can use to impact change within this area? The answer is dialogue. Conversation and discussion are the keys to empowered people to be opened and always be themselves.
For the first week of the project, I already felt like a professor or wizard that is skilled in the is topic. I had a lot of memorial times when my facilitators, teammates and I had many thoughtful and philosophical family discussions about the differences between equality and equity, common stereotypical statements (e.g., women are weak) gender problems in distinguished areas of society across the globe (e.g., culture, religion, education, etc.), poems, and different media (e.g., videos and photograph). More specifically, we discussed deeply about gender stereotypes and their origins, sexual orientation, boy and girl’s behavioral expectations and roles, physicality, etc. My best highlight from the first week is the discussion we had that based on the question: “Where is the origin of all the gender stereotypes and problem?” It turned out that this is an extremely philosophical and deep thinking-required question. I said that “The most accurate origin we could say is us. We are the one who creates all of those dramas because we see our own flaws, but we are not embrace it.” There were even more answers from my friends and facilitators. Some were said, “Men.”
Having discussions was powerful, and our teams wanted to make sure that we can document those words. Furthermore, we thought that dialogue does not exist in only an oral form but in written form. Therefore, we decided that we can write articles, but where can we share it? As a change agent, we finally came up with an idea of establishing a digital platform: blog. We named it as “CHANGE.” It is abbreviated from the name and theme of our summit we hosted (I wrote about the summit in the post; check it out) which stated that “Creating Humanitarian Awareness for the Necessity of Gender Equity.” There are many categories that we chose as importance. So far, we have a fair amount of articles on the blog. This project was widening itself to our literacy class. Basically, every senior student contributed towards this blog. Here is the link: http://changeforequity.ligeracademyblog.org/
Asides from all of these in-class activities, we even took the opportunity to have experience outside the class. We went to a social enterprise called, “SHE Investment.” This enterprise wholeheartedly working many Cambodian women to improve their family economy and break the glass ceiling of what the society always expect them. It was such an incredible moment for me. I got to ask many questions and made a lot of comments which potentially help their project. I also wrote a whole article about SHE Investment. If you are interested, please check it on our CHANGE blog and my blog. Besides this meeting, we also had another meeting two Cambodia teenage activists. They were both girls who strongly passionate about gender problem as we do. It was an honor to get to know them and have many discussions with them. In my perspective, meeting with them and seeing them as the activists like us give me the encouragement to change Cambodia and the world. I feel like I have an actual team who I can communicate and work with all the time. Amazingly, we can share our personal stories that we have confronted with each other.
Talking about having a discussion, I remembered that one discussion my teammates and I had in class. It was about how our holiday was. Everybody shared their fun moments and allusions about gender problem with their parents. Interestingly, I thought I was alone who attempted to talk to my parents about this. It was my turn to share. I felt my eyes were watery and my vision was blurry. I was crying. I told my friends how I tried to tell my parents about my sexuality the fact that I am bisexual, but I could not do it. I brought up the fear I had at that time to friends. Tears were flowing from everyone’s eyes. I fear that my parents will abandon me or negatively comment me. To be honest, it was extremely difficult to come out to our parents until now. The matter is that I need to find the right moment. RIGHT MOMENT.
Finally, we collected all the moments and discussions and summed it up into a summit−as I stated earlier, it is called, “CHANGE.” It was incredibly a phenomenal day for everybody, including me, my friends, facilitators, and guests. We ran it as a bilingual summit: English and Khmer. It was the way to approach two different audiences. Again, if you want to know more about the summit, you can visit our CHANGE blog and my blog, to get to understand expressly about it.
I was just certified as a scuba diver and now, I have just certified as a tour guide−I guess a professional tour guide. I am certified just because I am a part of a new exploration, the bike business. This is a business hosted by our facilitator. To be honest, this is a new startup for everybody. We know that this is an entrepreneurship involves with bikes by providing a tour to any tourists. Most of all, we do not know and have not figure out what is our mission for this business.
For the first week of our business, we did a quick research of all the standout tour companies around Cambodia: Grasshopper Adventure, Vicious Cycle, and Soksabike. The purpose was trying to discover the uniqueness of each company. Simultaneously, we were trying to see their business model including prices, tour services, and missions. This was actually a great start to brainstorm our business by answering some essential questions.
Why a bike business?
What is a bike business?
What are the long-term opportunities for this bike business?
The next step was, we divided everybody into three distinguished teams: business plan, marketing, and tour. Each team has a different responsibility. The business plan team was responsible for writing a report that includes every aspect of a business model and generating a liability waiver between the clients and the business. The marketing team was responsible for establishing a booking system, searching for platforms to advertise the business, networking with other places (restaurants, hotels, etc.), and designing business cards, posters, and flyers. For the tour team, they were responsible to create a full bike route and write the tour script.
Of course, for the tour team, they would not able to do any works if we were not going an actually bike adventure. Therefore, we rent bikes, prepared our equipment for that day, and were ready to go on actually bike trip. The purposes were to figure out the route for the tour and selecting some stops of the entire route. It was an adventure; there were many interesting locations we would love to bring the tourists to visit since we were in a quite-rural area of Cambodia. After the bike adventure, we decided the total distance of the route (22 Km) and the total of 12 stops. Take a look at our 22-kilometer route!
I was in the business plan; with no doubt, it was extremely challenging. Business is not my kind of interest, but why would I join? I join this business because I wanted to build the love out of this dislikeness. Basically, I was trying to take risk of challenging myself to confront thing I do not like, specifically, the business planning. In this team, there were many works involving with the calculation (numbers). I did not enjoy it for the first time, but after a while, I do love it. I ended up in a team until we finished the whole business report and I am proud that I took the risk to be in the business plan team. Here are the links to the whole report and the liability waiver.
We could not have done all of these amazing works without the help of our mentor, the Soksabike, a bike business in Battambang, Cambodia. We went on a one-week trip to visit Soksabike to have many mini-lessons and to gain some knowledge from their business. We went on their bike tours (half-day tour); it was remarkable to observe the guides and the organization of the whole tour. The tours were extremely incredible in term of promoting Cambodian culture and we would love our tour to be the same.
During the trip, we were able to name our bike company too. We were in the situation of brainstorming the names during our bus ride to Phnom Sampov. We used “Soksabike” as a good example of the name. If you were wondering, “Soksabike” is sounded similar to our Khmer phrase, “Sokasabay.” It means “fine.” This is really clever of naming the business. We were actually coming up with some names. One of the names was “BikeKong.” In Khmer, “Kong” means bike, but when we combined “Bike” and “Kong,” it sounds similar to our Khmer phrase and it means “flat tire.” Overall, it was a funny name.
Finding the right name for our bike business was a challenge. There were many good and cool names brainstormed, but we wanted to have the name that communicates “change.” This is not just a simple bike business; we wanted to promote change to the clients, the fact that they are joining our bike tour is actually impacting change. After many brainstormings, we finally came up with a name: “Journeys of Change.” This means that every tourist who comes to our tour are on the journey of creating change or being the change. Of course, here is our logo that is designed by our teammate, Niron.
Overall, it was a great trip with the Soksabike company and its people. We learned a lot from them especially with the business planning, and the tour. We have gained all the aspects of providing a professional service for the clients, maintaining a sustainable business, and becoming a good networker. There is a fun fact, during the trip, we also trained to become a bike mechanic and now, we can fix any bikes!
After getting through the phase of understanding everything in business, we are ready to enlarge the business. We actually do not want to run Journeys of Change by the 13 of us alone. We would love to provide this opportunity to our friends who are willing to be part of this. The tour team has created a whole training for the other students who would love to certify as tour guides for Journeys of Change. In addition, we also created applications for the people who wanted to become the business manager and marketing leader. Obviously, we would not want the other students besides the Journeys of Change member to apply for these roles yet because it is a new business. Therefore, it is the right thing to do by hiring someones from Journeys of Change to become a business manager and marketing leader. The twos were Sreypich and Chhoeu.
Last, we already planned that all the incomes we made from the tour will be the support for our further education. This is mean we are making a profit for our future! The exploration is only running for seven weeks, but for Journeys of Change, it is not a seven-week long business. It is a continuous business that we will be running until our graduation at Liger. Therefore, we planned a schedule of meeting up with the board (all the involved facilitators and Journeys of change students) and has a member meeting (all the interested students and the board) every week to update with the business. Currently, we have created a platform, a blog for our Journeys of Change. http://journeysofchange.ligeracademyblog.org
In this sixth year, Bambujaya is a newly introduced project to all the students in Liger from one lady, named Elan. Bambujaya will be also a new private school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It will open to any kids in the city with a cool, developed, and Khmer curriculum. So, where can they get the curriculum for those kids? And how can they try to find new ideas for the curriculum?
Ellan is a wise, Cambodian lady who owned many businesses in Phnom Penh. She is the director of the Bambujaya project and the person who initiated this amazing idea. Ellan has a strong relation with Liger Leadership Academy within many different projects, for example, Hidden Voices. By seeing the potential and the reliable abilities from the Liger students, she decided to carry the Bambujaya project with them. It will a remarkable opportunity for the Liger students to help Cambodian kids through education.
Students had to write a small application by answering the listed questions, and it will be available for only six students. As this went, the students could feel the sense of competition among each other. They tried to promote many talents/skills and abilities to the Lead Learning Facilitator, Caroline, best as possible. As the listed of six students came out, I was the chosen one. It was an amazing feeling because I can see my potential through this cool project. I know after this project, I will be able to take a big step to enhance Cambodia’s education. The other chose fives were Malika, Sopheak, David, and Ketya. In addition, we will get pay for this project because our job is curriculum developer. All the money we receive will go to our bank account and support our future education.
We started working on grade one; we gathered all the textbooks and teacher guidebooks. There are three different subjects: Khmer, math, and social science. I was first working on the math subject and continuously working on the other two subjects. Our methodology of modifying the learning lessons in each book was very simple. Here were the main points we focused on: photo enhancement, content modification, teaching strategy enhancement, and technology enhancement. Furthermore, we also introduced new ideas such as cross-curricular connections, additional exercises/activities, and additional extensions and scaffolding.
After working with this methodology over many weeks, our team observed that it was not good to keep working with this method. We expressly noticed that it was extremely inefficient even though this method was actually working with us of focusing on the details in each subject. But it was time-consuming and really hard to finish all the three books. Thus, we had to change. We started to brainstorm all the important lessons in each subject. I was assigned to work on science subject with a lesson, time. Our new methodology is called, “Add-Ons.” Instead of changing the whole curriculum, Bambujaya can still use the government books, but when it comes to specific lessons, for example, time, the teacher can use our Add-Ons to extend the students’ knowledge of understanding.
To initiate an Add-On for each lesson, we were needed to focus on six majors components. There were….. These were the facets that all of us as a curriculum construction needed to consider since education needs to involve those six points. I was assigned to design an Add-On for a lesson in Science which is time (day and night). Basically, Caroline and other members were parts of planning out this specific lesson. We were brainstorming it on a paper. After, it was my responsibility to bring all of the ideas from the brainstorm to organize it as a formal lesson. All of the members including me were using an online presentation, Prezi to present the Add-On; simultaneously, we also need a digital copy of the document.
When all of the Add-Ons were checked with Caroline and finalized with everybody in the team, it was the time to present to our curriculum communication who had the knowledge in constructing a curriculum. Our curriculum communication, his name is Virak. So we printed out our Add-Ons in Prezi and sent to him. Once Virak finished with the checking, he would come to us to confirm any information if he had any confusions and feedbacks. Working only for two hours each day for five days in every week was not enough for us. Therefore, we had planned out a weekend meeting with Virak to go over the works.
Eventually, the seven weeks had passed, and we need to move on. For the last week, we met up with Virak to look at the overview lessons for the next grade (second grade) after finishing the first grade. We had a small meeting with him to start planning out the lessons that are needed for the second grade. After that, it is all about the second team of Bambujaya to continue and keep up the incredible work for us. By becoming a curriculum designer for Bambujaya is an honor for me; I am now truly designating myself as the “change agent” of Cambodia. Developing the education system is one of my dream that I extremely want to pursue hereafter. Working with Bambujaya is a great start for me and I will promise myself to work until the top.
This was the last round of exploration for my school year 2016-2017 and guessed what! It was another exploration which continuously processed throughout the year for four rounds. I was on the last exploration, and I was really excited to put on my entrepreneurial thinking mind. Beside me in this exploration, there were other students; I could say that they are all my inspirations because this project was mixed with different and skilled students in distinguished areas. The first start of this big and last project of waste management was reviewing and reading all the past papers written by previous students including business plan, feasibility studies, and surveys. Reading through all those papers were really helpful for all us to process the project continuously and higher expectation.
Waste Management 4 was about how to reach people in the community with our business plan and promoting to people in community compost business or idea. I thought that these were big tasks for all of us. Therefore, my teammates and I started to prepare questions about compost for the villagers in the community. Therefore, we could evaluate the knowledge of understanding of compost from the villagers. This was set as our first interview, and it wasn’t successful. I felt that it wasn’t progressive, so everybody had to change some of the questions.
The second interview started; everybody prepared, confident including me. For the start, it went pretty well because of receiving more detailed information even though there was some interviewees didn’t interest toward our project. At the end of the interview, we got two customers who were willing to participate in our project. My feeling was in the sky because finally, we had someone who showed appreciation for our project. We received a man and a woman. For the man, we were happy to have him, but his worry was that we wouldn’t be able to find markets for him if he decided to make compost. On the other hand, the woman said she was really delighted and supportive of our plan, but she’s lack of equipment and budget.
Coming back from the interview, we decided to leave the man and joined the woman of developing her idea with compost. Some of our teammates started to come up with the idea of building the compost house for her. All of us knew that she’s low on budget. Therefore, the compost house we designed, must build in low price. Moreover, we also designed for middle class and higher class families. I was so proud of everybody because they started to put on their big with good comprehension of our society.
Besides learning in class, we took a trip to Sihanouk Ville. We went to a place called “Panic.” It is a place where they grow a lot of natural products including vegetables, fruits, and other local products in Cambodia. Excitingly, I would love to live there so much because the service with guests was outstanding, the food was amazing, and the accommodation was mind-blowing. The whole entire place was natural filling with fresh air. I learned a lot from Panic’s workers; I learned how to make new types of composts, a natural pesticide, and natural fertilizer. I saw many healthy plants which I wanted to eat. Last, we came back from the trip and continued our project until the end the round.
Game design was where it came to meet my skills. I love to design; it is a skill that I think I’m good at. This was a three round exploration meaning that it went through three times of rounds of the school year schedule. I was on the last round with the other four friends who had similar skills as mine. I did really enjoy working in small team where it’s easy to communicate and collaborate. The style of the game was already planned since the first round team; it was decided to focus in one main theme, “climate change.”
I can sense that the argument of the existence of climate change is really controversial. For myself, I do think it’s existing in this contemporary world. Therefore, it was a wise decision to educate people through our game of climate change, especially this country, Cambodia because there aren’t a lot of people including students, adults, and kids know about the updates of the world such as this problem. I expressly felt that this was an opportunity for me to be a change agent to change my country and others in the term of education people with creativity. It was an honor to be part of the member which I could distribute all of my thinking and dedicate my passion through this exploration. Furthermore, seeing my country changes little bit by little bit; it is an evolution.
To illuminate people’s mind with the idea of the game, it is game that had similarity to another board game called “Pandemic.” Personally, I could say that it’s confusing. It’s confusing to play, to understand, to have fun, and to share the instruction to others, but it’s still a good, developing game. We thought of how to implement this game to many government school throughout Cambodia as much as possible. One solution was encompassing a new feature to the game of establishing Q and A cards (Question and Answer cards). The Q and A cards will include all the questions from the government textbooks in each grade. Hence, students can play with the knowledge of their grade.
Currently, we didn’t have any budget to print out the board game, but we started to write a formal paper and submit it as a grant. I positively felt that there will be someone or enterprise willing to donate their budgets for this amazing and mind blowing project. There were a lot of inputs of great effort and determination from students and facilitators who willing to work really hard and smart in order to make this happen.
Khmer Rouge was the third round exploration of our fifth year. This was an exploration an exploration continuing in all rounds of the last year school schedule. Seriously, when I first entered the classroom, I was already feeling terrified of what I was going to learn. I knew that it was going to be hard and emotional to learn about all the tragic periods. The class was started with a small grouped projects, we were assigned with different tragic period of genocide. There were Armenian genocide, Bosnian genocide, Holocaust, and Rwandan genocide. The genocide that was stood out for my me the most was Rwandan genocide because of the reason that this genocide last only 100 days.
Besides learning about other genocides, we also learned about our genocide. Cambodia had also met a tragic period that was last a little bit over than three years. Indescribable is always the word I like to describe this depressed situation. Many citizen were killed by those cruel leaders who never had mercy on people. Anger is also encompassing this genocide; Cambodians lost their beloved people including family, relatives, and friends. Moreover, they lost their possession of the properties such as: house, land, money, etc. This is a serious anger that leaking out of all the victims.
Historically, Cambodia was one the great country in Asia; I can’t imagine how remarkable Cambodia was. Our country had lead by many kings and queens, and the period that stood out the most was Angkor Empire. It was the time of period where Cambodia enlarged its own territory throughout Southeast Asia. Laos, Thailand, part of Vietnam were also our territory. The king, Jayavarman the seven, was leading his country and citizens to the glorious life which I couldn’t imagine. Personally, I would love to invent a time machine which I can travel to that time of period. I would love to see view of the social structure, art system, and government structure. Art was a strong foundation of building up this period because there were many temples that full with carvings.
In this exploration also, we went to two locations that are related to the theme of Khmer Rouge genocide which were the killing field and S21. There was ton of killing fields spread out through Cambodian land. It was where they killed and tortured the people. In each killing field, there were also a lot of digged pits for throwing the killed people. It was my first time visited there to study my nation’s history. I felt really uncomfortable, pitty, hard for those victims and killed people there. I couldn’t express my emotion, but it was extremely hard to take all the information from there. There were skulls, clothes, bones, weapons, digged holes, and many more. After the visit, I felt terrified, dizzy, and emotional.
On the last week of this exploration, we were preparing the products. There were audio tour, poems, songs, posters, and skit. Seriously, when we did our skit our the audience, many emotions clearly displayed in their face; tears were coming down continuously. We knew that we couldn’t travel back to fix all those problem, but it’s our duty to educate the citizens in this country to learn and understand the negative impacts had affected us in this present day. My advice to every nation to study hard about your own history and take those information as your lesson which we can avoid or follow in order to develop the country.
Preventative Health is an exploration of promoting the workshop about health to kids in rural areas, especially on the islands. It was an exploration during the second round of the fifth year. There were 14 students joining this exploration, and leading by the learning facilitator, Karen. One the first week, we’re starting with big research as one team in the whole class. The main research was about the Cambodian main health issues. After did the research, all of us found out that Cambodia actually had a lot of health issues. The diseases were typhoid, HIV or AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, influenza, intestinal worm, polio, Hepatitis A&B, Japanese encephalitis, diarrhea, dysentery, and rabies. For the issues, there were traditional medicines, religion beliefs, and medicines.
In details of Cambodia relating to the issue, it was actually happening a lot of times when family members didn’t take the patient to the hospital. Instead, they kept the patient in the house and pray to the ancestors or spirits to help. It may sounded nonsense, but it’s really difficult to change this issue. The purpose of doing this research was that we were trying to find one main health issue that we can share to kids and adults.The main health issue we found was dental issues. As a student, I realized that it’s really challenging for those villagers or kids to receive all the information we were trying to deliver. There were budget problem, lack of transportation, and education issue that they are facing. Therefore, it was our duty to travel and visit those people who were living in our selected destination and share all the research we had been preparing.
It was this year we decided to travel to the islands that are located really far away from the mainland. The islands were Koh Song-Sa, Koh Rong, and Koh Rong Sanlem. There were many acceptable reason of why we choose to go there. One was there were a lot of students and kids who were lack of knowledge about their health, especially teeth. As a result, we prepare a skit where everyone in my team was acting in different roles and characters. Teeth, bacteria, vegetables, cookies, soft drinks, toothpaste, toothbrush, little sister, main brother, and the mother were included as the characters in the skit. I was taking the role of a tooth. I was the tooth of the main brother who liked to eat and of sweet. Therefore, there were many bacteria besieging me. The students and kids were enjoying to learn and understand about it. Additionally, in order to keep them in touch with our provided information, we handed the school directors and teachers posters about the all health information, we prepared.
The second reason was we can learn about the marine environment over there including coral reef, sea grass, mangroves, and organisms. We got to put on our snorkels and swam around the private coral reef. I was feeling special of how amazing Cambodia is because we have a lot of remarkable and interesting environment and animals. Moreover, we also got to dive for the first time. I was feeling nervous because I never dive before in my life since I’m really young, but guess what? I did it, and everybody was in my team did it. The cool and mind blowing experience always absorbed by our brain and body. As a summary, it was great that Song-Sa organization prepared us with a small workshop and provided us this phenomenon opportunity.
Last, I felt like I just make a positive impact to my beloved country. I felt proud of myself and my team who worked really hard, they were being resilience all of the time. I hope that this exploration will continue again through the future in the hope of making more positive impact to the country. Updating the information, finding more health issues, and raising an awareness of the problems to more students, kids, and adults will help to improve the community. Obviously, there will be no more serious health issues in Cambodia, if people show their awareness.
Liger Digital Currency also known as LDC is my first exploration in this fifth year at Liger. I was feeling so animated because it was the first exploration that I got a chance to participate in technology and learned with other, professional coders which were my friends. There were 10 students including me in this exploration and we knew that this exploration would be so special for us. Therefore, we were ready to work through any tasks and discuss about any problems with everyone of us which we could find a suitable solutions.
Liger Digital Currency is an exploration that intentionally to create a digital system of exchanging our originated digital currency, “Pedro.” This digital currency will be used by Liger Senior Cohort and it will be used with the two main functions which are exchanging and transferring. Every student will receive their personal account and an apartment account. The students will use this system for paying their expenses including catering, maintenance, electricity, water, and other types of payments which are relating to transferring. For exchanging, it will function as the students exchange the money from Pedros to dollars or Riels.
For the first of this significant project, our learning facilitator, Alli, started the class by dividing all of us into small groups and letting all of us to research the history of currency or money. We did research the history of Cambodian currency which was Prak until Riel, the official currency we use in our daily lives. After we were doing a research about a standout digital currency which is Bitcoin. As we know, Bitcoin is the first decentralized currency that everyone can participate with and it is a digital coin which we can send through internet. In addition, this digital currency system works by a free software called “Bitcoin Miner,” and all the Bitcoins store as in the digital wallet permanently and anonymously in the internet, but i can verified by miner which also mean a user or the owner.
There is a lot of differences between Bitcoin and a normal physical currency. The one difference is that there is a limitation of money you store in Bitcoin, where the paper currency, there’s no limitation. There is this unique function in Bitcoin, and it is transaction. Transaction is a place in the digital currency system where you can check all the history of your payments. It’s really helpful that the system allows user to see their past payments for the benefits of the use. It helps them to manage their budgets mainly. Another difference is that Bitcoin also allowing every user to access their virtual banking without the government controlled. One last cool difference between Bitcoin and paper currency is the Bitcoin can be divisible up to 0.00000007 where our money only can be divisible up to 0.01 which is a penny.
It may seem Bitcoin is a really full-functioning digital currency, but there’s always disadvantages. The first point is that Bitcoin is still developing. It’s really a full-functioning system, but sometimes, there’s might be mistakes reveal in the software which we can called “bugs.” Also, it is really difficult to do your payment where sometimes, it wasn’t able to do your payment. Another point is Bitcoin is totally a new system that got introduce to everyone. There’s might be a lot of people who don’t know how this system functions or circulates digitally. In other perspectives, there’s possibility of the user’s wallet lost without any reasons and there is nothing that can done to recover it.
Back to our exploration, after getting to learn about those background knowledge of currency, we were starting to discuss and brainstorm all the functions that we can include our original digital currency. We came up to include the exchanging and the transferring functions. After awhile, we decided to implement the transaction system in our digital currency which is remarkable to allow students in our school to access their past payment in individual and apartment. I started to design the interface of the system including the logos for each function, the currency, and every pages of the system. There will be a login/signup page, homepage, exchanging function page, transferring function page and transaction log page. Here are some of the improved designs.
Further than, we weren’t just designing and discussing about the layout and all the functions that should be listed, we were also communicate to each other in depth about each detail of the systems in each function. For example, exchanging function, we set a plan of how the students going to exchanging the money, the schedule of exchanging, and the acceptable reasons of students should exchange the money. Of course that the systems will update throughout new discussion in team over the period of times. Here is the current instructions and rules of exchanging system:
Currency Exchanging System
The process of exchanging
Exchanging from paper notes to Pedros or Kips
Students go to meet the admin with paper notes
They will give the money to the admin
The admin then takes the money and retain in a secured place (ex:vault)
After retaining the money, the admin will transfer Pedros/Kips to the student’s account; could be apartment account or their personal account using the transferring system.
Exchanging from Pedros or Kips to paper notes
Students go to meet the admin with their Account ID and their computer
The admin will ask for the purpose of exchanging and the amount of money he/she wants to exchange
The students will then transfer their money online (Pedros/Kips) to the admin account
After receiving the money from the student’s account, the admin will give the actual paper notes to the students
Rules of Exchanging: General Rules
Exchanging must have purpose
Can’t exchange more than $25 per person per week
Exchanging must be approved by someone (by adult)
On Friday can’t exchange more than $10
Limit amount of exchange per day
Each student can only exchange once per week
In the weekday they can exchange from 4:00pm until 4:45pm
All of these ideas that the team transformed into a viewable product, had been shared to audience beside the Liger community. We presented through the Sharation and at Impact Hub, Phnom Penh. In addition, we presented this product of our school founder, Trevor who started the idea of digital currency for Liger. He was extremely proud of us and thanking us for working on this task. The team was really happy to receive the positive reaction and feedback from him. Last, this project of developing the digital currency is still continuing throughout the year of Liger.
This is the last exploration of the whole school’s year called “Entrepreneurship.” Entrepreneurship exploration is about making a Cambodian Chili Sauce Business. Most of the time we learned all the new words that are about business. For the main lesson we learned is the 12 steps to start a business (CLICK HERE to access the document of the 12 steps to start a business. Beside that we learned more vocabulary such as:
The first term is:
“Customer” is the one who buys your products. “Consumer” is the one who uses your product. Sometimes the customer can be the consumer and sometimes the customer and the consumer is different. The different between Customer and Consumer is the customer is not always the one who consume the product. Customer is the one who buys the product. Consumer is the one who use the product.
The Second term is:
“Volume versus Margin.” Volume means when you sell your products in whole to your customers. But Margin means you sell your customers directly. The benefit of volume is that when you sell your products a lot to the customers they will take and we don’t have to care that they sell a lot or not because for now it belong to them and it benefit our time when they order to us and we can make our products to be same amount as they request. But when you sell direct to the customers we have to make our products everyday.
The third term is:
“Fix Costs and Variable Costs.” Fix Costs is refer to the expenses that do not change when you produce less or more products. Variable Costs is refer to the expense that do change when you produce less or more products. In our chili business, the Fix Costs we have is kitchen supplies and the Variable Costs are ingredients, transportation, bottles and labels.
There is one keyword called “Added Value.” This keyword is really important for our business because in order to make our chili sauce is special that other chili sauce. These are our Added Value for our product, such as: our sauce is making by Cambodian young teengers, we use all Cambodian ingredients like Kampot pepper, Kampong Speu palm sugar, Kandal vinegar, Kep salt and the mysterious ingredient imported from another country.
Beside that we were also working in team and we divided into four team, such as: product development, financial/pitch, advertising and outreach team. In each team we do have individual works. In product development team is focusing on making the chili sauce and keep tracking on the products and changing the ingredients. For financial/pitch team is really important for the whole business because we need to know all the data and information in our business. Additionally each member in this team needs to be sure and exactly know the information. In this year of September we will present of what we do and the data in our business to our school founder, Trevor. The third team is advertising team. This team is mostly focus on the design for our product (logo, label). Another job is to update the activities that we did in our exploration to social media. The last group is the outreach team. This team is mainly trying to contact with customers, company, supermarket, investors and more to invest or buy our products. Mostly they went to different location in Phnom Penh to network with those places and people.
Finally, we are prepared to present to Trevor of what we did and achieved. But we are so excited and nervous too because it is our first time to present to our founder. Cross Finger!!