Khmer Model United Nations – the second one

Sopheak gave an opening speech.

Last year, the first Khmer Modeling United Nations was hosted. Surprisingly, another one this year happened. It is my greatest honor to have this opportunity for the second time. The main organizer of the event, Sopheak, offered the role of a head chair or president–the same as last year. There are two topics in General Assembly 3.

  1. The Question of Improving Air Quality Around the Globe
  2. The Question of Addressing Equality and Legal Rights for LGBTQ+ Community

As always, the head chair has the responsibility of writing a report for the topics, explaining the problems expressly and suggesting reasonable solutions. Excitingly, it was my first time to write the MUN chair report in Khmer. Of course, there were some challenges arose during the time I wrote the report like being precise and cohesive with my writing.

Me and my another head chair

On the event day, there was a multitude of students and guests from many private and non-private organizations joining us. Obviously, it was the first time for some students, participating in MUN conference. Therefore, I clearly understood the stress and excitement they had at that time and it is my responsibility to assist them throughout the event.

Delegate of Myanmar

When debate session arrived, it was extremely mesmerizing for me, to observe everybody in my assembly actively participated. We firstly debated on the topic of air quality; then, the topic of equality of LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the debate, every delegate strongly stood their grounds, representing  their country’s point of view. Some delegates were bombarded with many difficult questions and teasing speeches. For example, the delegate of Senegal; he did not agree with the equality for LGBTQ+ community because the religious traditions. Consequently, he received many questions and responses that were overly unanswerable. However, this was the perfect demonstration of how each student is required to represent their country well, even though he or she personally does not agree to.

Overall, my experience with this conference had got better. I always enjoy every moment, specifically when everyone participated wholeheartedly and actively. I have learned the different topics or plights which are happening in our society. It is extremely important for everyone in the event to share their own voice, speak for their country, and make change.

It Was My Moment – Rainbow Summit

After the gender summit, Change, happened last year (2018), another summit had happened this year: Rainbow summit or In-tha-nu. This time the summit is a student-led project, consisting of eight members, working together for over a month. Rainbow is a summit that helps to advocate the LGBTQ+ community and disseminate the message and information from the community to many Cambodians across the country. In Cambodian society, addressing the problems of LGBTQ+ people is very sensitive. There are still many young individuals who live in various provinces are still lacked with information of the LGBTQ+. Because of this, it leads to countless assumptions, discrimination, violation, and exploitation. Therefore, the Rainbow summit aims to “encourage people to provoke meaningful discussion, to embrace differences, and to inspire Cambodian youth to create positive change in their own communities.”

I am one of the members of the Rainbow summit. There are four distinguished topics that cover many problems which are LGBTQ+-related: Language, Culture, Politics, and Health & Violence. I am one of the two session leaders responsible for presenting the latter topic. During the process of organizing the summit, all members have learned and discussed the common LGBTQ+-related problems in Cambodia. Each week, we met each other to research, read over many texts, and discuss for the better comprehension of chosen topics. Of course, there were many confusions, questions, and difficulties during the discussion of our meeting. For example, we tried to understand what cisgender really means and translated English words of different sexualities into our language, Khmer. However, these challenges the team went through actually empowered everybody to keep being persistent and channeling against their difficulties.

On the summit day, the team was prepared to share what they have. It was the day for everyone to finally feel that they can change the world. Establishing momentous conversations, participating in powerful activities, and listening to educational information were moments of enlightenment. One of my highlights of the day was the activity I led, Imagine How You Would Feel. This is the activity that allows participants to understand the feelings and pressure of homosexual people, especially the LGBTQ+ people. The reaction I received from the audience was inarticulate. I could sense the heartbeat of the people fastening and echoing every faucet of the room. There were gasps, tears, and silence. That Silence was the moment that hinted me that they completely understood. It was the moment where I can find light in the darkness.

To be honest with you, I do not want this day to end at all. I want to sit with the participants all day, talking about anything. Unfortunately, it ended, but I believe that what the people have learned that day will innate their mind forever. It is not just us who organized the event are the change agents. They are too.

 

Quality Content – Impact Hub

LLA HIV Workshop

Do you know what is HIV or AIDS? Are they the same? Is it actually true people die from HIV? On the 28th of March, 2018, a group of students from one of our school explorations studies about HIV/AIDS hosted a workshop. The whole workshop was phenomenal and very informational. HIV and AIDS are common diseases in Cambodia with high population.  In 2016, about 71,000 Cambodians are living with HIV; About 1,800 to 2,900 people died annually from this virus. For the HIV treatment providing, only 57,000 Cambodians are on the treatment. It is major problem which devastates the entire nation and it is very important for all of us to improve the educational system in order to distribute the words to people since knowledge of HIV prevention among young people age 15-24 is only 39.6%. 

I am very interested in this specific topic and happy that I could join the workshop because HIV and AIDS problems should be the topics that needed discussion from people the same as the other plights. After joining this workshop, I have learned and comprehend many aspects of the scientific side of the HIV/AIDs and the social perspectives on HIV/AIDS: stigmatization, stereotypes, and discrimination. Additionally, I have not learned HIV/AIDS expressly and this workshop was actually an amazing start for me. 

The whole workshop was divided into four distinguished sessions. Each session was sharing a different topic that was related to HIV/AIDS. The first session was about the introduction of HIV and AIDS. So, HIV is standing for “Human Immunodeficiency Virus” and AID is standing for “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.” Both of them are totally a different thing. Many people have confused that HIV and AIDS are the same things, but they are not.  HIV is a virus which is an invader virus from the chimpanzees. In our immune system, there are T-helper cells. Its significant role is to alert all the other cells to fight the infectious bacteria or diseases. But what the HIV virus does is it infected us through our body then our cells. The HIV virus will replicate itself inside the cells and continuously attack the T-helper cells.  Therefore, our immune system will be weak. Consequently, there will be many collections of infectious diseases known as AIDs. This is meaning that “people do not die because of HIV, they die because of the diseases that enter the body because of AIDS” 

In session two, I learned about HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma and Discrimination. The session began with questions for the brainstorming: What stigmas exist against people living with HIV/AIDS, Do you know anyone who is HIV-positive who has experienced stigmatization or discrimination, Where do these stigmas/stereotypes of people living with HIV come from? It was a fruitful discussion among all the participants. Stigma or discrimination against the people who have HIV or AIDS is actually issuing many adverse effects as the picture is shown below. 

 

For the third and last sessions, I comprehend about the transmission/prevention and the treatment. People can be infected with HIV in a variety of situations. If you look at the picture down below, the main reason for receiving HIV is practicing an unprotected sexual intercourse along with the other corner reasons. Eventually, the person who is infected with HIV will have STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) which is an infection passes through sexual contact, especially vaginal intercourse, anal/oral sex. With high chance, STI can develop to STD and it stands for “Sex Transmitted Disease.” The treatment for HIV patients is extremely complicated and challenging. There are 80% of people are living with HIV are on ART. ART is a treatment with the combination of different of ARVs (treatment that is used to reduce HIV in the body) that cease the replication of HIV. The treatment is divided into three lines.  In simple words, the HIV patients will start off with the first line treatment, but when the body starts to develop the resistance, it means that they have to continue to the second line treatments. As mentioned, taking HIV treatment is extremely difficult. There are HIV people who confront this challenge of not seeking for treatment for fear of discrimination from their families, friends, community, co-workers, bosses. Some people said, “I dare not go. I am too afraid.” 

Overall, this workshop is incredible; it teaches many of us including myself. I have learned a lot than before and for sure, creating awareness and normalizing this problem are essential because most of the population has deemed people who have HIV/AIDS as weak characters with lack of abilities and capabilities in their entire lives. Therefore, it is the right time for me and you to start this adventure together in order to discredit all of those lies and educate people in order to prevent this struggle. 

Camkids Survey – Kampong Speu

On March 04th, I volunteered to be a part of the surveying exploration members for the trip to Kampong Speu. The exploration’s main focus is to conduct a survey which consequently not creating any bias answers while asking the questions. The whole survey was about education, loans, and healthcare.  We were interviewing the villagers in one main village and the other two adjacent villages. The organization of the survey and the division of our team into each family were clear. For the whole day, I interviewed seven villagers and each interview took from 45 minutes to an hour. It was a hot and sunny day, but at the end of the day, the team managed to receive a sample size of 105 people. By volunteering to join the team and surveying the people, it was a worthy decision. I have learned a lot of from the villagers’ lives and their plights. In addition, I experienced how the survey exploration members were working with the conduction of each question in the survey. It is a difficult job of creating questions because, in Cambodian society, it is extremely important as young and bright Cambodians not to ask questions to elders that are deemed as disrespectful and sensitive. Overall, I think it was an incredible experience even though we were walking under a hot sun. 

Impact Hub – Youth Impact

On the 12th of September, 2018, my friend and I went to Impact Hub for inspirational talks of our talented young adult Cambodians. The event was clustered with Cambodians and foreigners. The main purpose of the event was to hear all the passions and amazing stories from their achievements. There were four speakers who were willing to share their stories. There were Cambodian original singer, writer, and filmmaker. They are the people we know in Cambodia; it was a pleasure to meet in person and get have a fruitful conversation.

My most favorite highlight of the event was hearing a motivational speech from a Cambodia original speaker, Rithy LemorKesor. She was talking about how belief within yourself could bring you to anywhere for your dreams. Kesor has a band known as “Small World Small Band.” She was sharing her band’s newly released album, “2×5” and it was a remarkable entertainment. Her partner played the guitar and we all sang together. At the last minute of the event, we had her autograph and many photos with them.

Image may contain: text

Lakorn Sromol Sbek Thom Performance

On Friday August 26 of 2016, I am one of the members in one expertise called “Podcast.” The liger students are still continuing the podcast of season two and episode five. The episode five of season two will be about “Lakorn Sromol Sbek Thom or Cambodia Shadow Puppet.” This is one of the ancient arts in Asia and there some countries whose are having this kind of art too, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. So, we went to the show that shows about this art in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and I’m so excited and happy for this opportunity to the arts of Cambodia, also it is my first time to see this dancing. After we arrived that place, my friends and I realized that it is a place that Cambodian original song took the film there. We were happy to be there and it is an honor to watch the Cambodian performance. So we enjoyed the rest of the performance. After, we went to interview some of the performers and the director of that place and it is very inspirational.
14333712_1653850298259938_1295132607114568620_n
Our group planed to invite the director of the place to come to our school, Liger Learning Center, in order to get more information for our podcast expertise. This is one of the successful time for our group, that we determined and be competitive to ourself to make this first episode of the second season is precious.
14364901_1654207118224256_1285311192845557964_n

Kingdom of WOW Talent Show!

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR SOMETHING EXCITED!? This is such an incredible, ecstatic year for me because I done something cool and hand an opportunity to my Cambodian nation and young generation. This project is called “Kingdom of Wow” or “KWOW” talent show! I’m so happy that my members, Liger students help to make this talent show existed. So I’m going to tell you all the complicated works and joyful times that are happened during our planning for this fantastic talent show.

There are five members are joined and planning the whole system, works in this event. So there are Sovannou, Sovannary, Vornsar, and my facilitator, Jaime and I. We are incredibly working hard, giving our best and showing our effort and combine it together to make our plan success. So first of all, for the first we met together we just tried to find the name for our talent show. There are many names that we brainstormed, such as: Angkor WHAT!! Talent Show, Cambo’s Got Skills, Kingdom of Wonder Talent Show, Camtalent, 855 Talent, Pearl of Asia Talent Show and there’s a lot more. After that we finalized till “Kingdom of Wow!” Everybody are happy with the name that we had chosen.

Afterward, we start to think about the system of how are all the talented people access or joined this event? At that we thought as a big picture, we thought about Cambodian society because there are a lot of rural people that can’t acces to internet. So we brought up two best ideas are for people that can access to internet by signing up by Google Form and for people that can’t access to internet, we will print as a paper for them to fill. But how can you spread out the word? So we chose to spread out the word by creating a facebook, instagram, mail and more.

Working for awhile, we just realized that it’s nearly time to start the event and it’s on June, 6. So, we invited a group of people from AIS, American International School to discuss on this event with. Mostly there were a lot of participants and performers from AIS and they planned to perform Cambodian traditional dancing. But, just having performers only from one location wasn’t enough for our talent show. So, our committee members started to go to many different government school and villages. We recruited all the students or teenagers whoes under ages of 18. It is a very fun and joyful time for all of us as a committee to help of recruiting students to get the best performer for our show. Therefore, we got most of the performers from villages, government schools in local and city.

THE SHOW IS HAPPENING! So our show was taken place at the Black Box Theatre in ISPP, International School of Phnom Penh. The theatre is huge and fit up to 500 people, so this is the best place for us to conduct and make our show happens. The committees and workers of the talent show weren’t expect many guests will join to see the performance but by the time the event started, there were no more chairs for the guests, it means the chairs were full of guests. YEAH! So the event just went on regularly as we planned and the performers will perform in order of the list. There are three judges to note and make the decision who will be the winners. Also, the guests were also the judges for this shows by letting out the papers to all of them and let them vote for their favorites or we can call IDOL.

By the end of this show, there were winners who won the prize for each specific categories. There are Martial Arts, Singing, Traditional Khmer Dance, Hip Hop and Magic and Band Performance. So the winner for Martial art and Magic went to a Liger student, Nilroth. The first place of best band performance was Who Band sang a song called “ដើម្បីអូន” or For You. The second place was Simphony Senior Band sang a song called “Cool Kids.” For best singing performance won by a younges boy name “Hak Meng Hong” sang “ថ្នម” or Care. The best dance performer was a performers from AIS danced “របាំកណ្តូបបុកស្រូវ” or Grasshoppers Dance. And the Audience Choice Award went to Hak Meng Hong! The youngest boy. All of the performers were having a lot of fun and great time of joining this event and wait to see what the things will be unique for the second of Kingdom of WOW.

More Information: http://news.sabay.com.kh/article/730014
http://news.sabay.com.kh/article/732990

ISPP MUN 2016 – My First Step Into Real World

          Clicking through my email, there was an email got my attention. It was dispatched from Jan, the literacy facilitator. I was sitting in the classroom with my best friend at night. Obviously, it was the most comfortable place to study for us. I nudged my friend, asking her, was she going to participate. I was planned to participate in Junior General Assembly 2, since it would be my first time. There were many committees in the whole MUN conference; the scariest one is the Security Council. I was really exciting to see what were the topics, and the students from my school who were interesting in my favorite committees. Three topics were encompassed my committee. Link to access: http://isppmun.tumblr.com/

         You had only one month and a half for preparing all your country’s information, and I’d been trying so hard to make all my research done. I was the delegate of Myanmar representing the country in Southeast Asia in my whole committee. There were other Asian countries, Middle East countries, and other countries from other continents. I was pressured because one of the topics were giving a hard time to my country’s position which was the question of “deforestation in Southeast Asia.” Anyway, I got help from other countries including China and European countries as a co-submitter and main submitter in the resolution. I had a lot of fun times and stressing moments working with my other friends during the lobbying time. I mean, it was a great opportunity to meet, make, and communicate with new friends.

          Out of the whole conference, I liked to work with the delegate of China; he was so friendly, and the start of the conference, we started to communicate with each other immediately. We’d been so friendly and supportive to each other since it was our first times being participants. During the debate, we yielded the floor between each of us; we asked tough questions; we talked through notes. The presidents were also friendly and simultaneously humorous because they were trying to create fun as much as possible. After each debate, we took a break; some people talked to the presidents and each other. As an overall, the whole conference was looking so much alive.

         Personally, if I didn’t participate this specific type of event, I couldn’t believe myself to get to know much world’s problems and information like this. I felt proud of myself for taking this risk in order to let me push through my limit. I couldn’t imagine that I could voice myself to raising an awareness and solutions in each problems. I knew that I had to continue my journey with this type of passion because it’s a good trade with my brain whose inept with the world updates. Thanks to ISPP for hosting this conference, and thanks to all the people who were being friendly even though this conference was serious throughout the whole time.

STEM Day at Liger Learning Center

This is the best day ever! Because today we’re having the STEAM event in school. So today, there are many tasks that our teachers created for us. There are Painting, Acting, Programming, Ruberg and many more. I joined Paint of showing the STEAM because you know what is my tremendous passion is and go to read About Me. So, we were having a lot of fun time together and we will do it again next year with the next generations of our Liger school! Last, this is the best time we spent together and it’s such a memorable, remarkable situation that we’re never forget.