Some of our 2015 students cool off
It is a pleasure to update you on the progress we are making at Youth Star with your support. There has been so much happening at Youth Star in recent months that I’m not quite sure where to start!
We currently have 25 volunteer graduates out in the field in marginalised rural Cambodian communities. This is the largest number of volunteers we have placed at one time since 2010. It is wonderful that our program is expanding to help more communities, but looking after so many volunteers in so many locations can be very challenging.
We have employed an additional program officer to help us assist our volunteers, which involves the supervisor regularly liaising with the ‘local partner‘ in each community and having at least weekly (and often daily) contact with the volunteers themselves. We take our duty of care for our volunteers very seriously and also provide a 24 hour emergency hotline. And as you can see from the photograph accompanying this report, simply transporting the volunteers’ bicycles to the provinces can be challenging!
No Youth Star volunteer is placed in a rural community unless there has been a thorough assessment of that community’s educational needs, as well as its willingness and capability to provide support for our volunteers, including accommodation. Each community also provides the ‘local partner’ mentioned above, who participates in the Youth Star volunteer training program.
A lot of my time and that of other Youth Star staff in the past months has been visiting prospective communities to make these community assessments. While this assessment work can be demanding, it is work I very much enjoy. It is also so rewarding to visit these communities 12 months later when the volunteer placements have been completed, to see how they have thrived and developed self-help programs.
While we are very busy at Youth Star I think that our morale as an organisation has never been better. Everyone at Youth Star wants to improve Cambodian society and help raise literacy and numeracy standards in rural communities. With so much activity and such enthusiasm from our new volunteers we all feel we are making a real impact.
Another activity that has been keeping Youth Star particularly busy has been establishing a new partnership with the International NGO Aide et Action, who will be assisting us in establishing literacy and associated development projects in rural Cambodia. I will provide more news about this in a future project report.
As always, if you would like any further detail on Youth Star’s programs and activities please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Loading bicycles for volunteers in Kampong Thom
Youth Star volunteer locations August 2015
Volunteer Mr Vicheka in Prey Veng province
Some of Mr Vicheka's students in 2015
Ms Sophearum with children in Prey Veng province