Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia

by PEPY Empowering Youth
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
Make Future is Bright Lab for Youth in Cambodia
3 of 4 coding club leaders with Mediapark trainer
3 of 4 coding club leaders with Mediapark trainer

Hello PEPY friends and community, 

Your support and contributions to our Future is Bright Lab and Library are making a huge difference for PEPY youth and in the Siem Reap community. Since our last report, PEPY, in partnership with local IT businesses and other youth leaders, has successfully launched the Siem Reap Coding Club in January. In addition, the IT library is becoming one of our most popular initiatives, with 18 youth borrowing computers 50x in the last two months

Coding Club: The Coding Club leaders worked with our team to develop a marketing strategy for the club and quickly gained over 150 members in their Facebook group. On Facebook, they provide coding resources, fun challenges, and club meeting updates to encourage and engage our community. The club session is held on Sundays and 30-40 youth are actively participating.

During the first couple weeks in the club, it was quickly established that the majority of the participants need to start from the basics. The club leaders partnered with a computer science expert from Mediapark, which is an IT solutions and app development company we work with, to help the participants understand how coding works and what coding languages mean. Even though some of the coding club participants are very familiar with coding, and are even developing their own apps, they were very content to support new learners as mentors and are happy to help everyone build up their skills together. 

Bright Library: So far, we have raised over $200 from rentals, helping us start a fund to cover future IT purchases and cover computer maintenance! While our ultimate goal is for youth to practice good financial planning and purchase their own computers, many of our youth will not be in a position to buy for a few years. Having access to a computer while attending university and working on professional skills is imperative. Since launching the Library, our students' GPAs have increased overall, and we have had many youth report to us how having access to a computer has helped them find or keep a job. We are astounded to see the impact of this initiative and glad it has contributed to our increased employment rate at PEPY. Currently, we have an 89% employment rate for our work-eligible scholars, which is a huge increase from the economic collapse due caused by the pandemic.

Future Plans: Since launching our Librarika application to track IT rentals and waiting lists, we know that we need at least 12 additional computers to meet the current demand of our youth participants. Through your generosity, we are aiming to purchase another computer with this fund, and we will be receiving another in-kind donation of refurbished computers from the United States, as well as purchasing 5-6 more with our recent grants. By the end of the year, we hope to reach our targets and have enough of a seed fund to support future IT repairs and maintenance. 

Your donation/s has helped our students stay in school throughout the pandemic, find work to support themselves and their families, and build their confidence in IT. Every dollar that went into the Future is Bright Lab and Library ensured that our youth are able to continue working toward their potential and achieve their goals. This was only made possible by your kindness. With your continued support, we will make sure that no student is left behind regardless of their socio-economic background! Thank you for being a changemaker in our community. 

Sincerely,

Kathryn, PEPY's Partnerships and Development Manager | kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org

Coding Club learning their first language!
Coding Club learning their first language!
Coding Club leader, Seha, presenting to youth
Coding Club leader, Seha, presenting to youth

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IT lab set up in the Youth Innovators' office
IT lab set up in the Youth Innovators' office

Dear PEPY family and friends, 

We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to you for your support and provide a brief update about our Future is Bright Lab!

As you know, in Cambodia, IT access is still one of the greatest education barriers that young people are facing. When schools closed, rural youth lost the opportunity to go to school. Our IT lab provides computers, smartphones, and additional tech to those youth so that they continue their educational and professional development. All first-year scholars were given access to a computer and additional youth participants rented computers. This made a huge difference in their ability to pursue and research job opportunities and now our employment rate is 89%! This is the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic lockdowns and we look forward to getting it back up to 100%. 

This quarter, the team finished their project with Team4Tech to complete the setup of the Librarika Application. Now, we can track the IT rentals more effectively and help youth by notifying them when an item is available more quickly. At the end of November, there were 16 individuals borrowing IT items, helping provide some small funds to PEPY to maintain IT, and purchasing supplies. With the rental tracking app, our team will be able to see which items are most requested by our students and alumni and help us better support them by focusing our funding on their needs.  

Our team recently reached out to get feedback on the Bright Lab and many youths shared that these initiatives have helped them improve their quality of life and stay in school. Before the Bright Lab, many youths were doing assignments on their phones. This opportunity saves them great amounts of time, reduces their stress load, and helps them complete their assignments on time. 

  • Siem Reap Coding Club: The PEPY team has now completed the leaders' training of the club and they have launched a Facebook page and are recruiting participants! Soon, they will be hosting club sessions in the YISI Office. Check out their page here

We are so excited about all the progress of the club and the Bright Lab and look forward to sending you additional updates! During this holiday season, we hope you realize that your generosity has helped improve the lives of our students, families, and their communities. Thank you for giving youth the opportunity to continue to pursue their dreams.

 

Sincerely,

Kathryn, Partnerships and Development Manager

kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org

Teacher Seha at his IT station
Teacher Seha at his IT station
stellar student using a computer for her study
stellar student using a computer for her study

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Our student working on her project using PEPY IT
Our student working on her project using PEPY IT

Hello PEPY community and friends, 

Since our last update, we have had many developments in the library and coding club. Through your generous donations and our partnerships with several corporate donors, we have been able to provide computers, training materials, tablets, and other IT accessories to students outside of the classroom. 

Currently, 22 students and alumni are renting computers and smartphones from us and there is a growing waitlist! Some students are in lockdown because of COVID outbreaks and we are trying to find a way to get the technology to them. Just last week, we finally received and prepped the 5 refurbished computers from REVIVN and we look forward to getting them in the hands of the youth who needs them most. 

This initiative has allowed youth to keep up with their studies more effectively than ever before. Our scholarship students' grade point average is now above a 3.5 with only 1-2 students reporting they are failing or struggling with a course at their university. Before we had our library, many students reported that they were struggling in classes during 2020, having to take classes and do assignments through their phones (if they were lucky enough to have one). Now virtually all our scholars have access to a computer either through us or that they have saved up for and purchased. 

In addition, our ICT classes test scores have surpassed our expectations this year with students receiving an average mid-term exam score of 86%! Which is a 10% increase from the previous quarter. Considering all of the classes were held virtually, this is an outstanding achievement for us. 

Coding Club Developments: With your most recent donations, we provided the 4 coding club leaders with teacher's training courses in various coding languages with Sabaicode over the summer. Now, the leaders are finishing their classes and mapping out a plan for marketing and recruitment. The Cambodian government anticipates beginning to open up the country and offices as normal in November since the Cambodian communities have reached their vaccination targets. We hope this means that the initial club meetings can be in person so club participants can get to know each other and their goals for joining the sessions. The mentors from Mediapark have also reaffirmed their commitment to providing support to the new and aspiring coders as they are looking to identify some promising youth to their team. 

ICT Teacher with our new donation from REVIVN
ICT Teacher with our new donation from REVIVN
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iherb  computer donation
iherb computer donation

Hello PEPY friends and community, 

We are so excited to share with you that we are not only making great progress in the library but are also building community-wide initiatives to help even more youth engage with IT literacy and learning. 

In June, the PEPY team worked with KOOMPI, Sabaicode, and Mediapark representatives to identify IT trainers to lead a Coding Club for youth in Siem Reap city. Please join us in congratulating Sipou, Phenhchet, Seha, and Kakada, who will be training with Sabaicode over the summer in various mobile and computer coding languages to be our club leaders, trainers, and coaches in the fall. We are so excited to have male and female coders serving as teachers and role models for youth, helping them build their confidence in web and app development. The funding you generously donated is going toward their training and toward IT accessories that will help support the club 

Mediapark mentors will be supporting the sessions and scouting for potential interns/recruits from the coding club participants.

In addition, PEPY has partnered with Team4Tech and we officially got matched with IT volunteers from the company Nutanix to support the development of our digital library and resources over the summer. With this partnership, we received a $15,000 grant to get more IT supplies to support our team and library! The company Revivn has also generously provided us with 5 refurbished computers so we are well on our way to having a robust library program that can support all of our Siem Reap-based participants. 

Thank you so much for helping youth in Siem Reap get one big step closer to the skills and resources for a career in IT on the local and international levels. We are so excited to give you another update soon when the library is started and we start recruiting for the club!

One of the new Coding Club Leaders Kakada
One of the new Coding Club Leaders Kakada

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Seha showing off our new computer
Seha showing off our new computer

Since our last report, we have had many exciting updates at PEPY's Future is Bright Lab and Library! Through the support of our partners Irish Aid in Vietnam and your generous donations, we were able to purchase 3 additional computers, storage units, and accessories for our library. This brings our total to 14 computers available for rent so far! While we still have additional computers in transit in the United States, this is an incredible start and has made a huge impact on youth being able to complete work and their homework assignments as Cambodia moves into another lockdown. 

In other exciting news, we received a grant from iHerb Charitable Foundation for 30 computers for PEPY's first year scholars!! Now all scholars will have continued access to computers during their studies at the Learning Center. Since they are not able to work during their first year and generally do not have a computer or a smart phone, this opportunity will enable them being able to continue their education and access classes and homework documents from home. Now, the Learning Center team is reaching out to alumni connecting them to our available IT tools and programs to help them with their studies. 

In addition, we are slowly making progress on developing an IT network and coding club. On March 13th, the PEPY Incubator team partnered with the computer development company KOOMPI to conduct our IT for Business introduction session. We hope to work alongside them to improve IT curriculums and mentoring programs in Siem Reap. With their partnership, along with other corporations and NGOs, we hope to start hosting and initiating youth in IT meet ups that can involve into support groups and clubs. 

Thank you so much for your support so far! On our next report, we will update you with student stories and updates!!

PEPY youth working with IT company KOOMPI
PEPY youth working with IT company KOOMPI
Students performing computer 'surgery'
Students performing computer 'surgery'
Sokpheaktra and Seha with our new computer storage
Sokpheaktra and Seha with our new computer storage

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Organization Information

PEPY Empowering Youth

Location: Siem Reap - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PEY_NGO
Project Leader:
Kathryn McDaniel
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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