PEPY's Youth Empowerment Project has been a force in developing & encouraging soft skills, creativity, & expression for rural Cambodian youth at our Learning Center since 2013. With 60 new students a year, Youth Empowerment classes are a space where artists, musicians, leaders, & poets are found & their paths to success begin. Support young artists that will shape Khmer for years to come, from PEPY's 'Our Story' Art Event & students that have yet to realize their talents who are in our project.
In Cambodia, effective/holistic education institutions are still developing since the Khmer Rouge atrocity of the 1970's. Although hard skill training is becoming more prevalent, soft skills, critical thinking, & creativity are non-existent in the majority of education and development programs as teachers generally do not have the capacity to teach these topics. Until programs prioritize/reclaim these skills, Khmer students will be left behind. This is why the Youth Empowerment Project exists.
In our Learning Center for high school graduates, the Youth Empowerment (YE) Project curriculum works in tandem with our English Language courses and ICT (technology) courses. The Center focuses on targeting the areas where, according to local employers, Cambodian youth still do not have enough confidence/training in to be competitive in today's job market. YE courses/project topics include public speaking, team work, creativity, & critical analysis. Which are also applied to English & ICT.
Every year, the Learning Center staff sees 60 students, primarily female, from rural communities leave with a strong sense of self awareness & confidence toward themselves & their futures. In the last few years, the impact has been profound as successful alumni return as mentors to current students & at their local high schools. The impact of the YE project has led to separate youth leadership clubs being developed, new sporting groups, & supportive spaces for women.