Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists

by PEPY Empowering Youth
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Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Uplift Rural Cambodian Youth & Talented Artists
Studying Youth Empowerment classes from home
Studying Youth Empowerment classes from home

This past month, the PEPY community has dealt with a lot of challenges as a result of the COVID crisis but has also been incredibly fortunate. 

We are delighted to share that we have been selected to become an USAid's PACT Cambodia partner. Through this partnership, our Business, computer, English, and Youth Empowerment courses at the Learning Center will culminate into student's developing their own projects that address a Sustainable Development issue in their local communities or in the city. Working in teams, the students will identify a solution that they want to tackle, conduct a research study, and then write and pitch a proposal to a judge panel for funding. Students can create business concepts and even civic engagement projects, partnering with local stakeholders. This is an initiative that we have been working towards so the Learning Center's business and leadership courses are applied more practically and we are very thankful that PACT is invested in this concept. With this new partnership, our Learning Center has received funding through PACT that we were able to apply toward our staff and courses. As a result, our Youth Empowerment Campaign is fully funded and our goals for this year have been met!

Currently, our Learning Center students are continuing their PEPY studies remotely with tablets that we recieved permission to use through a PEPY partner. At the same time, our scholars and alumni have been dealing with many challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Since the Siem Reap economy is primarily based in tourism and hospitality, Cambodian youth and the city as a whole are not faring well. There are growing concerns as the majority of businesses are having to close indefinitely. Many of our scholars and alumni have been laid off. PEPY has commited to providing our scholars a living allowance to support them and their families during this time. However, this crisis speaks to a larger issue that Cambodians have been grappling with for years.

Many Cambodian youth feel that they need to diversify their skills, especially in the field of technology. With tourism and hospitality being less reliable fields, our youth want to be prepared to be more entreprenuerial and creative in their work. We believe that giving our students and alumni the space to develop their technological skills beyond our introductory Learning Center course is a great way for them to gain more opportunities and be more successful in the long run. Currently, even IT students have great trouble working on computers since univeristy libraries are limited in their hours and students cannot afford to purchase their own. We want to set up a computer lab where students can sign out refurbished computers,  and access resources and applications that will allow them to self study or even teach online. We plan for it to elvolve into a hub where youth can share ideas and ultimately help PEPY have a stronger ICT curriculum for future students. 

For the foreseeable future, Make a Cambodian Youth's Future Bright Computer Lab will be our funding project on GlobalGiving. Any help you could give us in promoting this initiative would be amazing and make an impact in the lives of Cambodian youth and their families. We know this a challenging time for everyone across the world, and we hope that if you are reading this that you and your loved ones are safe. Through this experience, we have been inspired and honored by the kindness within our local community and across the globe, and look forward to a future where our students can achieve their dreams and pay it forward.    

Thank you for being a part of our community, and please feel free to reach out to me at kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org if you want to learn more about Cambodia or our work. 

Best,

Kathryn 

Instructor providing lesson via tablet
Instructor providing lesson via tablet
PEPY students and alumni returning home
PEPY students and alumni returning home
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Writing Through Workshop
Writing Through Workshop

Hello PEPY supporters,

Today, we are celebrating the progress and impact of PEPY’s Youth Empowerment Project made possible by supporters like you! Currently, 54 students (4 students were accepted into prestigious secondary teacher training programs outside of Siem Reap and 2 students were just accepted into the military training program in Phnom Penh) have gone to over 3 university and vocational institution tours, helping them determine where they would like to enroll. In addition to the school visits, local professionals, university professors, and trainers have spoken and given presentations to the students, allowing them to imagine their futures through the experiences of Cambodians who come from a similar background and ask questions about their career interests. Our students also had several trips to businesses like hotels and education organizations where our alumni currently work to get a clearer understanding of what their professional life would look like and to network with some likely future mentors. As a result, our students were armed with confidence and knowledge when enrolling in their chosen higher education institutions. By the end of January, all students were enrolled and had selected degree programs ranging from IT to Accounting.

Inside PEPY’s Youth Empowerment Project at the Learning Center, students have taken part in several fantastic project activities and workshops. Most recently, students participated in a Writing Through Workshop which develops students' critical thinking and writing skills in English. The week-long workshop culminates to each student crafting their own poem utilizing the grammar, creative writing techniques, and literary devices that were taught to them. On February 21st, Writing Through and the students completed the workshop by having the students share their poems with PEPY staff and each other. The students were incredibly supportive of one another and the poems were inspiring to hear! We will be publishing the poems through our social media and we encourage you to follow us to get inspired (facebook.com/pepyempoweringyouth/)!

There was also an in-depth training and open discussion on reproductive health given by Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) which helped students engage in important discussions about topics that are generally not discussed in their communities. The students were shy at first but felt encouraged by one another to express areas where they hoped to gain more understanding and express concerns. In addition, students were taught basic first aid. 

In early February, 57 students went to Bartia Sarem Gallery, where they saw the oil paintings of local artist Theanly Chov. The students were incredibly inspired by his work that was focused on surviving in society with several students feeling inspired to pursue art as a medium for espressing their beliefs and feelings. 

The participating artist alumni from our "Our Story' Art Showcase and event will be receiving support from PEPY to conduct their own events. Funds from this campaign will go towards the supplies and event costs for artist Chhunly to host his first stand alone art exhibit this year. In addition,aspiring fashion designer Chantuo's material costs will be covered for her to first her own fashion show in the future and for putting together a clothing line. We are so excited to see how their efforts develop and believe in our students chasing their creative dreams. 

In the coming months, our Youth Empowerment students will be working on SDGs and developing their art and dancing skills. The students are enrolled in yoga class and soccer weekly, but will also start to attend Khmer dancing classes. We look forward to updating you on their progress and sharing student stories in the next report!

Art Gallery Visit
Art Gallery Visit
Writing Through Workshop 2
Writing Through Workshop 2

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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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