Youth Star recruits, trains and coaches Cambodian graduates, who spend a year volunteering in under-served rural areas of the country. Here they live as part of the community, teaching children, founding youth clubs, providing health education and increasing female youth participation. They help the community to help itself by transferring their skills and being positive role models for young people to develop their own abilities and confidence.
Following 3 decades of genocide and conflict, Cambodia's youth faces a bleak future. In rural areas, educational and employment opportunities are limited and school dropout rates are high. Many rural children drop out of school to help with domestic chores or earn family income. Suitable leisure time activities for young people are scarce, while substance abuse, petty crime and gangs are rising. Even university graduates often lack experience to find employment in the competitive job market.
Youth Star places trained volunteers in under-served rural communities and supports their work with community partners. Volunteers provide basic education, set up youth clubs and youth councils and implement youth-led projects and campaigns to address community development issues as well as social issues, such as domestic violence and alcohol abuse. Volunteers inspire youths to become good citizens and future leaders and mobilize communities help themselves.
This project provides communities with expertise to help them initiate their own projects to address community priorities over the longer term. By encouraging young people to participate in local decision-making through youth councils and youth-led campaigns, the project helps build future community leaders. Volunteers gain concrete job skills and confidence as they develop their potential. Through mobilising the development of others, volunteers learn what it means to contribute to society.