Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!

by Youth Star Cambodia
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Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!
Sponsor Cambodian graduates, help their community!

Project Report | Aug 14, 2014
The Youth Star model - how it changes people's lives to help build a better Cambodia

By Mora Gibbings | Executive Director

Mr. Chhay Theara
Mr. Chhay Theara

Our previous reports have shown how Youth Star’s work in poor rural communities of Cambodia is helping develop those communities. As the Youth Star model is equally concerned with developing graduate volunteers as future Cambodian leaders, this report focuses on this aspect of Youth Star's work.

We asked a former Youth Star volunteer, Mr. Chhay Theara, to let us know what influence his rural placement had made to his life. We were interested in finding out what Mr Theara is doing now and what he has learnt through his Youth Star placement.

Mr Theara was one of 13 volunteers in the 13th Youth Star volunteer group. He was located in Choeung Doeung Village in Kompong Cham Province for 15 months, with his placement ending in March 2011.

Mr Theara said his key learnings were understanding the culture of people in rural communities, how to work with these communities to solve local problems and how to liaise and work with government authorities for the community's benefit. He also reported that he had developed his problem solving, planning  and communication skills, and learnt the importance of patience and sustained commitment to achieving his goals. Before his placement Mr Theara said 'he always ran away from problems', but his experience as a volunteer gave him self-awareness and the confidence to take on difficult challenges.

Some important achievements Mr Theara recalled from his volunteer placement were:

  • establishing a youth club with 92 members, including former gang members - one of whom became a vice-president of the club
  • changing community attitudes to health, so that members visited health centres and learnt the importance of boiling water for drinking
  • convincing children who had dropped out of school to return, creating a community awareness of the importance of education and particularly that education was equally important for girls
  • reducing domestic violence, with 13 families known for domestic violence stopping this behaviour by the end of his placement.

Mr Theara said that when he commenced his placement many community members were resisitant to volunteering, but by the time he left the whole community supported his work and were taking a longer term view to resolving community issues. This included making land available for community activities and providing donations of material and food to the youth club.

Mr Theara's career has flourished since 2011.  After progressive promotions he now works as a Deputy Manager of a Sunrise Children’s Village, a charitable organisation that provides education, medical care, and a home for oprhaned, abandoned, vulnerable and disadvantaged Cambodian children. He is already helping achieve the Youth Star goal of building a just and peaceful Cambodian nation.

We hope and expect the current crop of Youth Star volunteers - Group 18 - has similar success to Mr Theara's in their personal and community development activities.

If you would like to see and hear how a another Youth Star alumni describes his experiences as a Youth Star placement and how it changed his life, I recommend that you view this inspirational video, which features the current Acting Executive Director of Youth Star, Mr Luy Tech Chheng. I think it beautifully captures what we are trying to achieve - and achieving - at Youth Star.  Let me know what you think of this video and report - we always welcome feedback at Youth Star!

Youth Star volunteers in 2011
Youth Star volunteers in 2011
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Organization Information

Youth Star Cambodia

Location: Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Mora Gibbings
Project Leader:
Mora Gibbings
Phnom Penh , Phnom Penh 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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