Developing educational add ons for Bambujaya

Bambujaya is a new private primary school that is planned to open later in 2019. Not like Liger, ISPP or Northbridge, Bambujaya targeted on middle-class families who want to send their kids to a school with a better atmosphere, teacher, and curriculum. The school is based on the Cambodian curriculum, but incorporate more STEM and challenging activities that supplement with the lesson to enhance student comprehension, collaboration, and creativity. The school hired leaders from the Liger to be the inventor for the add-on content. I was chosen to be one of the consultants to develop the add-on for the grade 2 books. I was happy, however, I know that it going to be different from the previous projects. This was a real work, I got clients expectation and due date, then I have to bring the best quality add-ons for them with no accuses. A quality add-on needs to have a clear learning objective, a unique cross-curriculum program, and useful resources.

 

Example of an add-on I wrote for grade 2 mathematics on a topic of Multiplication:

Name: Multiplication Olympics Competition

Duration: 40 – 60 minutes

Learning Objective: Students will apply their multiplication skill to solve various levels of multiplication activities in a competitive and time-constrained activity.

Description:

 

For this activity to work, it requires a lot of plannings from the teacher and many resources. But, besides that part, this activity is one of the most exciting, interacting, and hands-on activity of all the previous activities that had been created.

Preparation:

This activity is similar to a relay race, therefore, the number of activities that teacher will need a plan is the same as the number of students in each group.

 

The activity:

Students will be put into teams, and each team will be given a baton. The baton determines when a student can start their activity; they can only start when they have the baton. Within each team, every student will be assigned a number. Students who are assigned number one will get the baton and do the first activity. Once they are finished, they will pass the baton their teammate who will be doing the second activity. Students will complete their own activity and pass on the baton to their teammates until everyone on the team has done their activity. The fastest team to have every member complete their activity wins.

 

Note: Because of the requirement of hard work from students in doing this activity, the winning team deserves something. The teacher can award them with small gifts like candy or a pencil to motivate them. By giving the gifts to the winner, students may learn to understand the reality of a game, there will be a team that will do better than the others, and know not to get upset about it, but try harder the next time.

The NETWORK

Liger Leadership Academy presents its first full-length play called The Network. I’m so honored to be a part of this accomplishment. My job’s in this project are the sponsorship organizer and play the role of the Network. Here’s a short description of the play: Life in the Network can be fun, confusing, and scary. Depending on the individual, the Network can become a helpful friend or an evil enemy. Users are able to do anything and everything such as connecting with their beloved ones and sharing their emotions, thoughts, ideas, activities. Just like reality, the Network has people who take this platform to the next level. People allow the Network and their friends to influence their minds. “The Network is my life!”, “I’m in a relationship with D”, “Can you send some of your private pictures to me?” These are just a quarter percent of all the activities in the Network.  

The moral behind the play: At the Liger Leadership Academy, we like to do things differently. We chose to perform The Network because we want the audience to question how social media influences their day-to-day interactions. This full-length Comedy-Drama also explores how the virtual world impacts reality, how “information bubbles” shape our perception of the world, and how different sources of information inform people’s behavior. Are we in control of the Network, or is the Network in control of us?

My response to how social media has affected me as a person. Social Media had made me become a more social type of person, but not really. I use it to chat with people from different places about life, social problem, lifestyle, adventure, etc. While I take time to chat with people from the new world, it has stopped me from interacting with people around me. Sometimes this platform gets me distracted and challenging to find the balance both the time and the conversation. 

 

Changing Cambodia 2017-2018

In life, there is no turning back, and there is not a clear sight of what the future is going to look like, this means I have to trust myself that every facet that I have invested for the last 15 years will help fulfill my dream- changing Cambodia. My family would always advise me that I should focus on academics and aim for a perfect grade. However, the first step at Liger changed my perception of education forever. The first year, I swam 100 meters. The second year, I camped in the forest. The third year, I built an ecotourism model. The fourth year, I delivered a Ted talk about the seriousness of sea level rise. The fifth year, I hosted a climate change summit to over 100 young leaders from around the country. The sixth year, I won third place in a university-level business competition. As the year went by, I have been developing my confidence from getting my feet in the water to able to swim in the ocean. I have become an innovative, entrepreneurial, and perceptive change-agent that was gained through collaboration, passion, grit, and dot-connecting.

 

I hear the term “change-agent” everyday and everywhere; I described a change-agent as people who influence others to achieve certain goals. The more I learn how to become a change agent, the more I realize who I am as a change-agent. I would describe myself as an inclusive change agent; I love to make everyone feel more included. For example, one morning, during the dinosaur investigation field trip, we took the opportunity to share our experiences with open-minded students to become more aware of their learning resources. I thought the best means to get to them understand is through project-based learning; therefore, I decided to present the kids about project-based learning through three lenses: creativity, simplicity, and reliability. I led a discussion about creative techniques to approach challenging problems, creative techniques to ask critical questions, and creative techniques to turn wild imaginations into accountable solutions. Afterward, the students brought up three points for discussion: breaking social norms in their society, adjusting education curriculum in their school, and following their dream. The whole discussion was amazing; we got to learn a lot from each other and immediately I saw students show their leadership skill by encouraging their fellows’ classmates to get out of their comfort zone. I did not intend to teach them what to do, but my goal is to inspire them to take their own path. Just like Anne Isabella said, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Teaching them it is not enough, inspiring and unlocking their fullest potential is a more worthwhile strategy. Another quote from Dr. Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Therefore, I wanted them to immediately feel that “Leader is made, not born!”

 

I heard people said over and over again, “The only way to learn the new thing is to engage.” While I tried to make an impactful influence in regard to my country, simultaneously I also need to strengthen my personality and academy. I believed that the only way to get more comfortable and ready to face the world is to engage as much as I can. To strengthen my entrepreneurial knowledge, me along with two other change-makers decided to participate in a Business Model Competition (BMC). BMC is a college-level business competition; Because of our team effort and great focus, we came 2nd-runner-up out of approximately 120 teams around Cambodia. The achievements were amazing; the learning from our team’s mistakes, experts in the fields, and the challenges from competition have made me a more powerful, more innovative, and a more conscious leader in this field. This was myself engage in the field I cared about, but this year, I had forced myself to participate in courses and events that I normally do not do. Nilroth – one of my family member at the Liger Leadership Academy – said: “You have to be uncomfortable to be comfortable.” Music, art, filming was all the things that have never encourage me to learn, but I had always been very appreciative. So, I determined to engage in Khmer Song Lyrics and Humanity talk show, researched about the philosophy behind Leonardo Da Vinci artworks, produced a commercials video for a MoneyTree – financial literacy company. I got to grasp new traditional dances, difference technique composers in the 60s use to produce a long-lasted song, techniques in creating an effective storyboard, and techniques to shoot a high-quality footage. As one can see, I don’t have to lead to be a leader, the follower is also a leader. Motivate me to face these uncertainties will prepare into a better equip leader.  

 

“The most important thing in life is not about beauty, but it about the meaning behind it.” I tried to do and learn a lot of things with purpose and with long-clear vision.  As my experiences and my depth of thought growth, I was able to better dot connect my skills to solve or create more. For me, creativity is just the collection of ideas. As an example, I dedicated more than 15 hours to learned about GIS (Global Information System), because I know that I going to use it for my day-to-day route tracking, my technological feature for my ROV, and my mapping detail skill. I have a vision that technology will be a big trend in Cambodia in the next 20 years. Therefore, as I’m the change-agent, I need to be ready to raise awareness and face the upcoming world. In addition to the growth of technology, I believe that community sharing concept will also be a common routine in the next 20 years. With a clear vision, strong confident, and manageable risk-taking, I had built two programmes that future will help my nation. We local, a platform that brings tourists who are looking for food around Cambodia to experience the real Cambodian food that is freshly cooked, and an underwater submarine, a machine that can capture underwater footage and marine survey, both involve in high-tech technology, community sharing, and citizen science. Another example, I was able to use my ap statistic course knowledge to conduct a professional survey that analyses the effect CamKids organization have toward the three villages surrounding it. One closed look of the report leads to one vision and one big idea. From the data in the report, I saw that wedding and other traditional ceremonies are one of the biggest expense for a family and not many enjoyed it. As a change agent, I’m always looking ahead to what I can change and solve to make my country a better place.

 

Passion-follow-engagement and dot-connecting are what I called secondary skills; but, what is the primary skill that helps to build my past achievements? And have ones ever wonder why do some individuals accomplished more than other? The answer is GRIT. GRIT has become a mainstay of who I am today. GRIT is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaning goals, as developed by Angela Duckworth. GRIT is the combination of 5 characteristics: optimism, creativity, confidence, resilience, and robustness. GRIT is the ingredient that separates a successful leader, entrepreneur, student from people surrounding them. A lot of the times visionary ideas blossomed out of me; even though I tried to experiment those ideas with the right operations, right people, and right questions, I still have a high chance of failing. However, a quote from Robin Sharma always stuck in my brain, “Your “I can” is more important than your IQ.” For instance, in the Bambojaya exploration, I wrote supplements education material involved STEAM and creativity for a private school named Bambojaya. For the first week, many of my materials were plain, boring, lack of creativity, and lack of problem-solving. After the meeting, every night, I read the government textbook to get information about each topic and experiment with my roommates about my add-ons to get feedback. Because I persisted enough to learn from my flaws and bounce back with a smart plan to fix it, I was able to create exceptional works throughout the project. The one trait that I value myself the most is that I learned not to take failure as a distraction, but take it as an opportunity to grows. I believed that this mindset will bring success beyond talent.

 

An introduction to Doppler Echocardiogram

Doppler Echocardiogram is a test of frequency shift that bound off from and the heart and the vessels. To make this concept clearer, we going to break this into two words, doppler, and echocardiogram. A traditional echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create the visualization of the heart. The echocardiogram is cool, it can only show the edge of the structure of the heart, but it doesn’t have the capability to detect the speed of the heart. To do that there is a technology calls the Doppler techniques. These techniques allow us to identify the speed and the direction of the blood flows. Doppler Echocardiogram transmitted certain frequency sound waves directly into the heart. The frequency will reflect back from the moving tiny blood cells that are traveling through the heart and the vessels. Therefore, the movement if the cells move toward the tools, it will create a higher pitch result, and it moves back it would result in a lower frequency shift. These formations will then help cardiologists to identify the speed and the direction of our heart every day.

Respecting the Why: Understanding the Complexity of the Entertainment Industry in Cambodia

I just learned an important lesson that I no one should overlook, it’s about “GENDER”. I came to literacy essential every day in the third round, which is approximately two months with enthusiasm, curiosity, happiness, and optimism to discuss the global issues, specifically, issues related with gender from different regions, time, economics, and conditions. A lot of what we did in this unit was read, read, and read articles from all sources, including GirlsGlobe, The New York Time, and books to absorb as much information about the past and current information as possible. As we read these articles, we tried to pay attention to the styles of writing, the complexity, and the variety of stories that represent gender. The end product of this assignment was to write a news article on a topic of gender. Choosing what to write on was a struggle for me, but I always wanted my topic to speak about something that no one brought up. I have chosen to write about the Entertainment industry in Cambodia, the job’s condition, the society view, the positive, and the negative of it. This topic might be a bit sensitive, but I highly recommend everyone to read this because it’s going to change your perspective about those “Entertainment worker” and understand the complexity of the industry.


You have two option: one is live your life as an unemployed person which equates to being homeless because you are uneducated, two is live your life in a deeply ashamed and dark industry in order to survive, which option would you want to spend the rest of your life in?

Care Organization declared that “The garment sector in Cambodia employs approximately 600,000 people and up to 85% of workers are women.” Thus, among those people, there must be an enormous “WHY” that motivates women to decide to leave this female-dominated workforce to work somewhere else that is less respected but higher paid. Changing vocations is very difficult and limited due to the lack of education, low income, and, primarily, lack of options.

Newton’s first law stated that “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same velocity and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” This law pertains to many women in Cambodia; they have tried diverse types of jobs such as domestic workers, garment work, street trading, and small businesses, but it was not enough to support their family’s demand and their own hunger. Meaning that most women had tried to work for all of the jobs listed above, but because of the family’s economic condition, the women are forced to work at other places. The entertainment industry often offers more lucrative, flexible opportunities and are often more “pleasant.”

Not all entertainment workers are sex workers

The entertainment industry includes hostess bars, karaoke bars, massage parlors, and freelance prostitution, which is not common knowledge in Cambodia and around the world. Not everyone who participates in the entertainment sector, which is approximately 35,000 according to 2012 UNICEF report, involved in prostitution or sex. The women that work in this market deserve the same respect as those in other careers. The same principle as any cycle in the world, every part shared equal responsibility to maintain. The reason it’s called the entertainment sector because people are working to entertain national and international tourists. Entertainment doesn’t mean only sex, it is also about companionship, attention, relationship, romance, friendship, and relaxation. This profession also plays a big role in the country’s economy. According to the Phnom Penh Post, Sokhoeun, a waitress of one of the KTV in Phnom Penh, stated that “The hours is much better, and I earned more money.” While she’s having more money to support her family, housing, and school fee, she also faced stress and struggle. “A lot of the male clients try to touch or grope us,” Sokhoeun said. Similarly, Ms. Chamrong, a beer promoter in Phnom Penh, said she has always been treated with disrespect by male customers; they used unsuitable language with her. Some asked her to have sex with them and she refused, saying she is a beer seller, not a sex worker.

What is your view on the women working in the entertainment sector?

Western views

Some foreigners view women engaging in the entertaining sector as pitiful because many of them are forced to do these types of jobs even if it’s against their inclination. Because of these images toward women, many foreigners are working to get funds to support these women in a different manner, to get them out of this industry. Not everybody has the same sympathy or perspective toward this sector, and some people view them as criminals who have broken a big part of Cambodian social mores and the country laws. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, however viewing these women as victims could cause a problem. Helping those women to live a better life doesn’t always mean forcing them out of the bar or the place they are working in because many of them do not want to leave their job. There are other a small group of foreigners seen those women as “greedy” which only go out just to get money. This is a misconception because, in the long run, many of the women get emotionally affected by the money they are getting. Interestingly, Steben Linbom, an expat, and chef from the United States of America who is working as a chef in a restaurant in Phnom Penh has been living in Phnom Penh for two years and has a very different view of the women in this sector. “I love them. …. I don’t think they are bad people because … they tell you a lot of stories.. maybe their husband ran away or they got pregnant and had to take care of their baby. Therefore, I do not have an opinion of those women.”

Cambodian views

Preserving culture is a serious task for Cambodians. Cambodian mindset is that a woman is expected to act gentle, well-mannered, stay in the house as households, take care of the children, and be supportive of the husband. These perceptions of on women are very strict and still highly preserved. Because of that, some Cambodians see the women who work in an entertainment industry as an absolute contempt because their action has broken the “Chbap Srei,” which translated as the women’s code rules/law of our tradition. “I’m always afraid that people in my hometown will discriminate against me now,” Sokkhoeut says. “People assume that if you’re working in a KTV, then you’re not a good girl. Even my family thinks I’m having sex with men,” she continued. Having to work so hard to save money to support their family, while simultaneously being encompassed by condemnations from their friends, their family, and their society can be painful for the girls. Nonetheless, there are many other citizens who support and respect the girls’ options. “I felt pity for those women because they did not get the chance to study. So, choosing this option is convenient for them, although they did not receive high dignity. Besides people’s criticisms, working in this field has many effects including breaking the culture, health issues, and emotional breakdown,” Chanthorn, a driver at the Liger Leadership Academy, responded.

What are the factors that force women to choose that job?

Many people who work in the entertaining sectors in Phnom Penh come from rural Cambodia because most of them lack economic opportunity. Choices are very limited for them. The number of people working in this field is increasing, which is a big problem for Cambodia.

Is 50 cents a day enough for you to survive? Surprisingly, Sochua, a former Minister of Women’s and Veterans Affairs and an anti-sex trade activist, said that millions of Cambodians are struggling to live on less than 50 cents a day; many women turn to the sex industry. Poverty is the colossal factor that drives women to enter this market. The most effective way to fight poverty is education. The reality is that more than half of the children in Cambodia do not complete primary school at all, according to ChildFund International. Lack of education, lack of choice. Sometimes, family health conditions can be a motivating factor for those girls. Besides all of the factors, personal desires, learning English, exploring romance, and experiencing outside Cambodia can also influence the choice. Chanthorn said, “sometimes some of the women receive high education, but sometimes their friends drag them to these fields.” The last factor can be minimal, but it happens more frequently than people aware; parents have sold their daughters at the price of $10 to $100.  International organizations — such as UNICEF, ECPAT and Save the Children — says that between 50,000 to 100,000 people involved in the sex-industry are children.

How do you think those women feel working in this condition?

A lot of women feel unsafe about the places that they are working in. Depending on the jobs positions and the condition of the places, some are more emotionally affected and some are more physically affected. Sokhoeun, a woman interviewed by Phnom Penh Post said, “Sometimes they [create] problems, they come in drunk with a gun or smash their glasses on the ground.” Some of the women’s conditions are even worse; some are being forced to drink beer with customers while some are being raped. “The worst scenario that could happen is having to drink with customers, leaving many of the women drunk and vulnerable,” says Ou Tepphallin, the vice president of the Cambodian Food and Service Worker Federation. The Phnom Penh Post reported that 170 of the women that were surveyed said that they are all forced to drink, which on average, the survey reported that is approximately 18.7 days in a month. A more serious issue for all the women is that they start to lose value in themselves and feel useless and hopeless. According to the Phnom Penh Post, almost one out of five people who worked in the entertaining sectors attempted suicide. A study shows that there is a strong correlation between the risk of having a positive test for HIV and psychological distress, with an estimate of  16,800 adults in Cambodia.

NGOs that help

There are many NGOs that are tackling this issue and trying to rescue the women in the “entertaining sector” to shift them for a better career. Many of the NGOs are working tirelessly towards the same vision, to strive for similar vision, but just in different paths and with different target audiences. The two main aspects that all NGOs should consider are: first, all of the women don’t want to go back the place that they are dying to get out, so training them to go in the menial labor, sewing as an example, just doesn’t really help; second, most of the vocational training that is provided by  organizations are stereotypical types like housekeeping, hairdressing, and social work. For example, NGO Acting for Women in Distressing Situations (AFESIP) provides skills training in fields that include sewing, housekeeping, hairdressing, weaving, handicrafts, small-business management and social work. Why not take into consideration about computer skill, art, cooking, and English because these skills will benefit them in long-term approach even though it will require more resources.

the ACTED organization, which has reached around 7000 took another creative approach to support the fact that some women don’t want to leave their job, through ACTED’s program, all women can come to do a monthly family discussion about the problems or concerns that they have from their job, which together they will come up with ways to solve those problems. For example, the discussion can be from how to drink responsibly and techniques to avoid the customer request without being offensive to them, how to turn down unwanted sexual advances (a type of sexual harassment) and how to practice safe sex when both parties consent. Doing this will help to increase confidence to speak out about what is wrong and right, which will reduce the potential cost of the problems.

A call for support does not mean motivating more women to choose the entertainment industry. The support helps to prevent discrimination and more social acceptance. The image of Cambodia as a sex tourism destination is shameful for Cambodians. To change this negative image, everyone must work together towards a common goal: respect. Governments, citizens, tourists, and workers themselves should join hands to establish guidelines, rules, codes of conduct, and value.

 

Sources:

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/columns/karaoke-girls%E2%80%99-sad-song

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/amid-guns-and-groping-ktv-workers-learn-customer-not-always-right

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/01/23/sex.workers/index.html

https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/cambodia-seen-heaven-paedophiles-and-sex-tourists

https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-29/why-cambodias-sex-workers-dont-need-be-saved

https://cambodiaexpatsonline.com/newsworthy/cambodian-women-the-entertainment-industry-fight-against-abuse-t11908.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/everything-you-think-you-_b_4086449.html

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/entertainment-sector-exacts-mental-toll-its-workers

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/sex-workers-help-control-spread-hivaid

 

The coolest technology institution in Cambodia so far

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, a group of nine students including me went to visit one of the most exciting, empowering, and promising software engineer institute in Cambodia. My first impression of the school was the school location. The Kirirom Institute of Technology was located on the Kirirom National Park. When we think of technology, we think about robotics, computer, and complex mechanics. However, this institute has a totally different ways of learning. They are the only university that is focused on software development. Unlike, other universities that provide you different courses beside your degree to pick on, here at the Kirirom Institute you come and write software. This school is a very potential school for some of the Liger student. The school provides a full scholarship for the student who has a high ability in mathematics and IQ (logic). The institute has a fascinating curriculum, in the morning the student learns different skills related to software development like data structure from the lecture, in the afternoon the students got different projects from companies that the school assigns the students to work on. Scientist proves that learning by doing help to improve student ability to learn, problem-solving skill, and collaboration skill much faster. Students who graduate from this institute will receive four years proper jobs with high salary from well-known software development companies from Japan, Cambodia, and China. So, this school has raised the bars of technology college in Cambodia much higher, which made me think that Cambodia college might be a good choice for me and others Cambodians.

This is ME in the future

I don’t know where is this come from, however, I think I found something that is meaningful for me. Something, that have always drive my mind to think about every single seconds. No matter where or what I am doing, I always related it to this skill, which is entrepreneurship and leadership. For everything, I learned, subject that I liked or I disliked, I’ll try to make innovative connection from the concept and relate to the real world. I believe that by making these connection make learning more exciting for me and more worth it. 

I will learn everything that I can learn, which something that I proud of and something that I need to modified to get better at it. I thought everything is interested for me, which always keep me motivated. What I am trying to do to myself is to learn as many variety of skills and knowledge as possible. By doing so, I can strengthen my creativity, leadership, and forming a useful solution. 

 

Writing Poem in Khmer Essential

For the last two weeks, in khmer class we are being shifted from a normal writer to a more creative writer. We are song writers and poem writers. Producing a song is a very tough task to accomplish. Producing a song that would last for generations is even harder. One of the most well-known song writer in the 60s, Mr. Voy Ho said the three components that every songs or poems must have in order to make it last longer than the writers are weather/season, atmosphere and figurative language. The vision of the my poems are to raise-awareness to people in the society to understand the current problems and ways they can takes to change. For this particular poem, I wrote about what does it means to have a kid.

 

ខ្លួនជាមនុស្សរស់អោយមានន័យ                      ហាកកំុគិតខ្លីខ្សាញ់ឧរ៉ា

មើលគេមើលឯងគោរពទេវតា                          កំុខ្ជួតស្រីស្រាល្បែងពាលា។

ម៉ែខំទ្រពោះធ្ងន់យ៉ាងក្រៃ                                    ៩ខែ១០ថ្ងៃចេញនាវា

គ្រួសារភ័យអរទាំងអស់គ្នា                                   នេះហើយគឺជាទិតភាពពិត។

កូនកើតមកជីីវិតម៉ែផ្លាស់ផ្តូរ                             ម៉ែមានជំហរមួយថ្មីគិត

ខំប្រឹងបីបាច់កូនយ៉ាងស្និត                                ឲកូនចេះគិតជ្រៅជាងមែ៉។

ព្រោះតែកូនម៉ែសុខចិតអត់                               រស់នៅទាំងខ្សត់ប្រឹងធ្វើស្រែ

ឲកូនទៅរៀនចិតមិនប្រែ                                   ខំបន្តូសផ្លែឲមានក្លិត។

 

This is the khmer version, the english version coming soon. Stay tune to my upcoming post.