Impact Statement (How I Change Cambodia)

I’m here to talk about my impact, something that I keep improving myself each year. People are born different. Some are born to challenge themselves with something that they are afraid of. While some are just born to love doing something that they already know how to do and never really want to get out of their comfort zone. For me, I can be both. I am one of those students who does not really like studying about entrepreneurship because I never got a chance to know what entrepreneurship is or study about the economy at the government school when I was young. Therefore, it is hard to build the endearment and the effort toward this subject.

To me, the impact is something that you do to develop yourself and the world that you live in. This year, I have come to understand that impact is not always about success. Sometimes, the impact can be about getting out of your comfort zone. Even if you are trying to do something that you are afraid of, I strongly believe that it also creates an impact. 

This academic year was really challenging because we have to learn remotely due to the Covid pandemic which led me to create a better reflection about myself of who I really am and what I need to improve in order to create a better version of myself. I have come to know myself better that there are actually two sides of me that live in the same body when it comes to making a decision or doing something. It is like a devil and angel staying on my shoulder. One is trying to encourage me to get out of my comfort zone by doing something that I am afraid of, while the other one is trying to discourage me because I am not good at that, so do not do it. But I always choose to do it so I could step out of my comfort zone, overcome adversity and prove to the other side of me that I can do it. I can step out of my comfort zone and that’s how winning is done.    

This year was a special and amazing year. It is the year that most of us had been waiting for, which is the Business Model Competition to be introduced to us. In September of 2020, Keith Simpson introduced the BMC competition to Liger students a couple of weeks after we returned to school. I was really excited about it and I assume everybody else felt the same as me. But at the same time, I felt like I did not want to join this competition this year yet. I was not ready and scared about it for some reason. I really wanted to do it and to get experience from it. I want to step out of my comfort zone and do something that I am afraid of. Simultaneously, my other side of me tried to discourage me and showed the fact that I don’t like entrepreneurship. Then I was like “you know what? I’m gonna shoot my shot. I’m going to join this competition.” I tried so hard to push myself to join because I thought that if I am not ready this year, I will not be ready in the next year too so I must join to get experience. It was really difficult at first because I did not have a team or even an idea yet. But having a great facilitator like Keith, everything would be fine. Soon after, I got into a team with 2 of my classmates which were Vuochnea and Lyhour. This made me feel better because I thought that I was going to do it alone.  

BMC was almost like a job that we were doing while studying. This reflects on me to understand how hard life is during this pandemic. How people are doing their job in this hard time. We were really struggling in doing and developing our business ideas and plans. It was a pandemic so we could not get out of the building and do our business survey. The only way was to do it through phone or video call. But for me, it was not as easy as it sounded. It was really difficult as I don’t really like doing all of that stuff. But I gotta do it. I need to improve myself. 

In addition to that event, I have come to learn how hard it is in order to get successful as an entrepreneur. We came to a point where we were stuck in thinking of a way to develop our idea. Our idea was not true as we validated so we have to pivot it into a new idea. It was hard but we did not give it up there. We tried our best and shared our thoughts and ideas until we had a new idea but still solved our initial problem. This also taught me not to give up because sometimes, when you give up too early while you have not put 100% effort into it yet, you are just going to regret it forever. 

By joining this competition, it helped me to reflect on myself on why I need to step out of my comfort zone more and how hard it is for me to make decisions because whenever I make any decisions, there are always two sides of me. One trying to encourage me to join this competition while the other, just trying to discourage me not to do it. But I will always choose to do it because I want to prove to the other side that I can do it even if I do not like it or do not know how to do it. This is really important by trying to prove the other side wrong because it is something that keeps motivating me to do it even more. This is why I have come to know that getting out of my comfort zone can also give an impact on me which leads me to create a better reflection of myself of what I like to do. Sometimes, the thing that you don’t like to do can become something that you love to do. Something that you thought you don’t like, can become your passion. You would never know until you figure it out by yourself. 

After discovering this truth about myself by making the decision to join this competition, I understand myself better. In the future, it will happen again just like the decision that I was making. I know that it is going to be two sides of me, one trying to encourage me while the other one trying to discourage me. But I’m never going to listen to the one that discourages me. I want to show it and prove that I can do it. It is really important to prove the other side wrong because we are worthy and born powerful and unique therefore, we have to prove to them that we are good for it. In order to do that, we will have to step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves more with what we are afraid of. 

I hope this will convey a message to you that no matter what other people say about you or look down on you, you must have to believe in yourself. That is how winning is done. Only you know your limit and no one else knows it. Try to step out of your comfort zone to gain more experience, maybe those things that you are afraid to do can be something that you like. You just have to try. Try harder and if people look down on you, you gotta show them how great you are.  (“I Will Show You How Great I Am!” – Muhammad Ali)  

Life isn’t easy, and you have to fight for it, but if you don’t, you’ll be stuck there forever. You must find a way to escape. If your previous attempt fails, you must try again and again until you reach the peak of the mountain, because that is how you win. You’re not going to give up simply because your first try failed. It is not how many times you fail that matters, but how you keep going and find a way to succeed.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” ― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

Here is the video!

Huykea’s 19-20 Impact Statement

Since I was young, I never realized how many Khmer poems there are, until the moment I was in a project to create an app about poetry in Cambodia. Throughout the research, there are more than 55 different poems and some of them were even created before the Angkor period. Even though Cambodia had suffered through wars and genocide, our ancestors still kept all of the poems safely. They wanted their next generation to learn and continue to keep it for the next generations. But why don’t most of the new generations know about all of those poems and never realize how important it is to represent our Khmer culture. Nowadays some people only know the most common 4 to 5 poems. How about the other poems? Genuinely, I want people, especially students, to learn and know more about all of the poems. Poetry is one of the leftover mementos from our ancestors and if we do not do something to preserve it, later on, it will go forever. This led me to become a change agent by helping to create an app about all of the poetry in Cambodia. 

Cambodia has expanded a unique Khmer culture and belief system and poetry is one part of them. But why is poetry really important to represent Khmer culture? To show Khmer culture, many authors had made poems to express the lifestyle of Cambodian people such as “Tom Teav” which later on became a story. Some poems were created to narrate important events. But most importantly, poems were also created to teach people. For example, “Chbab Bros” and “Chbab Srey” are the poems that were created as the guidelines for men’s and women’s behavior.

One day, I got chosen to join an exploration to help create an app called Naeng-Norng. Since poetry is one of the leftover mementos from our ancestors, the main mission of this project is to raise awareness and to preserve Khmer Culture through poetry. Naeng-Norng is a poetry app that was created to help people, especially students to gain more knowledge about poetry. As we are the next generation, we can give more value to it by writing, learning, and sharing more about it. 

In this project, we divided into different teams and I got placed on the research team. We were trying to research every piece of information about each poem. The moment when I started working on my work, I started to realize how many different poems there are. My teammates and I  were shocked because we all never knew that before. We only knew the most common 4 or 5. And we really want to know more. So we tried to research all of the details and facts of each poem. We looked for all of that information like origin, how many words are in one line, how many lines in one sentence, poem structure, and rhyme structure, rhyme. We also found out that the structure of some poems are more interesting than what we know nowadays. We tried to get as much information as we could, but it was difficult since some poems were created before the Angkor period so the information is still unclear or undefined. Overall, we did really well on our tasks to help find information and also help other teams as well. 

But my journey to change my own country didn’t end there.

Creating our own poems is a way to learn it but it is not easy to create one. In the Khmer class, the teacher wanted everyone to create 2 or 3 poems individually. That was an amazing challenge for everyone to do that. We got to know how to write poems and also how to sing it for the poem that we never heard of before. In addition, we tried to collect all of those poems and made it into a book, and added some information on how rhyming works in each poem so people can use it to learn as well. And hopefully, we can sell those books to the public, so people can learn and read it at the same time. Even though we still haven’t published the book and the app yet, nevertheless we are trying our best as we can to publish it. 

Also, for this short period of lockdown, I can improve myself to be a self-learner. Moreover, it gave me the ability to view Cambodia and the world on how people had dealt with Covid-19. Because of that, it motivates me more to be a change agent. If the world can solve and deal with Covid-19, why can’t we be a change agent to change those problems that we face nowadays? In fact, while being a self-learner, it also encourages me to take more actions in the future such as help create more poems and participate in the Khmer literature event to share my knowledge throughout my experience with these two projects. 

Poetry is really important to our culture and had existed in our nation even before the Angkor Wat period. We all should appreciate what we have today from our ancestors. As poetry was one of the leftover mementos from our ancestors, we, the next generation, need to raise awareness and preserve it for the other generation. Students need to learn and share it. As a change agent, we never know what will happen unless we have tried it. It is all right to feel defeated or get success but we never surrender. “Be the change you want to see in your country”.

How do I change Cambodia this year?             

Changing Cambodia is the main thing that we need to do here at Liger Leadership Academy. Every day, teachers try to think “what are the things that students can help to change Cambodia”. This year, we have 5 exploration and one of those calls “No Single-Use Plastic in Liger”. The main idea of our project is to help reduce single-use plastic in Liger. But what is single-use plastic? 

Single-use plastic is the plastic that we use only one time and throw it away such as plastic straws. Plastic is very bad for our environment. So what is plastic made of? Plastic is made of chemicals that cause a lot of issues. Why Plastic is bad? Plastic is bad because it has chemicals in it and when we burn it that cause air pollution, using a lot of plastic that causes land pollution because plastic is hard to melt or decompose and using too much plastic that when has the wind just fly up through the air and struck at the ocean that causes water pollution. 

But why are there so many people like to use plastic or single-use plastic? So many people like to use it because it’s low weight, less energy, low material cost, water-resistant, easy to carry and a lot more. But also there are a lot of consequences that can cause by plastic too such as pollute the environment, use a very long time to degrade, affect the ozone, killed a lot of marine life, pose difficulties to recycling and a lot more too. 

Did u know what, According to there is nearly 2 million plastic that people use every minute every day? This data show that there are a lot of people uses plastic every minute. Imagine that, what about 1 hour. It is equal to 120 million per hour, right? Yeah and what about 1 day or 1 month or 1 year? That is a lot. That is why we want to try to eliminate single using plastic. First of all, we try to eliminate single using plastic here at Liger Leadership Academy first. And that is why we name our exploration call “No Single-Use Plastic in Liger”. We try to tell the people who work here such as teacher workers and students to eliminate using single-use plastic. And our solution is to tell all the people about how bad plastic is and how plastic effect or cause pollution. After we tell them about this we have bought the reusable bag and some stainless steel straw for people here at Liger Leadership Academy to use and make people try to stop using plastic or single-use plastic. And there are so many things that can use instead of using plastic such as the banana leaf, lotus leaf, metal water bottles, metal boxes, paper bags, fabric bags, paper straw, stainless steel straw and more. After trying these experiences, we can see that it works. People in here to change their habit why trying to reduce their use of single-use plastics as well as other plastic too.

This is a really really good project for me. Even though this project is not for the whole country yet but it’s some part of Cambodia too. And also while we are outside, we are trying to explain to people about how plastic can affect us and the whole world. Also, some big events happen in such a STEM festival, we also go went there and talk about this too. I know that this project is hard to work on, but at least some people may understand this problem. This is a very big problem and it is hard to solve, but I hope people might understand this problem. And lastly, I am glad that I have time to join this project to help Cambodia and to solve this big problem that the world is facing now. 

Changing Cambodia

Geography is my first exploration this year. This geography exploration talks about the geography of Cambodia and about the historical name and historical statues of each province and also we have created a book call Cambodia Geography Book too. This exploration we study with teacher Jan and about 7 weeks. Teacher Jan is a teacher that teaches about Geography exploration. This exploration talks about the geography of Cambodia so teacher divided Cambodia into 4 regions which are Northern, western, southern and eastern. This exploration, the teacher has selected 15 students to join the first region. I and my some of my friend were selected to join the Cambodia Geography region 1. This Region has 6 provinces which are Tboung Khmum, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap,  Preah Vihear, and Oddar Meanchey. And also the book that we have created for the youngest generation to know more about the geography of Cambodia.