Changing Cambodia doesn’t have to be big, but all of the small things that you do everyday could also be a change. Being one of the students in the Liger Leadership Academy is a really significant opportunity to make a change in myself, my country or perhaps the world. I was born and raised here in my country, Cambodia. I do not wait for someone to change or wait until I become an adult and change, but I am the one who makes a change in this developing country, the Kingdom of Cambodia. So, the first step towards anything and everything starts from you and you only.
Liger is an experiential, project-based learning school. This project-based learning is enhanced with intensive activities that involve student immersion in real-world experiences outside of the classroom named “Exploration”. There are my expeditions in 2019:
OutDoor Leadership Exploration
Throughout the journey of learning in this exploration, I’ve learned so many things and have also made some positive impacts on Nature and the Environment. Nature is very important in our lives. Without nature, our lives are just nothing. All of the people around the world know the importance of nature, but because of the mindset thinking only about their own benefits, people started to cut down trees. By cutting down those trees, it killed many animals lives. Wildlife plays an important role in balancing the environment and provides stability to different natural processes of nature. I’ve learned that wild animals can inspire people to lead a sustainable lifestyle. They can invoke feelings of sympathy and compassion, causing people to be conscious of the damaging effects of their lifestyles. Every animal is very gentle if we are nice to them. Learning the importance by yourself first before telling others to do so is really important because if you are not aware of yourself and want others to change and be aware of wildlife then there is no point at all. And when you keep learning and upgrading yourself everyday, you gain knowledge and wisdom to know why you need to change in order to tell others to change this and that. I’ve spread the knowledge and understanding about wildlife to other people in my community because I want people to take care of what we already have instead of thinking about their own benefits and waiting for the end to come, and to also share what they learned from me as well.
Making the place cleaner than what it was is also one of the changes and positive impacts. Because of people’s laziness, they like to leave trash behind after fulfilling their own stomach without thinking that, that one trash affects thousands of lives. As a whole group, we picked up and clean the environment every time we see trash. Ten pieces sound like a nominal number, but it’s scaled immensely when the collective power of a group of travelers joins in. With a group of just 15 travelers, the 10 pieces quickly turn into 150. And if there’s another group of 15 travelers at the same place the next week, that’s another 150 pieces of litter. It soon adds up. When the community sees visitors to their home collecting litter, it encourages them to be responsible for their waste disposal. With this understanding, they can lobby for better litter disposal methods for their communities, and they also become less likely to throw litter into their environment themselves. Just picked up some trash, you became good a role model of the world, not only that, but you will also make the environment cleaner that could bring positive impacts to millions of wildlife. Ten pieces of litter can be collected in under 60 seconds; anyone can do it, and it costs nothing at all.
Being a good role model for the community to see and follow is really important because it affects the lives of young people in our society. Those young people are the future of the country, so if surrounded them are great people, then they might become a change agent in the future that will bring more positive impacts toward our country and make it even more development.
Another project that I made a change in both myself and the country is called “Technovation”
In the last two year, it has been an amazing year learning the Technovation and publishing the real app to solve the real problem in Cambodia. I found out that, I didn’t do a great job on this project, I didn’t focus, I didn’t listen, and I didn’t get the ideas of what is it really about. I felt regret about it so much that if there is another opportunity, I really want to join it again and change myself from the girl without light to a shining and glowing star. And finally, I did it. I join this project again and I was a programmer for the app. I learned and learned until I can make the app runs smoothly. As a whole team of five, arguments happened a lot during the process of learning because we all have different ideas and opinions. But, we fought through it. Collaboration makes the wall break down into pieces. Without those arguments, this team won’t be successful today. To me, successful does not mean winning the competition, but it’s how we collaborate, associate, consolidate, and all of those conversations and arguments. Tears have been dropped after hearing that we were not chosen to be in the National pitch, but all those hard work, determination, perseverance, and the passion of making a change in Cambodia still remains in your heart and mind. Even though the sky was dark and frown that I couldn’t see anything at first, but after those tears have dropped, the sky becomes clear that I could see the light of the sun again. The light the sun awake me and realized me that I did fulfill my dream. I did focus, I did listen, I did read, I did think, I did help my teams, I did talk, I did give ideas, I did overcome the arguments between mates, I did learn how to code on both IOS and Android, and I didn’t just learn how to program the app, but I also learned about life. What did I learn about life? Nobody wants to lose in the competition, winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. No one wins all the time. No one. To me, to lose is truly to win. I learned a tremendous amount from losing! I learn from failures, mistakes, adversity, and setbacks. How I begin to win is by moving forward with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and overcoming my feelings by learning how to be Present in it, Tell someone I trust about my feelings to release it out, Enjoy what I already have, Think about what really matters in life, and Focus on something new and move on. There is nothing attractive about bitterness, but I can get on with attracting what I want. I didn’t rush myself to move on, whenever I feel ready and it’s time to move on, I MOVE ON. And I did move on and walk with a clear mindset to a place of wonder. Not only that I change myself, but I have made a big impact on Cambodia by making an app to preserve Khmer culture through writing more Khmer poems.
I believe in the quote that says “To change your life, you have to change yourself. To change yourself, you have to change your mindset” quotes by Anonymous. If I don’t even change myself, how am I going to change my country?. What I can do to change myself is to hunt deep inside, deep into my corners and closets. I find my prejudices and I challenge them. I find my mountains and scale them. I find every darkness in me and figure out how to generate light in. I found out that, learning about myself and try to change it in a way that will make the darkness disappear is what makes me as a future of Cambodia achieve an ambition of changing Cambodia.