Changing Cambodia 2016-2017

My fifth year at Liger just ended, which means it’s time for another Changing Cambodia post! This year at Liger, I had the guts to get out of my comfort zone, and get involved in projects that would help me in the future, and change Cambodia. I took a break from film making and did some awesome projects that helped Cambodia change, little by little. Two out of five of my explorations really did change Cambodia. They are Iron Deficiency Anemia and Climate Summit.

The first exploration that I had this year was Iron Deficiency Anemia. We were studying about the disease, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and worked with a company called Lucky Iron Fish to help solve this problem around Cambodia. We spent the first four weeks doing research about the disease, the problem with the disease around Cambodia, and working with the Lucky Iron Fish team to plan workshops for people in Siem Reap. The Lucky Iron Fish is a company that makes fish-shaped iron ingots that would help to give enough iron for people’s daily requirements in people’s food by just cooking the fish in a pot. We went to Siem Reap with the Cambodian Operations Manager of Lucky Iron Fish and spent 2 days, doing 4 workshops to the people around Siem Reap. We distributed about 300 iron fishes and about 50% of women around Cambodia has iron deficiency anemia, so that means, we could’ve helped about 150 people with this disease.

The other exploration that I had was Climate Summit. In this exploration, our main goal was to have a summit where high school students around Cambodia be delegates of 6 different regions and discuss ways to keep global warming under 2-degree Celsius. We were working on planning the event and make sure everything goes smoothly. We had teams that reached out to people. There is a team that works specifically with all the physical stuff that is connected to the event. I was on a team with 3 other friends. We were the “scientists.” It’s not part of the Climate Summit simulation to have people talk about scientific stuff but we want the participants to absorb as much information as possible. It was a really hard task for me to take but I’m glad I did. I had to do research, contact people, and turn all that into a presentation that isn’t boring for the audiences. I ended up giving a 15 minutes speech and I had a fun, little activity at the end. I’m more comfortable with showing a film in front of 1000 people than going up to speak to 70 high schoolers but I did it. By the end of the day, everyone was impressed with our work and they got a lot of new information about something not a lot of people talk about in Cambodia. We also did one for the whole senior cohort in Liger. So what did I change?! I helped to spread the words about climate change so people can help to be more aware of it and they will do things to try to release fewer emissions. There is a quote that is something like, if you throw a rock into the water, you will not just hit and stop, it will keep going down. So, we educated about 70 people and it doesn’t stop there. They will spread it to their friends, families, and others.

There were things I did that will be changing Cambodia hopefully, next year, like the waste management exploration and the Khmer Rouge. That will be in my sixth year “Changing Cambodia.” It wasn’t the easiest for me to take on all these challenges for myself, to do more writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and research but I’m so glad I took my chance to do it. It had been a great, fifth year at Liger, and also my first year of high school as a 13-year-old. Next year will be better.

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