JWOC’s youth leadership project: developing resiliency in the time of COVID19

July 6, 2021

JWOC’s Youth leadership project  involves both students in our University scholarship and Better Futures programs. It provides opportunities for the students to engage with their communities and become real leaders through running social projects, volunteering activities, and mentoring. 

  1. Social Impact Projects

Those who work on the social projects have come up with different problem statements and they are now in the process of collecting data to verify if the problems they see in the community are real to help them to design their projects. Let’s read and see what they have done as follows: 

  • Lack of opportunity to continue higher education: is the real experience of one of this project’s members. To find out whether this problem is faced by their wider community, they have conducted an interview with a group of high school graduate students and their guardians in Ampil commune, Bakong district, Siem Reap Province.  They found out that 69% (12/17) of students lack the opportunity to go onto higher education because of several reasons such as family situations (poor & sick), transportation, hometown is far from the city, lack of information, and migration to other countries. This problem will cause these groups of youth to lose the opportunity to build their capacity and cannot compete for decent jobs.  
  • Lack of knowledge in plastic recycling: this team came up with this problem because they care about the environment that they are living in and they also see that JWOC has integrated the Green Policy among its associates; therefore, they would like to support this as change makers. To make this change possible, they have placed a survey by using google form with all the year 2 University students about their knowledge in plastic recycling.  The survey result showed that 70% (14/20) of students know how to recycle the plastic; whereas, 30% (6/20) of them don’t know how. It seems to look good in terms of result; however, in reality they found out that 80% (17/20) still use plastic in daily life (i.e. going shopping) with several reasons such as easy to carry the stuff, forget to bring the bag when in a hurry, and buy a lot of stuff so need the extra ones. 

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  • Time wasted on using social media more than learning: this project team sees that the internet is increasingly used by many people especially youth during this pandemic outbreak, so they are concerned that youth will waste their time on using the internet rather than studying. To help them to design this project, they have surveyed all year 3 University students at JWOC about their habit of using social media. As a result of the survey, 42% (8/19) of students reported that they have wasted their time using social media rather than studying. This is because they have many friends to chat with, have so much free time and don’t know what to do, and entertain themselves to reduce stress. 
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Recording interviews with target audience
  • High school dropout rate: is chosen by one of the year 4 students, named Sreydy. She’s now in the process of collecting the data with one of the high schools outside Siem Reap city and expected to be ready for the project design by the end of July.  
  • Youth’s financial crisis during covid-19 & fundraising difficulty: these two problems are addressed by a group of year 4 students who are willing to do fundraising projects to address this problem. However, they need to conduct research first to find out if it is a real need and now they are in the process of conducting the surveys with their target groups. 

2. Volunteering Activities: 

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Vichet volunteering at Spean Chivit

8 students chose to do the voluntary work in order to give back to their communities and all of the options came from their own passions and decisions. They are now in the process of implementing their activities and they volunteer as English teachers, general subject teachers, marketing agency for farmers, online meeting events coordinator, and admin & home garden support. Let’s meet with one of our volunteer students, Vichet! 

Vichet is one of our students, who is in his final year at university, majoring in banking and finance. Since the beginning of 2021 he has done three different activities to help his community such as cleaning the river with Mulberry  Boutique Hotel, food donation with his university friends to low income families, and currently supporting home gardens and documents review with Spean Chivit organization.   

3. Mentoring project: 

4 of our Year 4 University students were selected to become mentors for the high school students enrolled in our Better Futures Program, in order to support them, especially during this hard time.  They have been developing their relationships with the students, and their support is appreciated during the ongoing school closures and lockdowns. Let’s meet with one of our mentor students, Dong!

Dong is a current year 4 student at JWOC who is in the final year of his Bachelor degree in Law. Apart from his school and work, he is a mentor for 7 of our Better Futures students and they meet each other weekly to discuss common issues and do general chitchats through online. On his birthday, he decided to spend a few hours creating a video about 21st century leadership skills which he has learnt from JWOC to celebrate by posting on his Facebook account and also help others; especially his mentees to understand what the core skills needed are for the 21st century leaders. Let’s watch his video here!

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/1Ce3L1LO99bslH-AhFpMMzEbjA0FglxBSzQDQRdgtO_z57hS1WhzgUIOmzgHiUXDULk9pFfiMXjQfFuh_su0YE9W4b96JwrgMBXgfb-1yfpbYcjfOwAYjJeQrqGR3yQ6s-41s09j
Online mentoring session

All in all, we are really proud of our students that they have shown their great effort to help their communities even though they are also having a really hard time. We hope and are excited to see more impacts they will make throughout the year. Thank you to GoPhilanthropic Foundation, the Collette Foundation and the individual donors who are supporting this project!

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