Oukdom is our Better Futures Program Officer, who started working at JWOC in December 2020, this is his first experience so far in this position and he is in his final year at university. Read more about his 3 months reflections below: 

1- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am Oukdom. I live in Siem Reap with my parents with three brothers and a sister. Currently, I am on my last subject for my university degree at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Coming along with my academic studies, I had worked for Australia Pacific International School (API) before becoming a JWOC staff. In addition, I volunteered at Hong Kong University, Cambodia Living Arts, Culture Exchange in Thailand, and Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC). 

2-Why do you want to work for JWOC?

JWOC has been a part of my life; education, memories, experiences, community, and so on. This might be an inevitable reason why I want to work for JWOC. I started with JWOC as a student in the Free Classes Program and volunteered. Luckily, I got and started a full time position job at JWOC on December 06th 2020 as a Better Futures Program Officer. 

3- How has your experience working for JWOC been so far?

So far so good. I have learned various things through these periods of time; the working environment and people are great. Here, we work as a team; we help, support and listen to each other. For me, these are such great and exciting things. Moreover, I have learned from people, especially students. 

4- What are the types of things you do on a daily basis?

With my position, I am responsible for student’s recruitment for the program, and I work closely with them (high school and post high school) to provide support when they need to ensure they can fulfill their potential. Additionally, I work in partnership with other NGOs, schools, private sectors and accessible sources plus some admin tasks.

5-Can you give us an update on the Better Future Program either post high school and high school recruitment process?

Currently, we have 68 Post High School students (divide into 3 classes) and 29 High School students, plus 25 new students are being recruited. But due to COVID-19 has recently spread out in the country and especially new cases in Siem Reap, so we decide to delay our high school program until after Khmer New Year and for post high school that started in 1st of March, they will move to learn online class instead to prevent COVID-19 spread out in communities.  

6-What has been exciting and/or challenging?

However, there are some challenges with my position as well such as the time management, (especially with the recruitment plan that we need to be adjusted or amended since the Covid-19 impact), and to communicate with students. 

7- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at JWOC?

I generally like photographing apart from work. Therefore, I like to go out meeting friends and shooting very often, but I don’t really like to talk to people whenever I go out. Also, I like being myself and having my private time. Furthermore, I like listening and watching English songs & movies.

8- What advice do you have for other youth?

From my personal point of view, I would advise Cambodian youth to work hard on their studies, be aware of what you like with a specific goal of what they want to do and do not give up. 

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