Youth Empowerment Project – The End of 2017
Youth Empowerment (YE) is one of the projects in the Learning Center. The class started at the same time as other classes in early November 2017. The purpose of YE class is to build students’ personal, interpersonal and life skills; we commonly here refer to soft-skills. The students spend three hours week to attend in different sessions at the Learning Center. On top of that the facilitators connect students the opportunities to learn from outside trainers, to explore places, learn music and play football. When the students enjoy, they are inspire to learn more.
In the last few months, the students have learned many topics such as Goal Setting, Time Management, Facilitating Skills and Report Writing in YE class. The sessions also provide the students the time, and space to reflect and participate in game and team building activities. In December, the students participated in Reproductive Health Workshop with RHAC (Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia). The workshop aimed to raise awareness among the students about safe behavior and how protect themselves from communicative diseases through sexual intercourse.
With the spare time available, the students also visited Theam’s Gallery in Siem Reap. The gallery shows very rich Cambodian culture. They displace the Cambodian livelihood, and its traditional wooden house-atelier. The students learned from talented artists and also see their works in the gallery. Each piece of the arts reflects a strong connection to the culture and the people. The place also train and employ many local Cambodians, especially women.
In November 2017, the current scholarship students registered to study music in Music for Everyone School (MES). So far, they have learned basic guitar skills such reading chord, playing easy songs and drawing pictures. Through this course the students can learn something fun outside of their regular schedule at PEPY Learning Center. Most of the students said that they enjoy studying and learning music. They feel fresh at the weekend after working hard during the week day. It is not just about music alone but they also learn about teamwork through cycling to school and sharing knowledge and skills who to play the instruments. On the other hand, we have also faced some challenges. Firstly, the art teacher got sick for a long time, meaning the students have to miss the classes. They could not find any new teacher. Secondly, the school moved to the new place which it is far for the students to cycle. Finally, our schedule this year allows students to study only one day per week which is less than last year even though the need more time to practice. The music class is usually on Friday morning and in the afternoon the students play football together. Regarding the challenges, the students still enjoy learning music and arts and playing football with their friends.
A group of older students, 13 of them, joined a workshop on Short Story and Poem Writing with Writing through team. The students learned about the skills and processes involve in writing a good story or poem. They need to use their creative, imagination and critical thinking skills to form story lines. The workshop has helped the students to communicate their ideas in English, learned new concepts of writing, and enhanced their individual self-esteem. The trainers were very enthusiastic and very good at encourage students to express their opinions and connect ideas. The theme that they focused was ‘RISK’. The students were very happy to be able to write their individual stories matched with the theme. By the end of the workshop, the students had one group story and one group poem to share with PEPY, plus individually, each student has their own poem.
During the three months, the students have visited three universities namely, the University of South-East Asia (USEA), Vanda Institute of Siem Reap Campus, and Paññasastra University of Cambodia. The main purpose is to allow students to have ideas about the schools, leaning aobut their courses, learning environment and resources available for their future classes. After visiting the universities mentioned above, many of the students would like to become accountants, English teachers, computer teachers and lawyers, careers that they can study at some of the universities they visited. Soon, they need to choose their major and school. We wish them good luck.