How I Change Cambodia| The Beauty of Change


     On the busy street of London, among the lost crowd in front of the world most influential news platform, there I was, sniffling through the cold air of spring, minutes away from my first live TV interview with BBC. I was sat in between the interviewer and the founder of the Liger Leadership Academy, Trevor Gile. The automated camera started rolling as soon as the last advertisement show stopped. Under the brightest spotlight, I focused my mind on answering the questions, while mentally recalling the training I got the day before. ABC: acknowledge, bridge, and control the conversation. Bam, bam, and bam answers after answers, I finished the five minutes interview where I discuss my transforming experiences attending the Liger Leadership Academy, along with my passion for psychology and plan for the future, with the biggest smile on my face. It was done. We celebrated. I received compliments. That was it — that was what I thought at the moment.

After the video went up on social media pages, it received likes after likes, comments after comments, and shares after shares, and that was when it really hit me. This meant so much more. My family and friends saw it, anyone with access to Facebook and own a smartphone could have seen it. People watched it! They heard my message. They know my story!

It was the shortest five minutes, yet, most impactful time of my life. I was the inspiration.

I grew up in a family of five: my mother, father, and two younger sisters. Education is highly valued in my family, but, unfortunately, only the boys are the priority. Among the many female relatives that I know of, pursuing higher education was never their prime concern; they were all expected to get married and have kids. Naturally, a similar expectation was set upon me and my siblings: finish high school, find some job, then get married. In a small conservative village of Cambodia, my two sisters quickly learned the negative stereotypes of what they can and can’t do because of their gender.

The interview was an opportunity that allows me to show the parents of my capability as a woman. I’ve shown them that I am so much more than the brown color of skin, my high pitched-female voice, the flowy dress that I wore, the puffy black hair that I have, and the feminine body that I own since birth. I am able to show my sisters that their gender does not limit what they are capable of. I am able to show that as a human we all possess the ability to make a difference, and all it takes is opportunity and courage.

Anybody could have done the live interview, but I was lucky to be award with this tremendous chance: a chance to share my story. And I was also, the voice of Cambodia.

Many people learn about my country only of the tragedy and genocide that happened years ago. However, Cambodia is not the death that is caused by landmines, it is not the bloody genocide of 1968, it is absolutely not the nation of poor and traumatized people. Cambodia will be known for the young generation sending satellite to space, the cultural business that is run by 16-year-olds, artificial reefs that were implemented into the ocean by a group of 15-year-olds marine conservationists, the first ever LGBTQ submit in the entire country that was led by a passionate young Cambodian girl, and Cambodia will be known for its success stories. This is who we are. This is what I’ve shown to the world. We are the Cambodians that is going to change this planet.

Watch your back world, we are coming at you!

I used to see change as the direct actions, that is time-consuming, and requires a lot of dedication from many people. However, I have come to realize that change does not need to be direct, time-consuming, or needs a lot of human energy to make it happen. Change could be subtle, yet, impactful. A five minutes video could be equivalent to five years of impact that has the potential to change many lives. Anyone could have done it, and all it takes is an opportunity.

Khmer Literature and Cultural Festival

On the 24th of May, Liger had hosted one of the first ever Khmer Literature and Cultural Festival Day. We had an approximate of 400 participants from schools, NGOs, and private institutions in Cambodia. The festival was initiated with the aim to promote and preserve Cambodia’s culture and language among the younger generations. The festival also allowed an opportunity for students to meet with many Cambodian well-known writers, college professors, and working professionals.

A few of the activities during the festival day​ includes the panel discussion on the topics ranging from an awareness of Cambodian Culture, the evolution of the Cambodian language, Khmer, to the tips and ways to write Khmer poems and short stories, along with presentation at multiple booths, Khmer Clothing Evolution Fashion Show, improved debate and public speaking session, poem competition, writing piece competition, and traditional dance shows.


It was honored to be selected to be the moderator for a discussion on the topic of the evolution of Cambodian language along with two Khmer Literature professors from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With drastic influences of English and Chinese languages in Cambodia, the way younger generations communicate has also changed immensely. One of the trends among the young people in Cambodia is to communicate with Khmer words while writing using English letters. For example; the world thank you which is written out to អរគុណ in Khmer is usually write as r-kun which still mean thank you but it is using the English letters.  

At the very end of the day, I pridefully dressed in traditional clothes and perform a traditional dance as part of the clothing ceremony.

As a Cambodian, I am proud to be able to celebrate, share, and preserve the ancient culture of my country through this spectacular festival.

Liger Khmer Model United Nations Conference – 2019

The Khmer Model United Nations conference (Khmer MUN) was hosted on the 11th and 12th of May at the Liger Leadership Academy’s campus. The conference consisted of a total of 60 participants from three schools: Liger Leadership Academy, Cambodia Children Fund, and Happy Chandara. Approximately, 50% of the participants have never had MUN experiences before and are mostly unfamiliar with MUN style debate and research. The theme of this year discussion is “participation not indifference”. The biggest inspiration behind them is to promote participation among the delegates to work together to form an agreement on the global issues that will lead to positive impacts.

Cambodia Children Fund (CCF)’s delegates
Happy Chandara’s delegates
Liger’s participants

With one and half day time, the delegates discussed and debated on topics ranging from the question of repatriation of colonial artifacts, transitioning to renewable energy, tackling food security, rights of children of incarcerated parents, improving air quality around the globe to addressing equality and legal rights for the LGBTQ community. The team has come up with seven different resolutions to all of the topics above: five of which passed with the majority votes from the committee members. All the debate from three committee started off very quiet, due to the majority of the delegates are new, however about an hour after the debate begin, many of the delegates have become inspire and passionate about the resolutions that they’ve started, the debate was on fire! The delegates continued to make speeches and ask many well thought out questions. One of our delegates have made a total of 11 speeches and asked questions 11 times!

Admin Team
Head of Admin, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General (Left to right)
Press Team


Many of the delegates agreed that this conference has allowed them to explore their passion for public speaking, practice converse using a higher Khmer vocabulary, networking with more people, and understanding the role of the diplomats. Although the debate could be very stressful when discussing these sensitive topics such as the LGBTQ rights, many of our delegates believe that it was a valuable experience and something that no kids should be limited to because of their language barrier.

As the Secretary-General of this MUN conference, I am pleased to announce that the conference was a huge success. It has enabled countless opportunities for the participated students to have a more profound understanding and discussion of the world of the United Nations, the critical issues that the world is facing, and the many possible solutions. This has been a great learning experience for me and those who involved. I am hoping that Model United Nations conference in Khmer will be implemented as an annual event among the Khmer speaking schools. 


Video credit: Yanich Khin, a student at the Liger Leadership Academy. 

Photo credit: The Press Team: Sokea, Kimseng, and Yanich

An inter-generational observation of parental expectations for and definitions of children’s “success” in rural and urban Cambodia

As part of the changing society, we strive to work harder in order to meet with its demand. That is why, often time, parents tend to have many pressuring sets of expectations and standards on their children future. Parent’s expectation is one of the most overwhelming factors that could influence the children decision of their future. This research project will investigates the generalitional changes of parent’s expectation of their children success in the urban and rural Cambodia, through surveying method. Through its investigations, this research will allow the deeper understanding of the Cambodian parent’s perceptions of their children succeed as time changes. A deeper understanding of each other’s expectation would enable a more constructive communication between parents and children. In a fast-growing country like Cambodia, this research has never been done before which make the information even more vital to the citizen of this country.


Statistics is the study of data collection, analysis, organization, interpretation, and presentation. Raw data could be communicated in many ways, some of which includes: scatterplot, dot plot, histogram, box plot, or bar graph. When presenting data, there are vocabularies that are essentials to understand:

Individual: people, animals, or things that are described as a set of data

Variable: characteristic of an individual

Categorical variable: the groups or category of the individual

Quantitative variable: adding or averaging numerical values

Distribution: pattern of variation → shape, spread, and center


When presenting the data, it is important that the data is the normal distribution. In order to access the normality of the data, the data needs to be symmetrical with a single peak, bell-shaped and must follow the empirical rule. Empirical rule is a way to access the normality of the data using the 68 – 95 – 99.7 rule.

68% of the data fall within one deviation of the mean

95% of the data fall within two deviations of the mean

99.7% of the data fall within three deviations of the mean

Smore Lab

As a class, we did a lab called “The Smore Lab.” In the lab, we were given cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate piece to create our own smore. The lab focused on strengthening our understanding regarding chemical and physical reaction, limiting and excess reactants, and theoretical, and percent yield.​​​




I was honored to be selected as the Head Chair for a Junior General Assembly at the ISPPMUN 2018. In the committee, delegates discussed three different topics: the question of the protection of net neutrality, preserving cultures, and languages, and transition to renewable energy.

Many would expect that chairing for a junior committee with younger delegates would be easier, however, I believe that a junior assembly requires greater focus, attention, and dedication from the chair in order for the committee to run smoothly. Although I was struggling at first to create a comfortable and respectful environment in the committee, I soon figured the way and had ensured that all the delegates are benefiting from the conference.

The experience as the head chair has forced me into a leadership position where I have to be sensitive to the delegate’s need including, helping with writing resolution, providing the necessary information, as well as setting up a friendly and comfortable environment for delegates to share their point of views.

Delegates and chairs of JGA2

Taking part with MUN always allow me to expand my knowledge regarding the United Nations and understanding more of the global current event. I have met many other people my age, whom I could learn and grow from. I am very grateful that I took a chance and applied for this position. It was very challenging, yet, memorable experience.  



As a start for our chemistry class this academic year, we focused strongly on doing the experiment as well as designing the experiment. My class had decided to do an experiment on the pH changes as a practice. We’ve chosen an already existed experiment to design the questions, and procedure on.

Question: By adding different amount of the solution into the cabbage’s juice affect the pH?


  1. Chop the cabbage into small pieces.
  2. Add boiling water into the pieces of cabbage, then wait for 20 minutes.
  3. Filter out the cabbage solution into beakers.
  4. Make a 1:1 solution of water: cabbage.
  5. Divide the 1:1 solution into 10 beakers, each beaker contains 200ml of the solution.
  6. Add 10ml of baking soda, lemon juice, bleach, coke, detergent into a separate beaker that contains 200ml of the solution.
  7. Observe the reacting color.
  8. Add 20ml of baking soda, lemon juice, bleach, coke, detergent into a separate beaker that contains 200ml of the solution.
  9. Observe the reacting color.
  10. Compare the new color from the 20ml beakers to the color from the 10ml beakers.  


  Color 10ml Color 20ml Observation
Baking Soda Dark Blue Dark Blue Color changes starting from the bottom. Eventually evenly diffuse OR a student decide to shake it.
Lime Dark Pink Dark Pink
Bleach Dark Green (seaweed green) Orange
Coca-Cola Light Purple Light Purple
Powder Detergent Solution with water Mixed of dark green and dark blue Mixed of dark green and dark blue


Do Differently:

  1. Prepare the cabbage-water solution before class
  2. Make procedures & questions the day before
  3. Have a better way of recording the reaction: could be the color range that can be put into quantitative data (has to be done before class)
  4. Try with a different ratio of water: cabbage solution.

Retain the Voice — (2017 – 2018)

For the first ten years of my life, I lived in a confined community and was less exposed to the world-views. I know many women who gave up their education for marriage or so that their brothers could continue. But I thought, why must women have to make the sacrifice for men? I heard of many jokes about my male friend who seems “FEMINIST” — they sound insulting in my ears, but I never understand why people said them. I felt that it was wrong, but I never have the courage to speak up. Because of that, I thought that I might just be different. I was taught to not question the elders, I was held back because I felt that I was too young to have a voice. I grew up understanding that I should not voice my opinion.


Earlier this school year, I have stepped out of my comfort zone to permit myself a voice by giving a Ted Talk on Cultural Acceptance and Sharing. “Home is where the heart is” was the principle quote of my speech. I was inspired by the many refugees including Cambodian, who have left their home to other countries seeking help. Not only that those people are physically vulnerable, but they also are mentally and emotionally sensitive. Throughout the entire Ted Talk, I emphasize the bond of cultures that gives people purposes and hopes, and that is a bond that holds the communities together. I have investigated the Rohingya refugees, who are being forced to deny their culture, breaking their bonds, and is facing an enormous crisis. I finally spoke up for what I felt was right.


I have to admit, speaking in the Ted Talk and continue to be aware of the world’s issues just isn’t enough. I know that every moment that I breathe, and continue to live this comfortable life there are women who suffered silently from domestic violence and being the victim of rape and sexual harassment. Sometimes, it is just a problem where girls are told to learn to do house chores while guys do not have to do them. The kind of inequality rooted in many young people’s mind. I used to be in that same situation. Do I have to do this if I were a boy? I wish I were a boy. This thought continues to circulate in me. However, being a part of the Gender Equity Exploration has completely shifted my thought. In class, we’ve discussed a variety of gender stereotypes: why are women being seen as weak compared to men, and since when is women were ASSIGNED to the house chores and being a caretaker. I’ve learned that there are people who would listen to my story, and I have the capability to share mine. The conversations were emotional and uncomfortable, but that was what really gave me ideas to speak out and wanting other people to do the same. Not only that we’ve discussed these critical problems, but we also started a comfortable environment that allows people to discuss the same issues and share their stories through an event called Gender Summit. The Gender Summit itself was not a tangible solution, but the end of the day people have comes to many realizations in the gender perspective. Sometimes change comes with a conversation, dialogue, and questions.


Having my voice heard is what I ever wish for. Sharing my story, and allowing myself to hear others, but most importantly inspiring others to do the same was the greatest accomplishment in this school year. I might not start with the strongest voice, but I have made the first move. Therefore, I am encouraging YOU to do the same. “It’s not about finding your voice, it’s about giving yourself permission to use your voice” – Kris Carr.

YouthSpeak Forum


I am honored to take part in an event called “Youth Speak Forum” started by YOUTH for YOUTH. The workshop focuses on two of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goal: decent work & economic growth, and industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Throughout the entire day, we listened to different keynote speakers addressing the topic from transforming ideas into plan and action, being prepared for future job opportunities and changes in a developing world, to promoting job opportunities for women in order to reach the sustainable development goals.

At the end of the day, we also worked with other students to come up with a six-week-long project that will tackle either one of the sustainable goals above, under the theme of, innovation through education, social impact, and business. Overall, all of us find the event really interesting and great networking opportunity and very informative.