Gender Summit

I was one of the organizers/session leaders of the CHANGE Gender Summit, where CHANGE stands for Creating Humanitarian Awareness for the Necessity of Gender Equity, which was held at the Liger Leadership Academy campus on the 26th (English) and 27th (Khmer) of January. The summit was created within an exploration group called Gender Equity where a group of 12 students with two facilitators discussed and created a blog about gender related issues such as violence, stereotypes, women and men involvement in the issues.

The summit consists of four different sections under the theme of “Empower Change while Preserving Culture”; the topics were chosen based of off what we discussed and learned about in class which are language usage, economic, culture and power. These four sessions were led by eight students, two in each, where guided different activities and discussions related to the topics. There were two who was making sure the event run smoothly and was responsible for contacting schools and the other two were pulling out participants (high school students) from each session to ask about their opinion with questions such as:

  1. Being a woman, what are the pressure that is being put on you?
  2. Have you ever discuss these gender issues with your parents?
    1. If not, are you willing too?
    2. If yes, how did they react?

Another student and I led the Language Usage session; we led discussions and activities about stereotypes, the LGBTQ+ community, the connotations and denotations of words such as girls and gay. To me, language is very important when it comes to describing something or rather someone. Different words are used to put labels on people and to differentiate all genders (LGBTQ+) but when they’re absent, one’s identity might be ignored as well. In Khmer culture, there are one word to describe LGBTQ+ people, ខ្ទើយ (khteuy),which is very disappointing and sad because those people couldn’t find a way to express their identity besides, their sexualities are not the same; we can’t use just one word to describe them all. During the sessions, both in Khmer and English, there were moments where I was really impressed with the participants understanding of gender equity and that it’s not a women’s issues, it’s an issue for everyone. Not only females are struggling to fight for their rights to enter any jobs they’re passionate about that are seen to be “males’ jobs” (science, technology..) but males also face those problems due to the fact that they’re restricted by society, which is us, to pursue careers that are seen as “females’ jobs” (ballet dancer, beauty artist…).

In conclusion, at the end of the summit, I realized how different people have different opinions about gender equity because in my mind, the idea that people have the same opinion as me that everyone should fight for equity and that it is an everyone’s issue. This realization was really important to me because living at Liger limits me from outside world, although it’s an amazing place, I don’t get to see how scary it is out there, and that one day when I graduate from here to walk my own paths I’d probably have to face and approach those who have different opinions from me regarding gender equity.

“The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie → link to CHANGE blog



Trip to RDI

This isn’t my first time going to RDI (Resource Development International). The first few times we went there was to learn generally what they were doing, which were making ceramic water filters, water quality testing and hydroponics though this time me and the other 12 students went to specifically learn more about hydroponics.

Snoul Trip

During the To Spray or Not To Spray exploration, our team of 12 students and two facilitators went on field trip in Snoul, Kratie from September 2nd to 4th. Throughout the trip we got to visit organic farms, learned how to make organic pesticides, visited a rubber plantation and factory , planted and harvested carrots. We also went to CEDAC or Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture to learn about how they help, teach and encourage farmers for their farm to become organic, create their own groups for financial support and more.

Learning how to make organic pesticides from yeast, water and mirco-organisms

Harvesting carrots at an organic farm

Minister Day

There was a group of 50 to 60 people from the Ministry of Education and school directors from Phnom Penh came to our school. There were five groups of students presenting. The groups were VIP(visitor information palace), English/Khmer literacy, Recruitment and Science. I was in the VIP team where two of the six students will give a tour of the school to the ministers and school heads. I gave two tours. It’s kind of hard at first because it was my first time giving a tour in Khmer. I would forget the translation for some words and don’t know how to answer some of the questions. It was also very to explain a word like Exploration in khmer because there’s no translation for it. I think I did better the second time because from what I learn from the first I did it is don’t read what you memorized from the script but say what you memorized.



Tech Support 2

Name: Tech Support

Date: November 24-January 4

Number of people: 12


Description: After Tech Support 1 we really wanted to continued our project about fixing computers. We have learned about how internet works, firewall and other internet systems. We even get to teach Tiny Toones student about how to use Edubuntu. Edubuntu is an Operating System (OS). OS are windows 7, Ubuntu, etc… I also had an expertise. My expertise is about Linux(OS). We got a visit from the students from Singapore we’ve been collaborating with by social media. We went to Green Umbrella and Tiny Toones to teach the students together and we fixed computers together. We have fixed more computers and we’ve learn a lot more when we fix computers. For example we learnt more about power supply and how we can control how much volt of electricity it can get.



Time for biking!


At the pagoda.

Teaching about computers

Feeding fish at the Pagoda

Fixing computers togethe

My memoir

 I Realized How Strong I can be in Koh Kong 

Before Koh Kong

At 6:00 a.m. I was sitting at my desk in my bedroom. I was thinking about leeches because the next day I would be going to the evergreen forest in Koh Kong Province. At that time, my brain was imagining scary looking leeches, with their ugly faces and their fat bodies.

This is a picture of a leech.
This is a picture of a leech.

Later, my friend Neang, who comes from the same province as me, came in. She had been in the forest before me. She told me, “It is okay, the leeches will hurt you only a little bit and don’t worry about it too much.” Then we went to the kitchen and had lunch.


After lunch I started to pack. It was hard for me to pack everything from the packing list because it took a long time and there wasn’t so much space in the bag. I had to pack football socks to keep the leeches out of our pants. I also had to pack a blanket and sheet for sleeping.

This is my friends and I. We are trying to organize supplies in each backpack.

I am looking for more supplies.
I am looking for more supplies.

I felt anxious that sleeping in the forest would be uncomfortable for me and that  there would be  a lot of small organisms in the forest that are SCARY. 

 Then I asked myself “Am I strong enough?”. But I already knew that I could do it because my friends always told me I could do it. Then I  started to trust myself.

 Experiences in Koh Kong

One day later was a day that I needed to sit on a bus for about five hours. After we got to a small town called Andoung Teuk, we took a boat to go to Chi Phat.


It took us two hours on the boat to get to Chi Phat. There were many things going on on the boat. For example, Jeff, two of my friends, Malika and Thiny, and I did math. On the boat, all of the students also looked at the view from the boat, talked with each other and watched for birds.


 Jeff, Malika and I were practicing math.

Jeff, Malika and I were practicing math.


This is what it looked like on the left side of the boat.
This is what it looked like on the left side of the boat.


 A lot of my friends often sat on the deck of the boat because it was cool and not so loud.

A lot of my friends often sat on the deck of the boat because it was cool and not so loud.



Two hours later we got off the boat and made a long line to pass all of the bags and other supplies off the boat. When we arrived in Chi Phat it was afternoon, so we went straight to the guest houses.



Thiny, Kanha, Ma Kim and I stayed in the same guest house. While Kanha was taking a bath we put our bags down, then we all waited for Kanha to finish her bath. Later we walked to the Visitor Center to eat dinner altogether.


At the Visitor Center we did our reflection about how our day had been or what was challenging for us and we also shared what we learned. After reflection we went off to sleep. The next day we went into the forest. We walked a lot in the forest. This is the the first time in my life to see leeches. In the forest my legs were bitten by leeches. Now I realized my friend, Neang, was right – the leeches only hurt me a little bit.  Most of the time in the forest we were SCIENTISTS.


Somphors, Kanha and Sothea  holding  visitor fruit. We  picked them in the farm on our way to O’Malu waterfall. Sothea is our driver, he drove us from Phnom Penh, where our school is, to Koh Kong province.
Somphors, Kanha and Sothea holding visitor fruit. We picked them in the farm on our way to O’Malu waterfall. Sothea is our driver, he drove us from Phnom Penh, where our school is, to Koh Kong province.


In the forest we hiked for three days. It was slippery and there were no stairs in the forest. So, we needed to find strong branches to hold on to. Sometimes I found  thorny branches and they hurt my hands. Most of the time I slid down. My knees were cut by the sharp rocks and there was some algae growing on the rocks.


We explored O’malu waterfall and many other waterfalls, streams and the Stung Prat river.  We  slept at the forest shelter in our hammocks. While we were exploring O’malu waterfall my friends and I  picked the fruit called Pring Kchol. It’s a small, black​​​ shiny fruit with a seed inside and it has a long, thin, light green leaves.


We are walking to O’malu waterfall.
We are walking to O’malu waterfall.


And here we are at the O’malu waterfall. Those trees are the Pring Kchol trees. We are getting ready to swim!
And here we are at the O’malu waterfall. Those trees are the Pring Kchol trees. We are getting ready to swim!



After Koh Kong on holiday

A couple weeks after  Koh Kong was HOLIDAY! On my holiday I told my family, friends and neighbors about my trip to Koh Kong. While I was talking, one of my neighbors interrupted me and asked “You are a girl. Can you walk in the forest?”

“Why not?! I am strong like others,” I replied

“In my school called Liger, we don’t care whether you are a girl or boy” I explained.

After a while, I could tell that she understood it very well because I saw that her family didn’t care about whether you are a girl or boy. I knew this because I saw that her husband went to the market instead of her.


Current exploration

My new exploration, after the Koh Kong trip, was Tech Support. In this exploration we went to Singapore and I walked a lot. But I didn’t feel tired or lazy because I walked a lot more in Koh Kong than in Singapore.

I missed the people in Koh Kong and the smell in the village of Koh Kong. For example, the cook that cooked the yummy food for us, the moto drivers that drove us into the deep forest and the owner of the guest house that was nice and  kept the gate open for us when we returned to the guest house late.


My friends walking in Singapore.
My friends walking in Singapore.


My friends in Tropical Forest Ecology at O’malu waterfall!
My friends in Tropical Forest Ecology at O’malu waterfall!


This is why my trip to Koh Kong  is really important to me. I realized that it doesn’t matter if you are a girl or boy.You can do anything you want to if you trust


Tech Support 1

Exploration Name: Tech Support

Exploration Dates: August 13-Oct 3, 2014

Number of Students: 12


Description: Tech Support was the first Exploration of the second year. In Tech Support we learned about technology and helping other organizations, NGOs and Liger with their technology problems. On the first day Max, our facilitator taught us a little bit about the ideas that he made this Exploration. On the next day we started to learn more about technology. We learned about the parts of computers (hardware). On the second week we had a trip to Singapore! Before that day we prepared our clothes in our backpacks. When we arrived at the airport our parents came to say goodbye to us. We were so sad but we were also happy. On the plane people were talking to each other, some people hurt their ears because it’s hard to hear up there in the sky. When we arrived in Singapore we had to wait for the checker to check our passports. After we finished the check step there was a big surprise for us because Robert (the former head of Liger) came and was waiting for us. He came and said hello to us, we were shocked. About 15 minutes later we went straight to UWCSEA South East Campus. We went there because we want to collaborate with them so we can help NGOs and organizations in Cambodia. There were seven members that worked with us. The first day that we met them we played some games to know and get familiar with each other. Then we found out our host family that we were going to sleep with for two days. Our host families were so friendly and kind. We went there and learned with an IT expert more about the hardware of the computers. On the third day we camped in UWCSEA. Also we went to the science museum to learn and have fun. Sadly on Wednesday we had to leave Singapore. When we came back we went to two organizations to help them. One of them is Tiny Toons. They have problems with their computer. We took five computers to fix at Liger. Luckily we fixed two of them already! The other organization is Green Umbrella, and they have a problem with their website so we helped to fix it.

Tropical Forest Ecology Description

Name: Tropical Forest Ecology

Date: May 5 2014 – June 17 2014

Number of People: 12

Essential Questions:

  1. How are organisms and the nonliving environment interconnected in the world around us?
  2.  What is the value of tropical forest ecosystems for Cambodia?
  3. How do humans impact tropical forest ecosystems in Cambodia? Is it possible to use tropical forests sustainably?

Description: In Tropical Forest Ecology we learned about Ecosystems. Ecosystems are a community of organisms that are interconnected and connected with non-living things. We went on two trips because we wanted to experience and see forest directly.We went to Preah Vihear and Koh Kong provinces. When we came back we compared the dry deciduous dipterocarp forest ecosystem (Preah Vihear province) with the evergreen forest ecosystem (Koh Kong province). In Preah Vihear we went to Tmatboey community and in Koh Kong we went to Chi Phat community. We learned about conservation. Conservation means taking care or protecting something. While we learned about conservation, we also learned about sustainable and unsustainable. Sustainable is the action that does not destroy the ecosystem. Unsustainable is the action that destroys the ecosystem. We learned about ecotourism. Ecotourism is tourism that uses and benefits the ecosystem. That is one way that we use ecosystems sustainably.Also we learned about ecological services. Ecological services are the benefits that people get from ecosystems. There are three ecological services such as provisioning services, regulating services and cultural services. Provisioning services are how the ecosystem provides us directly. Ex: Trees give us resin. Regulating services are how the ecosystem regulates the climate. Ex: Trees stop the floods by absorbing the water. Cultural services are how the ecosystems give us something culturally. Ex: Bambuti people use forest plants to smoke for their ceremonies.  We answered our essential questions by using the knowledge that we got from our trips.

Public Relations Description

Exploration Name: Public Relations (PR)

Exploration Dates: March 10th-May 2nd, 2014

Number of students: 8

Essential Questions/ Areas:

1. Literacy Coaching

2. Presentation Skills

3. Global Connections


In our Exploration class, we had three things to work on. The first area was global connections. Global connections mean that we share what we do at Liger with people around the world by using Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and blog. The first thing we used is Instagram because we can post the picture and caption to show what we do at Liger. The second area we practiced was literacy coaching. Literacy coaching is about teaching other students about literacy. This means when students need help to edit a blog or presentation we help them edit and give them some feedback or advice.The last is Presentation skills. The presentation skills we learned about are stance, eye contact, fidget, speed, and volume. Our goal was to share Liger to the world, have more people come to our Exploration Celebration and get more followers on Instagram.


TV Reporter Description

Exploration Name: TV Broadcasting

Exploration Dates: January 20th – March 7th

Number of Students: 8

Description: In the TV Broadcasting group we learned about how to be a good emcee, film, and about the different jobs. We divided into four jobssuch as producer, editor, cameraman, and emcee. A producer has to make a script for emcee. Also they have to make a storyboard and tell the cameraman what plot they want for the video. After all of this, they have to sit with the editor to tell what we want the video about. A editor also has a hard work to do. They have to make sure that the video is right and what they want. A cameraman has to go to take a video with the producer. Before the emcee talks in the real show they have to understand what the script is about. In our class we made one documentary about Liger. Before we made a documentary we took some trips to some TV stations and met with the producer. We went to the CTN channel station and Apsara channel station. We got a lot of experience from the emcee and the producer. It helped us a lot when we made our documentary.