In big TED stages and events, we usually see many adult speakers advocating for important social issues, telling their stories and inspiring others and expressing their visions for a hopeful future. However, many youths often do not have the same privilege to express their perspectives in these public speaking forums.
With the vision of empowering youths to “discover, explore and present their big ideas”, the TED-ED Student talk program inspires young people worldwide to explore their passions, ideas and visions while giving them a platform to present those ideas “in the form of short ted-style talks”.
I am privileged to be a participant of the TED-Ed Student Talk Phnom Penh, a 12-week program focusing on enhancing participant’s public speaking skills and other soft skills including collaboration, communication and more.
Every weekend, a recruited group of students and the program volunteer facilitators would gather together for the workshop. While following the official frameworks from TED, our facilitators tried to make the workshop more interactive by adding team-building activities and games, hands-on exercises and small team discussions. The participants would then share their ideas and progress and we would give constructive feedback to each other, a skill practiced a lot throughout the program.
Towards the end of the program, we couldn’t finish it in person due to the unprecedented hit of the covid-19 pandemic; However, all of us still worked hard to create great presentations.
Throughout this program, I was interested in speaking about many different topics including creative writing, reading, climate change and more. At the end however, I chose to speak about “Essentialism, a productivity skill of doing less but achieving more meaningful goals” because I was inspired by Greg McKeown’s book: “Essentialism, the disciplined pursuit of doing less”.
All in all, the TED-ED Student Talk program was a really impactful experience to me. It enabled me to get outside my comfort zone to work with new people, allowed me to learn new skills and grow as a person and as a public speaker. Despite all, what I love the most is the amazing inspiration I get from other student speakers and facilitators. The diversity of passionate young individuals presenting about many important topics gives me hope towards a brighter future. Ranging from ocean preservation, education system reforms, overcoming your fears and more, each presentation offers really valuable lessons for all of us. The connection and support I felt was what makes this program especially special.
Technovation is a global competition that enables teams of girls to ideate a technological solution to a problem in their community they are passionate about solving, develop the application along with business plans to operate their project.
2020 marks my fourth year and fourth project with Technovation.
Given the experience I had from previous years, I wanted to create an application that is crucial to Cambodian’s everyday living and can efficiently help them to cope with the problems they truly struggle with. After careful research and discussions with my teammates, we decided to develop an application that will help to combat the issue of toxic usage of pesticides on vegetation by bringing reliable, affordable, and certified organic or safe vegetable shops to our users.
Therefore, we ideated an application called Chamkar, meaning farm in Khmer, which is an e-shop that allows our partnership shops to sell safe/organic vegetables by posting them. For clients, the shopping process is user-customized and designed for busy&non-expert clients to choose the healthiest vegetables efficiently. Chamkar offers two services (self-pickup & delivery) to fit all customer needs.
Check out our pitch video.
Here are some interfaces of the app that we designed.
As an entrepreneurship-enthusiast, I worked on mostly the business planning side of the team. The most remarkable part of this year’s journey is writing the complex business plan document that includes every component of our project’s descriptions, planning, business strategies, and more. It was my very first time writing a business plan; so I got to learn and explore new interesting parts to operating a business. For example, I needed to conduct numerous research on the problem and how it affects the livelihoods of Cambodians, customer profile, competitors and their market size, the number of potential customers and stakeholders and more. After gathering all relevant data and information, we use those to carefully analyze our market size, future expenditure, revenue and profits, and the overall potential of our project.
Click here to see the full 24-page document of Chamkar’s business plan.
After finishing our project, we presented a pitch of Chamkar in a National Pitch event and submitted it to the global judges.
We qualified as a semifinalist globally and here is the certificate.
Overall, I loved this journey just as much as I loved any other technovation projects before this, if not more. It was a unique experience working on a project amidst a pandemic. It taught me a lot of things such as: soft skills including communications (with local organic shops, farmers, users), collaboration, flexibility, problem-solving and more, technical and entrepreneurial skills including researching and analyzing data, writing a formal business plan, public speaking and pitching skills, etc.
Just as any project, it leaves me with new and precious experiences of exploring a brand-new field, talking to different people and experts, bonding with fellow friends and teammates, and more.
Thanks to Technovation, I got to improve my entrepreneurship skills and got to develop a solution to help my community while learning numerous new things myself.
During the pandemic quarantine, I was given the time and chance to explore topics I am interested in. Climate Change and how it shapes our future is one of the things I seek to explore and study more about. Therefore, I enrolled in an audit online course by Harvard University on EDx on the health impacts of climate change. It was my first time enrolling in an online course by a university, but the experience was priceless. I could study from the best resources including research papers from experts, visual graphs of interesting data and statistics, the discussion videos of the professors and experts at the field, and many others. Upon finishing the course, I wrote an informative essay, using the knowledge I gained from the course as well as further research, in the hope to raise more awareness about this global emergency and powerful solutions humanity needs to focus on.
The Health Impacts of the Climate Crisis and Potential Solutions
“Health is the human face of climate change.” said Michelle Williams from the Harvard School of Public Health. Many understand climate change predominantly from only the environmental perspective, leaving out another indispensable effect of the climate crisis: human health. Intense greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources result in many devastating consequences including sea-level rise and heat rise on land, increased droughts, floods, and extreme weather along with changes in precipitation and more. These unprecedented changes to the environment are triggers to many harmful health risks and diseases that will reverberate globally. The main health risks include those that are caused by heat, air quality, infectious diseases, nutritional diseases and deficiencies, and complications caused by migration.
Climate Change is a global emergency that threatens the well-being of humanity through its many health impacts, and it depends on our actions to divert this fateful path.
The first category of health risks induced by the climate crisis is those that are caused by heat, mainly heat strokes and heat exhaustion. The risks vary by different combinations of heat and precipitation levels. The more heat and precipitation, the higher the risks. Here is the heat index and its health risks in each condition.
The most vulnerable populations to heat-related illnesses include outdoor workers, people with heart failures and diabetes, people who are obese, elders, and pre-pubertal children due to their incapability to shed excess heat well. To further understand how we can reduce heat-related illnesses, we should find it’s main causes. One of the major components that contribute to warming temperatures is the urban heat island — meaning when the temperature in the city region is much higher than the temperature of the rural areas around it. As urbanization increases, so does warming and pollution. Cities are more likely to be hotter than their surroundings due to how they are built with mostly grey asphalt roads and dark roofs (which absorb heat better than white or green surfaces). Actions that are taken to reduce urban heat islands will not only reduce climate change, but will also directly impact many people’s health as well.
One of the most effective ways to decrease heat-related illnesses is to redesign urban environments so they absorb less heat. Some ways are through mandating and encouraging more green buildings and households, planting more trees and vegetations — perhaps through green roofs and hydroponics which are the most efficient methods for urban environments due to small-space requirement and other benefits –, increasing reflective surfaces by using cool roofs, and other energy-efficient appliances and technologies . These alternatives to the conventional infrastructures won’t only help to decrease heat and pollution in the city and increase sustainability and development in cities, but they can also directly benefit the economy, health and well-being of the residents as well. For instance, a report named “The Rise of Green Buildings” from the Economist confirms that “Going green (in buildings) saves money by reducing energy and maintenance costs, and may boost productivity.”
The second component of health impacts caused by the climate crisis is those that are caused by air pollution including Asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases and pollen-allergies. Increased temperature can lead to an increase in ground-level ozone, a highly irritating gas that forms just above the Earth’s surface which can cause inflammation in the airway and damage lung tissue. Furthermore, the increase of carbon dioxide increases pollen output in ragweed plants, which is a big contributor to seasonal allergies, while also lengthening its pollinating season. Additionally, as climate change increases the severity and frequency of droughts and heatwaves, the conditions that trigger wildfires also increase. Wildfires, without even mentioning the health effects, are destructive phenomena — affecting air, water sources and drinking water quality, while destroying countless precious wildlife species. But if we look even more closely, the smoke of burned fires includes many toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health, including acrolein (a lung irritant), carbon monoxide (which can be fatal at high concentrations), formaldehyde, and benzene or PAHs (all of which can cause cancer). According to the World Health Organization, volcanic activities and wildfires affected 6.2 million people and caused 2400 deaths worldwide in the period of 19 years from 1998 to 2017 . These particulate matters, which are “all solid and liquid particles suspended in the air many of which are hazardous that includes dust, liquid droplets, pollen smoke and more”, are contributed mostly by combustion of fossil fuels (mostly coal and diesel). The different sectors that contribute to more particulate matter globally include traffic for 25%, industry for 18%, domestic Fuel for 15%, other human sources for 20%, and natural sources for 22%, according to a research paper titled “Contributions to cities’ ambient particulate matter” by Federico Karagulian and others from Science Direct.
Because transportation accounts for so much of the pollution, we can all help to reduce our contribution by using transportation very consciously. Using a bike or walking whenever possible won’t only help to reduce your carbon footprint and help to save lives by not polluting the air, but you will also improve your health and reduce your risks of obesity, heart diseases, and more health complications. Moreover, by choosing to carpool or take public transportation, using energy-efficient appliances, and using electricity consciously, you will save your household’s expenses as well as making a difference to this global crisis.
Another interesting impact that the climate crisis puts into the pool of its many other dangerous health effects is the increase of infectious diseases. The risks of both waterborne and vector-borne diseases will be increased by pollution and the changes in weather patterns. An example of waterborne risk is the toxic algae bloom which, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US, is “simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater that grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people and many marine species” .
Although rare, these toxins can cause fatal illnesses including headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and numbness or tingling if ingested. These toxic algae blooms are triggered by nitrogen from fertilizers and livestock that flow into the water sources, the increase in water temperature, as well as extreme weather events including hurricanes droughts or floods. Despite waterborne illness, climate change also increases the risks of vector-borne diseases, especially malaria. Warmer temperature will be a sweet spot for mosquitos development until it is too warm and is lethal to them. Because different species of mosquitoes adapt and thrive in different ranges of temperatures, it’s complicated to project the increased risks of malaria. According to an article about Climate Change and Malaria on the UN chronicle, written by S.D Fernando, a professor at the Department of Parasitology at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, “Variation in climatic conditions, such as temperature, rainfall patterns, and humidity, has a profound effect on the longevity of the mosquito and the development of malaria parasites in the mosquito and, subsequently, on malaria transmission”.
Despite the increased risks of both waterborne and vector borne diseases, we can take preemptive actions by reducing the use of toxic pesticides, better managing livestock waste and wetlands, eliminating habitats of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, and continue other proven strategies to combat these diseases like sleeping in nets. Although climate change is creating a stack of obstacles before us, we still have all of the power and chance to combat these diseases.
When we think about climate change, we often do not know that, in addition to the many above health effects, it also will affect crop yields and alter the nutritional composition of our foods as well. This means the climate crisis threatens the world’s food security by decreasing crop yields as well as its essential nutrients.
As discussed in the above paragraph about air pollution and its contribution to respiratory diseases, more heat produces more ground-level ozone which can also impair plant growth and damage leaves. To illustrate more on this ramification of the climate crisis, an article on the World’s Economic Forum written by Zongbo Shi from the Birmingham University wrote: “Pollution from soot and ozone has caused a major decrease of crop yields in India, with some densely populated states experiencing 50% relative yield losses.” 
This means that crop yields are going to boost if the ground-level ozone is decreased. According to the Harvard Course on Climate Change impacts on health,today, ozone toxicity has been estimated to kill enough crops in India to feed 94 million people. In China, the loss of agricultural productivity costs $250 billion per year which equates to about 20% of total agricultural revenue for the nation.  In addition, other threats caused by climate change including heavier downpours that will lead to floods, heat, and droughts as well as sea-level rise and salinization of coastal aquifers are all critical factors that will severely affect agriculture in many places. According to a Nature’s research paper, extreme weather events contributed to about 10% loss of agricultural production globally in 43 years between 1964 and 2007. 
Besides decreasing crop-yields, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also means fewer nutrients on your plate. To enhance your understanding on the relationship between CO2 and nutritions, Kristie Ebi from the center of Health and Global Environment put it best during her TED talk: “that plants, when they have higher carbon dioxide, increase the synthesis of carbohydrates, sugars, and starches, and they decrease the concentrations of protein and critical nutrients. And this is very important for how we think about food security going forward.” 
According to her talk and other studies, climate change decreases the essential nutrients and vitamins including protein (a critical energy provider, immune health bolster and helps to maintain and grow tissues), zinc (critical for the immune system and needed for the sense of smell and taste, leading to lack of appetite if lacked), iron (important for metabolic processes, especially the transport of oxygen in the red blood cells) and the B vitamins (converting food into energy) which will increase deficiencies and associated health risks globally. According to the World Health Organization, 1.4% -1.5% (0.8 million) deaths are attributable to zinc and iron deficiency worldwide.  In addition, “there are about 1 billion people who are zinc-deficient” according to Kristie.
Furthermore, climate change is also leaving immense effects on fisheries. Anthropogenic impacts on the ocean including overfishing along with the effects of climate change including ocean acidification and the loss of corals are huge menaces to the fisheries industry, leading to shifts of diets to more caloric and highly processed foods for coastal residents . This significant impact of the climate crisis on our very plates is especially concerning, considering how much of the world’s population right now is already facing this immense diet-related problem of starvation, deficiencies as well as obesity.
In order to ensure our food security is stable for the future generation, the world needs to limit, if not prevent, the release of more CO2 in the atmosphere or create technologies to plant crops protected from the emissions of this gas.
Lastly, all of the effects of climate change including food insecurity, sea-level rise, salinization, water shortage, and many other extreme weather events are forcing many climate-refugees out of their homes. In some cases, like in the Syrian Civil War, climate change is an underlying factor that can intensify situations and leads to migration.
These refugees who must move against their will surely face tremendous amounts of hardships and health effects, ranging from mental health issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety, as well as physical illnesses including deficiencies, and pollution exposure. Moreover, most refugee camps lack access to clean water and basic sanitation which can trigger an array of illnesses. Despite these hardships, climate refugees aren’t considered as refugees defined by the official definition by the UN, depriving them of the privileges other refugees have.
The most efficient way to reduce climate-refugees is to invest more in climate resilience in vulnerable communities which include small islands in the Pacific and other oceans that are vulnerable including Kiribati, Tuvalu, and others, least developed countries in Africa or Asia, coastal cities and more.
A global crisis calls for global actions. In these past several years, more and more people are exposed to more awareness of climate change and how they can act to help prevent further extreme events and mitigate the effects of our pollution. Organizations, private companies, and academic institutions have been joining hands to accelerate research and framework for actions and policies to be adopted in places needed. Different facilities have different responsibilities to complete their roles in this crisis.
Academic Institutions need to actively educate students on important data and statistics that are needed for actions to take place. Such data includes the causes of climate change and its impacts on the economy, environment, health, and more, as well as proven plans and frameworks for actions that can be taken to reduce them. However, the subjects that students need to know to effectively understand the problems and take action go beyond just climate science. Students also need to learn about psychology, anthropology, and sociology to understand how social and cultural norms along with the way humans think can affect this problem.
Furthermore, we also need more experts and scientists who research more scientific evidence and create groundbreaking technology to help solve this global problem. To see more studies and research, we need to encourage more investment from governments, organizations, and private corporations in this field. By finding new ways to partner with the public and the private sector (including Google or Facebook), academic institutions can accelerate the movement of knowledge generated within themselves to the rest of society. Without bridging the knowledge, data, and insights from research facilities like universities to other organizations in other sectors, we can’t effectively implement changes in our society.
Actions should also be focused on the places that contribute most to the problem, especially cities. Cities account for about 2/3 of global energy consumption and 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.
To intensify the problem, in 2050, it is estimated that 68% of the people will be living in urban areas. It’s crucial for the government in the cities, especially their leaders, to focus their attention on working to solve climate-related problems for their residents because they are the closest and can see closely the problems that they are suffering from the effects of climate change.
Another important aspect of climate change action is financial needs and aids. This is when big bank facilities, like the World Bank, need to come to place. The financial need to assist climate change adaptation demands between 30 billion to 300 billion US dollars by 2050.  Given this immense financial need, the world bank and wealthy countries can invest more in financial aid for vulnerable countries in need.
The call for action especially needs to be taken into account in the individual level.
While these big corporations and governments have huge responsibilities to take care of, we, as individuals and responsible citizens, share this obligation to create a hopeful future for our children and their children. We need to be constantly conscious of the irreversible impacts we leave on this planet and take the responsibility to commit to reducing those impacts. We need to be on the right side of history, and the only way you can do that is to act now and encourage others to do the same. The biggest problem to change is that we believe that others will carry the responsibility to change or that others will save the planet for us. However, do we even have a choice to neglect the responsibility to take action when our planet is in a stage of a crisis? I believe that we don’t have a choice when it comes to an emergency as immense as this global climate crisis. We must educate ourselves, spread awareness, fight for change, and act now before it is too late. Every small action is your choice, and it’s important to understand the worth of those every small contribution you can make. The fate of the future is on our hands, and how it unfolds depends on how we choose to write it now.
“HarvardX: PH278.Ax The Health Effects of Climate Change.” Course, Harvard, courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:HarvardX+PH278.Ax+1T2020/course/.
(This above citation is a course on Edx I took to study the health impacts of climate change and which most of this essay is referenced to.)
Rohani, Heather Adair, et al. “Contributions to Cities’ Ambient Particulate Matter (PM): A Systematic Review of Local Source Contributions at Global Level.” Via Caravaggio 16, I-28922 Verbania, Italy b World Health Organization, Department of Public Health and Environment, 20 Avenue Appia-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland c International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria d European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Via Enrico Fermi 2749, Ispra, VA 21027, Italy, Science Direct, 2015.
With a number of youths greater than ever before, our country’s future lies in their hands; and I am proud to be a youth in this generation. I believe that our new perspective towards world issues, our creativity, innovations, ideas, arts, speeches and the energy we give is a great force towards tackling main global issues. Therefore, amplifying the voice of youths is the key to unlocking inspirations and solutions for the future of our generations.
On the night of December, 21st, 2019, The Annual Youth Talk under the theme of “Creating a Spark” which focuses on transforming the ways young people “Play, Learn, Build and Share” was held in the Neeson Cripps Academy campus. This great event gave a great voice to youth speakers from 9th to 12th grades to share our experiences, ideas and inspirations to our community. The night rocked with overwhelming energy and motivations from each unique speakers.
Most of the topics were about self-improvement including how to get away from your comfort zones, how to better use technology to learn, and problems in society including gender equality. However, my topic was about “Climate Crisis” which sets a different mood in the audience because it wasn’t about a positive inspiration but rather a negative impact and fate we have caused to the planet.
Here is the story behind why I am so passionate about the Climate Crisis and chose to talk about it:
I was introduced to the severity condition of the Earth during the global climate strike day which my school participated in many ways for that day: we didn’t use electricity, we set a zero food waste goal and we all discussed about the topics and made personal pledges.
After that day, I began researching more and more about this crisis, read many articles, looked at many graphs and facts from NASA and other scientists and looked at anything I can find.
Later on, I came across a very inspirational TEDxYouth talk about the Climate Crisis under the title of “Why you should become a climate activist” by Luisa Neubauer which immediately stirred up my passion and when I decided to be a Cambodian Climate Activist, too.
At the Annual Youth Talk, I shared the sciences behind this Crisis, the great environmental effects and the massive extinction that we are going through, and especially how we as earthlings can do to help.
It was an honor to meet Mr.Scott Neeson who is the founder and operative director of the NCA.
I learned a lot from other speakers and from preparing for this event, and I hope the impact will stay with the audience for a long time.
A large number of females all around the world are really new to the idea of Technology and Entrepreneurship, due to the stereotype: ‘Girls who cook, Boys who code’.
For decades, women are seen as uneducated, incapable of running businesses and belong to the kitchen, when men are out in the business world, programming applications and have most of the right to pursue a career they want.
Is it reasonable, fair, and beneficial to continue this stereotype?
Or Must we debunk this stereotype and start encouraging women?
What is Technovation and How it fights the stereotype of girls towards innovation?
Technovation is an international program that offers girls all around the globe (in the age of 12 to 18) the opportunity of learning the skills to become tech entrepreneurs. This 12-weeks program invites girls to work in teams to identify any major or small problems in their community and create a mobile application to help solve the problems. At the end of the program, the teams are required to pitch their ideas to regional pitching events and determine the regional winners. In addition to that, we also submitted our work to the global judges for international competition.
The program focuses on four mains skills including:
Ideation (Identify a problem in the community)
Technology (Develop a mobile app solution)
Entrepreneurship (Build a business plan to launch the app)
Pitch (Bring the business to the market). – Technovation Challenge
The immense impact Technovation has made is hopeful for the future of Girls. According to Technovation Survey from participants, more girls are interested in Computer Science, Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership.
Due to my interest in Business and Entrepreneurship, I have been joining Technovation for 3 years in a row. During these years, I have grown a lot in terms of understanding Entrepreneurial Concepts, Business Management, Leadership Skills and Embracing a team, Professional Pitching, and Public Speaking. After joining this program, I have developed a passion for Tech Entrepreneurship, because I see the need in my community and the great change that Tech Entrepreneurship can bring to my country, and the world.
To continue on my journey with Literature, I have attended a Poetry Workshop that is held at Phnom Penh with the other 7 participants. During the workshop, I have learned new techniques to improve my writing skills, specifically writing poems.
One of the new techniques I have learned is “Show Don’t Tell” strategy when the writer does not just tell the story by saying What is It but writing to explain why and how it becomes what it is and show the depth of the objective. To practice this, we did a writing exercise where we have a picture as our prompt. I have inspired a lot from this activity because using a picture as the prompt for our writing is a new insight for me. It has improved my writing piece a lot when having a picture near me to look up to.
The picture she showed us to exercise the concept of “Show don’t Tell” was a scary room that is haunted. This is the short story that I wrote inspired by that picture:
The Haunting Room
The moment I walked into the house, the doors were slowly moving, creating a strange and haunting rhythm that shook my body. The rooms were like relics from a mysterious past that contains countless painful memories. I shivered as the smell of blood reached up to my nose and realized this is horrifying.
Then, Jessica, who is the facilitator in the workshop, gave us a chance to Meditate about a place that reminds us of a memory or our favorite place. Then, we did freewriting activity and here is a piece of my free writing,
The Warmth of Childhood
Sounds of Calmness and joy, the universal rhythm of nature when water and Earth blend together. The picture is fading in and out, The picture through a little girl’s eyes making a strange shelter out of the sand. Not knowing what is happening around her, she built the sand shelter with concentration. It was her world, it was the place where she belonged to and that moment is the moment she feels the most like herself. as a unique person. She started to step out and into the water of souls calling out to her, the peaceful waves smoothing her steps. She was walking to a loving person’s arm, the word “mom” crept in her mind. At that moment, her world was so small, her mom was the queen and das as a king. They are the only people she truly knew, The arms were holding her close she could hear the beat of the mom’s warm heart. In that moment of joy, the waves splashed as though it seems to be enjoying the warmth of this vast ocean of love and pleasure. It was that wonderful single moment, that all mattered.
I had been joining a program called Technovation for two years in a row (2017-2018). Technovation is a wonderful program which allows girls to involve more in technology and entrepreneurship field. We are required to develop an app in purpose to solve a problem in our community. We also have competed with other teams both national and global. In addition, we made a business plan for our revenue, users population, updating new versions for our app, etc.
As all of us can see, there is trash everywhere in Cambodia which is an exceedingly huge problem waiting to be solved. It can affect Cambodia’s tourism, economic and especially environment. Consequently, my team in 2017 named green world had decided to develop an app called Clean World to give more information about trash and environment to our citizens which let them to learn more about the benefits of dividing trash.
Our app can also motivate Cambodian citizens as well as tourists to help solve this problem together. Even Though the app is not in the market, we have made a prototype of an app to solve this problem. In addition, we have also raised awareness of change when we did the presentation in the mini pitch and national pitch.
This year, (2018) my team (Five Infinities) have created an app called MEP Center which stands for the word Mechanical, Electricity and Plumbing Center. It is an app that helps customers to find suppliers to go and fix their MEP problems and suppliers to find more customers to work with.
I am extremely proud of this app and we got a lot of support and positive feedbacks to it. My team has also gone to Iching Decoration company to get feedbacks and reflections and they ensured to use our app 100%. This is my first startup and I think this business is the most successful one I have had. It helps me to extend my ideas and creativity of solving problems in my community. Not only that, it is a huge step towards my dream of becoming a businesswoman. We have raised awareness of change during the two pitches (Mini Pitch and the National Pitch). The National Pitch presentations are judged be three judges who are Ms. Penhleak CHAN, Tech Innovation Consultant, Mr. Sopheakmonkol SOK, Chief Executive Officer at Codingate, and Ms. Sikieng SOK, Curriculum Developer for Saturday Kids. One thing that is really interesting is that there is always one judge in each pitch that had the same idea as our team which means that people are really struggling with this problem.
After putting all of our hard works and collaboration together, we are the first place winner team of the national pitch 2018.
After our presentation, there were to groups of reporters who were asking us to do interviews. Two weeks after the national pitch event, a tech company called Geeks of Cambodia wanted to do an interview with us, too. One question in common that they have asked our team is “What are some messages that you want to give to other girls in Cambodia?” My answer was always be “We would love to encourage all girls and females to participate more in technology and entrepreneurship field. Nowadays, our country needs more human resources in technology and entrepreneurship field in order to develop our country. We have experienced all struggles and one thing we found out is that THE STEREOTYPE IS NOT RIGHT! You have the strength to do everything you want and become anyone you wish to be. Girls can actually code a wonderful app and run a really successful business. We can do it girls! Come on and show your potential!
”My goal is to actually launch this app even though if we will not pass in the global competition because it is an extremely wonderful app that I think it must be in the market one day to make lives in Cambodia more efficient. When we have launched our app in the market and the expected number of users have reached, we have actually created a big change for Cambodia. If this app works well in Cambodia, I would love to launch it in other countries, too. This can help impact to become bigger and bigger.
For more information, here are the articles about our start-up application that are written based on our interviews from different sources including VOA, Geeks in Cambodia, Development Innovations, :
TEDx is a wonderful opportunity for me to start chasing my dream which is make positive changes to the world. At this event, I talked about “Protecting Cambodian Elephants”. There, I mentioned about the advantages of elephants in ecosystems, Cambodian Culture, Buddhism and how their populations have dwindled over the period of modern development. I tried my best to convince all of the audience to start helping to save those rare elephants by many ways. The first solution that they can use to save elephants is stop riding those elephants for entertainment. According to my research, there were several elephants that died in Vietnam because tourists rode on them for fun. In fact, there are many tourists that are riding these huge animals in Angkor Wat. The second way to help saving elephants is stop deforestation and plant more trees to create bigger habitats for elephants. The final solution is acting from your heart instead of for profits. If all of you love elephants, you must start to practice the past solutions and share the knowledge and understanding out to the world I was very satisfied of this opportunity because it gives me a chance to express my love of wild animals and my concept of preserving those endangered animals especially elephants. I wanted to make a community of support to preserve those rare animals and wildlife by spreading . Delivering a public and long talk is not an easy thing to do but it is worth the change of positive mindsets and lessons that needs to be shared. For viewing the video of my TEDx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZxOUsLkGw
Khmer Literature Festival is a really amazing event which is being held 3 days in Battambang city. This main purpose of this festival is to raise awareness about literature in Cambodia as well as giving opportunities for youths, authors and all kind of people to gather at one place, then discuss and exchange ideas about literature as well as other skills. We have met many wonderful authors, including Mr. Tim Many, Mrs. So Phina, Mrs. Pol Pisey, the publisher of Sipar books company, etc.
I have learned new useful skills including graphic designing and how it can apply to make book covers, how writing books can help our societies and help to share untold wonderful stories. I realized that literature is a huge factor in order to develop our countries. We use literature to communicate, to share knowledge, information, and stories that can inspire many people.
I was satisfied with all of the activities in this festival, especially when I got to share my poem during the competition entitled “Bike and Poem”. I was happy sharing my love for literature, writing poems and especially I got to recall back to when our ancestors risk their lives to save this beautiful country. As unexpected, Vutha (a junior student in Liger Leadership Academy) and I won the first place in the competition. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to join and share the poem with other people.
My highlight was on the last day of the event. I loved the outstanding performances of Khmer traditional heritages including Chapey Dong Veng, Ken dance, etc. In addition, Phare Ponleu Selpak circus team also gave us unbelievable moments seeing them showing their talents.
Overall, the festival was a splendid opportunity for me to learn about Cambodia literacy, culture and many new skills. I got to exchange ideas, listen to presentations and ask questions which gave me new experiences. The festival was satisfying and I would like to give a big thank to the organizer which made these events happened.