TI Youth Camp 2019, “Peer-to-Peer Empowerment Project”
Written by Ms Ros Dane
It has already been a year when I first joined the training camp organized by Transparency International Cambodia (TI Cambodia) that took place from 6-10 March 2019. It was an enjoyable experience to get a chance to travel to the northeast province of Cambodia, called Ratanakiri. It was such an unforgettable moment where about 100 youths, come from different provinces with diverse backgrounds, gathered together to strengthen leadership skills. At the same time, we learned about the roles of women and youths in promoting good governance, transparency, accountability, and especially community development project under youth led initiative.
With the group forming during the camp, our group members were mostly from Phnom Penh, had come up with a short project namely “Peer-to-Peer Empowerment”. Prey Veng province was the project target area and there were several reasons why we chose Prey Veng as our target area to implement the project. Firstly, due to a noticeable increase of youth clubs thus far, the durability of youth clubs in each community, as well as their social engagement in doing social activities in their communities relatively, are still enervated. The major causes are youth haven’t received any leadership training and also soft-skill development and thereby making them lack courage and capacity in leading their clubs durably and sustainably with the recognition from local authorities. On the other hand, the deficiency of mentors in the aforementioned villages causes numerous obstacles in several communities, such as students’ poor academic performance, school dropout, drug-using, etc. All of the above problems are indeed the motives in driving human capital development and promoting youth’s understanding of good governance and civic engagement.
Taking these into account, our youth group was eager to help build the capacity for Solidarity Youth Club for Chrey Community Development so that they have enough capacity in leading their club successfully, keep sharing knowledge with their peers, and develop more activities in their communes with transparency and good governance. By the end of the Peer-to-Peer Empowerment project implementation, our team expected:
- 29 youth club members (19 female) improved leadership skills and key techniques in managing the sustainability of the youth club
- Recognition from local authorities toward the role of youth in social engagement especially women
- 60 youths (36 female) learned about good governance and civic engagement
- Youth to be aware of the importance of social inclusion
Proudly, after the youth camp finished, our project had been selected to be implemented and funded by USAID through Transparency International Cambodia (TI) with the physical support from a mentor of TI. Our team members learned a lot from the process specifically project management, coordination, budgeting, teamwork, and task delegations. Our project gradually began its training preparations, including material needed, and resources allocation with responsible tasks of each team member since April 2019. The actual date of project implementation was on 20-21 July 2019 at Trapeangre village, Chrey Commune, Kompong trabek district, Prey Veng province.
By the end of our project implementation, there were 50 youths among 66 participants attended the training. Meaning, 50 female youths have been empowered ever since. Before starting the training, they were required to complete an assessment questionnaire regarding good governance and leadership which we aimed at testing their understanding of the above-mentioned topics. Consequently, there was a difference in the pass rate between Pre-test & Post-test. Only 30% passed pre-test; on the contrary, 80% of participants could answered and opted the correct choices in Post-test. During the period, we were pleased to gained venue support from Chrey Community Chief and Chrey secondary school principal to run the whole day training event.
Without my teammate’s commitment and passion for giving back to the community, the project wouldn’t have done. I would like to show my utmost respect to the whole team especially my team leader. They deserved all the achievements and appreciations for delivering a great impact which fostering more youth engagement and empowerment. On behalf of my team, I would like to express my acknowledgment to the Transparency International Cambodia (TI) and USAID for both physical and financial supports to our activities and giving us chance to move the “Peer-to-Peer Empowerment” project successfully with intention to strengthen youth’s capacity, engage more youths to actively participate in civic engagement, and determine to transparency and accountability. To Cambodia youths, please be brave to speak up your belief, take positive action, and be active in social engagement. I believe we can make a better community as we all wish for in the present and future.
Peer-to-peer Empowerment Youth-led Initiative is one of the initiatives developed and implemented by youths to raise awareness of corruption and its impacts on society with the main focuses on public service delivery, budget transparency and women and youth empowerment in leadership and decision making process.