TI Training Camp, where I am empowered


Written By Ms. Chea Sophea, A Women and Youth Camp 2019 Participant

Today I would like to share with you one of the unforgettable memory that I attended an exchange program in the northeast part of Cambodia.

I was selected to attend Leadership Camp 2019 for Women and Youth by Transparency International Cambodia and USAID to train on “Women and Youth Empowerment for Transparency and Accountability” from 06th-10th March 2019 in Ratanakiri province, Cambodia.

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It was such a great and unforgettable experience for me because I have learned many things which added on my existing knowledge namely the leadership, the role of women in promoting good governance, transparency, accountability, and what women and youth can do to develop their community and nation.

It was an incredible 5-day training program that I have ever attended. I would describe my Day 1 as an adventurous day for it was my first time traveling to the furthest province in Cambodia. It was about 600+ kilometer from Phnom Penh city, but I did enjoy the view and the fresh air of Ratanakiri province which helped to heal my stressful life in the city. Once the bus arrived at the camping area, I did enjoy meeting my new friends and many inspiration seniors from TI, USAID, and Veun Sai District.

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Day 2 was an intensive training day. I have learned soft-skills from Mr. Preap Kol and many inspiring women from different fields namely Business, Government, Civil Society, and Journalism, who sacrificed their time and efforts to shared their life experiences and achievements as inspiration for their next generation.

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Day 3 was the day that youths were engaged and empowered to be agents of change for their community. In the morning, I learned a new skill, it is called “Problem Tree” which has helped me to identify root causes and impacts of a certain issue, critically. At the same time, I was trained how to run a project, I was so excited and eagerly wanted to absorb everything from the trainers. In the afternoon, youths were liberated to form their own group to identify an issue in their community, to draft a good project plan, and to write a project proposal.

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Day 4 was an exciting day. In the morning, every group had to exhibit and presented their project plan and proposal to judges and their fellow friends. In the evening, it was the closing ceremony, I was so emotional because I could not believe that the program ended so that fast. 

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Day 5 was the day I said: “see you again soon Ratanakiri”. We left the training camp at 5am and straight to Yak Lom lake to visit a marvelous landmark in Ratanakiri province and the famous lake in Cambodia which has been well-known since the historical era until the present. At 9:30 am, we left Yak Lom Lack for Phnom Penh city.

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After the training program, my motivation and inspiration are finally found. I acknowledged the rights of women, and I do appreciate the efforts of both male and female to keep promoting and empowering women to take part in developing society and nation.

Therefore, I do believe in the law of nature and the universal truth claimed that everyone is born equal. Meaning, you and I are born with 2 hands, 2 legs, 2 eyes, 2 nostrils, 2 ears, 1 big mouth, and 1 big head, physically. As the matter of fact, Equity is not available for everyone even though you and I born equally for we both are not guaranteed to receive the same supports to unleash our potential to the maximum, to possess what we have dreamt, to reach what we have planned for our future. Therefore, International Law has kept claiming and promoting equity for everyone, and we should always aware of what we deserve.

Therefore, International Law has kept claiming and promoting equity for everyone, and we should always aware of what we deserve.

Females are mentally and emotionally strong based upon the temperament that they born with, like males. However, female is globally known as one of gender in the society which is physically vulnerable. Before the Feminist Movement took place, females were inferior by society. Women didn’t realize how much they were so precious to their family, how much they were important to their society and nation, plus, they never question what rights should they deserve as human beings. This has been the victorious movement for women around the world. To me, this is the best legacy of which I am willing to persist in making it last.

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My journey has started kicking in from since. My interest in women affair has kept increasing gradually which triggered me to always involve myself in learning, engaging, and empowering women in my country. I started from being a volunteer since 2015 to promote vulnerable people’s rights (mainly At-Risk people toward trafficking related-matter), to raise awareness about its negative outcomes, and to protect themselves while being immigrant, especially to women as they are considered as the most targeted. However, I didn’t know what women empowerment or engagement is back then. Later, I started attending classes, campaigns, and training which teach me about the women-related affair and expose me to the reality of women issues including the rights of girls and women, reproductive rights, ending domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, voting rights, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

I am Female, biologically and socially constructed. Admirably, I am so proud of the sex and gender that I am born with and defined. Also, I am proud of you for being here reading what I am writing with the aim to talk to all of my fellow females. As you already knew, females are so amazing with the ability to possibly do almost everything that they want to such as produce human beings, specifically the reproduction ability! This is unbelievable, isn’t it? Besides, they able to develop their country, lead their country and promote peace around the world. Or, maybe promote peace around the universe, in case you have already watched an American superhero film, Captain Marvel, you must know the superheroine, Ms. Carol Susan Jane Danvers, who tried to end Kree-Skrull War. I am her die-hard fan now!

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To all my dear lovely fellow women, you should never ignore your rights because you are so significant and you deserve for the best as always. And, remember that you are capable of achieving everything you want to and you can empower other women to be like you.



Camping Experience with TI Cambodia


Written by: Ms. Tang Siv Gech, A Women and Youth Camp 2019 Participant 

I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it is true. Having a chance to join a camping called “Women and Youth Empowerment for Transparency and Accountability” organized by Transparency International Cambodia is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. That was a bittersweet adventurous journey. 

So far, I still remember the first day leaving Phnom Penh at 5:45am for the camping destination which is about 600 km from Phnom Penh. I was sitting on the bus with many strangers, and we were leaving for the same destination. I did not talk much on the departure day to Ratanakiri. At that time, I mostly smiled to everyone there. It was 12 hours traveling that made me exhausted and starving. When we arrived, the first thing that we did was to get recharged our energy by having a big dinner in a table of 10 people. After the meal, the MC called all the participants to gather together in a cycle. Then, this was the beginning point of this camping program.

Another day came, it was the first day that I got opportunity to learn about many new things that I have never known before. The very first session that I got to learn was about leadership and a sharing session on Good Governance which was a very new topic to me. Now, I can have some ideas about what Good Governance is. Moreover, it also empowers and encourages me to understand more about good governance process. In the afternoon, my most favorite part of the day was a sharing session from 4 women who are from 4 different sectors coming together to share us about their experiences and challenges they faced throughout their career. I love to hear their stories, especially their strong commitment on following their passion, and I found their stories were so inspiring. Furthermore, I was grateful that I was also able to meet the guest speakers face to face and asked them for further questions that I would love to hear more. 

The night come again, I made some new friends and started feeling closer to them this time. That was a very weird and funny experience ever for me. I had to sleep in a tent with 3 strangers from different provinces. We had meals together with at least 9 acquaintances on the same table. Surprisingly, I had to use the same bathroom to take a shower with other female participants at the same time. It was incredibly weird but joyful memory.

My second day lesson was getting a sharing experience from a committed and passionate person in volunteering work. Her name is Kakrika, and now she is in my team for our project competition. I as well as other participants spent almost 2 days on finding a team and designing a mini project for making a pitching for running our initiated project. This was my very first time to learn on how to design a project, and that was my most precious moment ever. After a long discussion, we finally designed our own project. It was good that everyone put their effort together in this work. The best point was we all love it. I found it the valuable result of our teamwork.

Excitingly, we also celebrated the International Women’s Day together by having a big group photo as the picture that you will see below as well as the photo contest for every group in each tent.


After my 3 days participating with this program, I am now getting more interested in the following the current development situation in Cambodia, including the political situation, law and regulation relate in Cambodia, particularly in the community that I am living in. I am so thankful to Transparency International Cambodia as well as U.S Agency for International Development for organizing such an amazing camping program to empower women and youth in leadership for good governance. From this amazing learning opportunity, I will bring the knowledge that I learnt from the program to get into my daily practice to strengthen my leadership skill and commitment to be a part in improving the good governance process and be a transparency and accountability individual for our society.