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.



ទីកន្លែងថ្មី បទពិសោធន៍ថ្មី និងគម្រោងថ្មី


សរសេរដោយ កញ្ញា សោម សុខាជីវី យុវជនសកម្មរបស់អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជាមកពីខេត្តសៀមរាប

ខ្ញុំក៏ដូចជាអ្នកដទៃទៀតដែរ ជឿថាអំពើពុករលួយគឺជាបញ្ហាដ៏ធំបំផុត ដែលរារាំងនូវការអភិវឌ្ឍសង្គម និងសេដ្ឋកិច្ច នៅគ្រប់បណ្ដាប្រទេសទាំងអស់នៅលើពិភពលោក។ ខ្ញុំធ្លាប់គិតថា ប្រសិនបើខ្ញុំចង់ ចូលរួមចំណែកក្នុងការប្រយុទ្ធប្រឆាំងនឹងអំពើពុករលួយនោះ ខ្ញុំគួរ តែចាប់ផ្តើមបើកចិត្តឱ្យទូលាយ ដើម្បីរៀនសូត្រពីអ្នកដទៃពីបញ្ហាអំពើពុករលួយ និងធ្វើការងារនោះទាំងអស់គ្នា។

ការប្តេជ្ញាចិត្តរបស់ខ្ញុំក្នុងការប្រយុទ្ធប្រឆាំងនឹងអំពើពុករលួយ ចាប់ផ្តើមកើនឡើង តាំងពីថ្ងៃដែល ខ្ញុំបាន ចូលរួមក្នុងកម្មវិធីភាពជាអ្នកដឹកនាំវ័យក្មេង (YLP) ដែលត្រូវបានរៀបចំឡើងដោយ អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជា នៅខេត្តសៀមរាបក្នុងឆ្នាំ២០១៨ មកម្លេះ។ បន្ទាប់មក ខ្ញុំបានបន្តដាក់ ពាក្យសុំអាហារូបករណ៍របស់កម្មវិធី Transparency Fellowship នៅក្នុងប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ី។ ខ្ញុំមិន ដែលគិតសោះថា ខ្ញុំអាចក្លាយជាបេក្ខជនម្នាក់ក្នុងចំណោម១០នាក់ ដែលត្រូវបានជ្រើសរើសសម្រាប់ កម្មវិធីនេះទេ។

កម្មវិធី Transparency Fellowship គឺជាគំនិតផ្តួចផ្តើមមួយរបស់អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជា ក្រោមកម្មវិធីពង្រឹងអំណាចប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ និងយុវជន។ កម្មវិធីនេះមានរយៈពេល៨ ថ្ងៃ ដែលផ្ដល់ ឱកាសឱ្យយុវជនកម្ពុជាចំនួន១០ នាក់ មកពីតាមបណ្តាខេត្តនានាជុំវិញប្រទេសកម្ពុជា ធ្វើទស្សនកិច្ច សិក្សានៅតាមស្ថាប័នផ្សេងៗនៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ី ដែលកំពុងតែ ធ្វើការទៅលើការប្រឆាំងនឹងអំពើ ពុករលួយ និងគំនិតផ្តួចផ្តើមទាក់ទងនឹងអភិបាលកិច្ចល្អ។

រយៈពេល៨ថ្ងៃ របស់ខ្ញុំនៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ី បានធ្វើឱ្យខ្ញុំឃើញនូវពិភពលោកថ្មីមួយ។ ដោយសារតែវា ជាលើកដំបូងរបស់ខ្ញុំដែលធ្វើដំណើរទៅក្រៅប្រទេស ខ្ញុំទទួលបានបទពិសោធន៍ថ្មីជាច្រើន ដូចជា របៀបរស់នៅរបស់ប្រជាជន អាហារ វប្បធម៌ម៉ាឡេស៊ី និងបរិយាកាសដ៏ទំនើបនៅទីក្រុង។ ក្រៅពី បទពិសោធន៍នៃការរស់នៅបែបសម័យទំនើបដូចជាទីក្រុងគូឡាឡាំពួ យើងក៏មានឱកាស ទៅធ្វើ ទស្សនកិច្ចសិក្សា នៅតាម ស្ថាប័នមួយចំនួន ដែលធ្វើការលើអភិបាលកិច្ចល្អ និងប្រឆាំងអំពើពុករលួយ ដើម្បីរៀនពីរបៀបដែលរដ្ឋាភិបាល និងអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិល ធ្វើការដើម្បីប្រយុទ្ធប្រឆាំងនឹងអំពើ ពុករលួយ។

លើសពីនេះទៀតខ្ញុំក៏បានរៀន ពីរបៀបនៃការបង្កើត និងការបញ្ជូន សារអប់រំទៅកាន់សាធារណជន ដើម្បី រក្សាសុវត្ថិភាព និងសន្តិភាពក្នុងសង្គម ក៏ដូចជាសារអប់រំដែលលើកម្ពស់ការយល់ដឹងពីបញ្ហាអំពើ ពុករលួយនៅក្នុងប្រទេសរបស់ពួកគេ។

នៅពេលដែលដំណើរទសន្សកិច្ចនេះមកដល់ទីបញ្ចប់ បទពិសោធន៍ទាំងអស់នេះ បានឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងខ្លាំង ណាស់ ពីខ្លួនខ្ញុំ។ ឥឡូវនេះខ្ញុំយល់ថាអ្វីៗ​ដែលខ្ញុំបានរៀនសូត្រពី​បទពិសោធន៍នេះគឺ​សម្រាប់​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ខ្លួនឯង ដើម្បីធានាបាននូវ​ការប្តេជ្ញាចិត្តដើម្បីការចូលរួមចំណែក​របស់ខ្ញុំ​ក្នុងការ​ប្រយុទ្ធ​ប្រឆាំង​នឹងអំពើពុករលួយនៅក្នុងសហគមន៍របស់ខ្ញុំ និងនៅទូទាំងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាផងដែរ។

បន្ទាប់ពីបានចូលរួមក្នុងដំណើរទស្សនកិច្ចសិក្សាដ៏អស្ចារ្យនេះនៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ីរួចមក ខ្ញុំពិតជា​រីករាយ​យ៉ាងខ្លាំងណាស់ ដែលខ្ញុំបានចូលរួមជាបុគ្គលិកហាត់ការរបស់អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជានៅខេត្តសៀមរាប ខ្ញុំសង្ឃឹមថាខ្ញុំអាចបន្តចូលរួមសកម្មភាពនានា ក្នុងការប្រយុទ្ធប្រឆាំងនឹងអំពើពុករលួយនៅកម្ពុជា។

ខ្ញុំសូមថ្លែងអំណរគុណយ៉ាងជ្រាលជ្រៅចំពោះអង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជា ដែលបានផ្តល់ឱ្យខ្ញុំ និង​យុវជនប្រាំបួននាក់ផ្សេងទៀត នូវឱកាសក្នុងចូលរួមកម្មវិធីTransparency Fellowship។

កញ្ញា សោម សុខាជីវី គឺជាយុវជនសកម្មរបស់អង្គការតម្លាភាពកម្ពុជាមកពីខេត្តសៀមរាប។ នាងគឺជាបេក្ខជនម្នាក់ក្នុងចំណោមបេក្ខជនទាំង១០រូបដែលត្រូវ​បានជ្រើសរើសឱ្យ​ចូលរួមនៅ​ក្នុងកម្មវិធីនេះ​។ ការចូលរួមនេះទៀតសោត ត្រូវបានធ្វើតាមរយៈដំណើរការ​ជ្រើសរើសរួម​មានការធ្វើតេស្តសរសេរ​ និងសម្ភាសន៍។ ក្រោយពេលដែលបេក្ខជនត្រូវបានជ្រើសរើស អង្គការតម្លាភាព​កម្ពុជា បានរៀបចំវគ្គបណ្តុះបណ្តាល សម្រាប់យុវជនមុនពេលចេញដំណើរទៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ី ដើម្បីផ្តល់ចំណេះដឹងឱ្យពួកគេ ស្តីពីតម្លាភាព សុចរិតភាព អភិបាលកិច្ចល្អ និងការប្រឆាំងអំពើពុករលួយ។

3rd Place Essay Contest Winner – What Can Youth Do To Stop Corruption?


This is the 3rd place winning essay in TI Cambodia’s Essay Writing Contest. By Thlang Chiva.

3rd place - Thlang Chiva

Thlang Chiva.

Every time we hear or describe Cambodia as a corrupt nation, we are not referring far beyond ourselves. Most of us, if not everyone, has been involved in some form of corruption, at least by not doing anything about it. So much has been emphasized on the role of us youth in fighting corruption, but why are we still not strong enough to break through it? We all have similar complaints and frustrations over corrupt acts and their evil consequences. But why couldn’t we establish a shared action countering its existence? The reasons lie in our untapped power which is trapped by the deficiency of individual values and the fragility of common interests. Therefore, the key is to rebuild our values and be a responsible citizen starting today.

Let’s start by doing a self-reflection. Calling ourselves Cambodian youth simply means we are nearly or over 20 years old, and have been exposed to countless acts of corruption. Some of them have become social norms we practice every day unknowingly. Do you intend to get a government job with exploitable hours for another private job? When facing a conflict, do you automatically think of powerful relatives or friends who can back you? Do you decide on a supplier contract who are your relatives without serious evaluation against other bids? Do you wish to make profits from business regardless of ethics and legality? Do you prepare $10 for commune staff to get your ID card faster? This is petty corruption, but once increased in size and hierarchy, the results are socially and economically destructive. A company staff member and a minister might commit the same form of corruption based on the same mentality. That is why we have to start with individual values and the basics. If only we can establish a default value of “taking only what we are ethically, legally and professionally capable of”, we will feel ashamed to be involved in corruption and automatically say “NO” to it.

Let’s act on the basics. Nobody is perfect. Discipline ourselves and start working on it from today. It is difficult to tell how, but we should align our actions towards honesty, fairness, ethic, and legality. At least develop your academic and professional capacity so that you can fulfill your own wants without affecting others’ benefits. But don’t be ignorant! We cannot escape from the society we belong to or eliminate our identity. We must realize that corruption in our time will curse future generations resulting in social fragility, poverty, environmental destruction, and more. Corruption is an enemy of social well-being, talent, opportunity, and political freedom. Even worse, could it be a threat to the existence of our nation in a few centuries?

Participate on the ground. If you feel it difficult to start change on your own, participate in community service, anti-corruption campaigns, or any other public events promoting fairness, equality, and justice. Volunteering in community services, of any form, for some time can increase your desire to act for common interests while reducing your selfishness, the main root of corruption. Individual community participation can bring us together on the same platform projecting our power against corruption. Also, the simplest form of contribution is to be sensitive to corrupt acts and respond by making creative and artful criticism to discourage corrupt practices. Last, but compulsory, is that we must contribute to rebuilding this society by instilling anti-corruption mentality into our little brothers, sisters, and children because working against corruption is a multi-generational effort.

Corruption in our society is deep-rooted, and thus requires enormous action. But it always starts with our individual values and actions.

2nd Place Essay Contest Winner – What Can Youth Do To Stop Corruption in Cambodia?

2nd place

2nd place winner, Sokun Chendamony 

This is the 2nd place winning essay in TI Cambodia’s Essay Writing Contest. By Sokun Chendamony.

Cambodia is a unique country. While abundantly blessed with natural resources, awe-inspiring temples, and a population whose smiles can make one’s heart skip, it also has its fair share of troubles. Infamous for sex trafficking, human rights abuses, and corruption, these social pathologies are eating her people up from the inside. In particular, the culture of corruption is, as the Khmer term implies, “rotting” this society from the bottom up. In fact, corruption happens right in front of you. Take a look at the rampant cheating at schools or the so-called practice of paying fines to traffic police. Amidst this brokenness, there is hope. While everyone has a part to play, youth in particular play an important role in eliminating corruption. To properly respond to this terminal disease, it is crucial that youths are aware of and understand that corruption is an issue and that the desire to change starts with them.

If a person is not aware that he or she has a disease, why would that person want to get rid of it? In the same manner, if youth are not aware and convinced that corruption is a moral issue, how could they start doing something about it? Awareness is the first step in solving any issue in life. The challenge is how can youth become aware that corruption is a problem when this malpractice is so acceptable even among youth themselves?  How are they motivated to eliminate corruption when they themselves enjoy the “benefits” of it?  How could they ever desire change when maybe all they know is the easy shortcut through corruption? A change of heart is imperative. It is a heart disease. The heart needs to be exposed and the puss surgically removed.

Once youth are aware of and understand that corruption is an issue and not an acceptable norm, change needs to start from them first. As the “baby bamboo,” youth are rightfully seen as the pillars of the nation, whose strength is equipped through education. Together, youth and education form a strong force. In this unique context, youth have an opportunity to practice integrity at the very place where their potential is being realized and strengthened. Change starts when a youth believes in the power of hard work versus intelligence. Change starts when a youth, grounded in the power of hard work, acts on that belief and studies hard. Change starts when a youth understands that everyone has different talents and that math and science are the not the goddesses of learning when he or she feels tempted to cheat during math/science tests. Change starts when a youth refuses to cheat even when given the chance to do so. Change starts when a youth does not steal his or her friends’ learning and cares about them enough by refusing to share answers. Change starts when a youth takes personal responsibility and refuses to purge his “absent days” through financial means. Change starts when a youth respects his or herself, learning, and others.

May these seemingly insignificant changes become a ripple effect! Starting from one person…