I have two identical hands! “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others” said Audrey Hepburn. I know right, millions and millions of people are trying to make this world a better place day by day. In reality, they are getting themselves at a higher stage and not knowing that people develop by helping others. You might think you would never get rewards after helping others. Actually, what you’ll get back is happiness, you feel happy after knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life. This 2017 – 2018 school years might be the best school year so far since I’ve learned the lesson of life. Viktor Frankl once said, “I find the meaning of my life in helping others to see the meaning of theirs.”
Now let’s take a look at Cambodian, Roughly around 70% of Cambodians get access to education and there are still 30% left of Cambodian who are now living in poverty. Even though they get access to the education that was provided by the government schools, still, there weren’t much of handful activities to understand more about the topic. I was once a government school student before then I got an opportunity to attend this incredible school —Liger Leadership Academy— which changes my life.
Cambodian Children’s Charity (CamKids) is a school down in Kampong Speu province and it’s about 15 km from my home. During last Summer holiday, most of the students who live near Phnom Penh and were interested in STEM Camp, they get a chance to joined the Camp at the schools including three mentors from Princeton University. We learn about Solar energy and then we started to build about 2 solar panels in just 1 week. Afterward, we go down to Camkids and installed the solar panel, it looks brighter in the classroom since there was no lamps nor electricity.
Survey Exploration, they did a survey of the three communities around Camkids. In Order for the group to provide pieces of information for the founder of Camkids about their financial support. Each survey took approximately 30 minutes long, and it was a small team there, so they decided to seek for help. Then I volunteered to help them interview the villagers there since I know those villages for the whole Sunday. After helping this exploration I felt like their lifestyle was kind of different and they didn’t earn much money for their family, so that’s why Camkids was created there for kids to learn and get a good education and there even a nurse there where they can also check their health.
When I heard about Khmer Sight Foundation going down to Camkids at Kampong Speu I wanted to join and help them translate and also learn from the doctors. We arrive at Camkids we register all of the elders who came and check their eyes. During that, I also learn how to measure their eyes sight by testing each side of the eyes one by one using the eyesight testing chart and if they can’t get it correctly first we will use our hand than move forward until they can see. Then I would ask the guest what problem do they have with their eyes than tell the doctor and after that, I’ll translate to the elders what the doctor had said.
By helping this community, I gained skills & experience to speak more fluency in Khmer, get to know about their lifestyle and also feeling happy after knowing I have helps them in some sort of ways.
As the exploration go on and I was one of the members in the HIV exploration, we learn about HIV/AIDs and our mission was to create workshops for the world renew to use and teaches others student throughout Cambodia. We even help others by raising awareness & acknowledging, understanding People Living with HIV are just like me. Then my group started to create a presentation and we want it to simple but also full of information to normalize the conversation and also the stigmatization among them. We went to a school called New Hope for Cambodian Children, it is an orphanage school with kids who have HIV. Moreover, I have overcome my fear of not wanted to talk or even eat the same meal with people living with HIV. We got to know each other, after that trip I realize that they were all just like me, playing having any part of their life was that they need to take medicine. You can’t define if a person is having HIV or not. So let’s all go against those stigmas among them.
Empathy is an ability that everyone should have, in order to understand the different perception of life. People aren’t really different and I’m as a change agent will continue to grow and help others. In the future, I will continue to help more communities to empower their needs and find solutions. These actions are only the start of my missions.