My computer almost dies…

I really need to finish this writing before my computer dies.

Recently, across Cambodia, there’s an electricity black-out that deters productivity in schools, businesses, houses, and so on. In Phnom Penh, at where I live, we only have electricity for half of the day during the hottest months of the year. Can you imagine?

Houses, buildings that are connected to the national grids suffer from this for about 3 months, starting in April. Only places that have generator can have a full-day electricity. It’s 21st century, yet I can’t charge my computer right now and the electricity system is not reliable.

What happened?

Cambodia’s biggest electricity source is hydropower plants, covering about 48.5% of the total electricity production. During the hottest months of the year, guess what happened? Low water level. This low level makes it hard for the dams to generate electricity by using water waves. This is what happened in a nutshell.

But, it’s already June, so it’s kind of over. But, knowing it exists, what does it tell us about our electricity reliability? Can we keep relying heavily on hydropower dams to electrify our country? What are some alternatives that we should shift our visions toward?

These are questions that we tackle in Cambodia energy sector. This year, I’ve been involved in helping to produce contents that relate to the energy sector and how this sector have a huge impact on the Cambodia economy.

We intended to create a website that has diverse contents that would deliver relevant information to the audience. In energy sector–for instance, we created a podcast that talks about the hydropower plants construction in Cambodia, its seen and unseen costs, recent electricity black-out, and the alternatives we can look forward to.

All these contents will be uploaded into our Cambodia economy website, so stay tune if you’re up for exploring the economy of Cambodia!

Weaponize our voices

If anyone were to ask me what’s the proudest moment or thing of this school year, I’ll probably say that I talked a lot.

You can call me talkative or whatever. Yet, most of the time, I’m still socially shy and awkward, but I mean that’s every teens’ issue, right? So yes, I’m talkative. I love debates and I get into arguments often.

Some people’s proudest moment might probably be winning a competition, accomplished a mountain-stacked work, got a 5 on AP exams or above 1400 on the SAT. But, my version of proud is that I talked a lot on topics that matter.

On May 5th, I along with seven other members hosted a Rainbow Summit that is dedicated to talk in our own own language, Khmer, about various aspects of the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for their rights.

We have spent approximately about 3 months, meeting each other 2-3 hours every weekend to organize this summit. Since we have this one ambition together, we never feel torn or exhausted from doing all the work. Because we’re passionate. We knew since the beginning that we’re not experts and we’re not going to be able to give everyone all the answers they want, but we have our primary goal: to be the conversation starters who impose a new perspective to our conservative country.

In Cambodia, members of the LGBTQ+ community suffer paramount discrimination due to the existence of a non-accepting society. In our summit, we’ve organized into four sessions: Language, Culture, Laws, and Health and Violence. 

Through constructive conversations and relevant activities, we were able to explain difficult and sensitive concepts to the audience who are young teenagers from 4 high schools. In Health and Violence session, led by me and another friend, we talked about the mental health issues that have happened in the LGBTQ+ community. In one of our activities, we asked the participants to closed their eyes and imagine that they are heterosexuals and live in a world in which heterosexuality is discriminated against. And in fact, people feel oppressed and cried. We further explained to them the pressure that we, individually, have put to the community and how we instigate violence.

I can speak powerfully and strongly of my session and I also can speak of other sessions, but if you visit my friends’ blogs who were also leaders of this summit, you would find a more elaborated and thorough highlight of their sessions. Names of them are included here: thiny, makara, sreynith, theara, kimseng, venghour, and samnangn. You can replace “rika” above with any one of these names. 

Why did we do it? Because it matters. We never think, for once, that this isn’t our business even though some of us are heterosexual. It’s everyone business. That mindset is everything, so unless we have a vaccine in which we can inject this perspective to everyone, this summit is necessary.

Edge it up…!

“Should she conceal or reveal?”

“Challenging status quo through entrepreneurship”

“Cambodian Romeo and Juliet: Tum Teav”

These are some headlines that will lead you thought-provoking articles written by our academy’s senior students and published in our newspaper website, Liger Edge. Liger Edge is hoping to deliver to readers articles with quality content that encompass events in our academy as well as global and local news. Furthermore, we hope to encourage the culture of reading and writing in Cambodia as well as worldwide.

Fullfill your day by perusing through various articles from our young and vibrant writers!

Read & Write

On the 5th of October, it is the official launch of our school’s newspaper called the ‘Liger Edge’ !! There are a lot of incredible things happen in Liger and the only platforms we can use to share our stories are through Facebook and Instagram; furthermore, we can only write a few sentences. Therefore, we feel the need to create a school’s newspaper to spread stories of Liger in details. 

The newspaper is digital and we’ve established two websites for Khmer and English. We have 8 different categories: Features, Culture, Current Events, Stories of Change, A day in the Life, Opinion, Sports, and Caption this. We have 7 members in our team, all responsible as editors of each category. I am the editor in chief of Feature articles category.  So far, I’ve written three articles, though, not all are published. My first article talked about our new facilitators in this 2018-2019 school year. So, why don’t you check it out:

As We Fail – Features – Rika

Through writing these articles, I get a chance to enhance my writing skill and spur other students to share their voices through their writings. 

Our website has not yet been fully functioning, so sorry for this inconvenience. However, I hope my article above can act as a sneak peek to the incredible world of writings of our students.  

Writing, Writing

One the projects I joined for Round 1 of this school year is called Theatre Play. This is a year-long exploration in which we write our own play and perform it. So, in this first round, we’ve been working to shape our ideas for what we want our play to be about and write the script for the plays. Then, we’ll start recruiting actors and practice the performances in the following rounds. 

After various discussions, we’ve decided that our plays should be centered around the idea of relationships including the romantic relationship, peers, family, and social relationships. We then divided into four groups to take on different topics. My team is in charge of writing about peers relationship, but it hasn’t finished yet. 

The play will be in Khmer and perform it to Khmer audiences. Each of our plays has the message(s) that we want to convey. So stay tuned to our performances. 

Are we ready…?

“How many hours you got for these projects?  What is your next class? Have you done any homework? What is the homework since I missed class today?” 

Voices of the senior are rising along the hallway trying to figure out what are they doing in their last 2 years of high school. 

Our schedule has just gone through tremendous changes; word to describes it would be ‘A LOT’. The education team is trying to shape our curriculum as similar to universities as possible to get us prepared. 

For our project-based learning, last year, we were picked to be on one certain project at a time. When we don’t like it, we can blame the facilitators. However, now, we have the right to choose what do we want to do that fits best with our passions and we get to experience a variety of things. So, if we don’t like it, it’s our fault. 

For me, it’s about science. I joined an advanced placement biology class or AP Biology which is like ‘the best’; I’m glad I joined. Then to maintain my literature skill, I’m a member of a school newspaper team called the Liger Edge and also participated in a Theater play that will be writing plays for performances. 

Building more on an established relationship with the International Labour Organization, I’m also a member of a team to help ILO implement soft skills training in Cambodia. On the other hand, I also joined a team that will be creating a podcast channel and talking about Cambodia to the rest of the world. 

It’s a lot, isn’t it? That’s not just me, that’s everyone else too. We have seminar hours with our facilitators and extra hours that we have to work independently on each of those projects. We were expected to spend 22 hours cumulatively for all of our projects a week. So, we have to use them wisely..!

It’s hard, but as we go along and think about it; we’re privileged to experience this during our time in high school!


HIV/AIDS Workshop

Over the course of seven-week exploration, learning about HIV/AIDS, we’ve established a workshop in order to combat HIV/AIDS discrimination through normalizing conversations, dispelling common myths, and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, and treatment.

In this workshop, we’ve divided into four sessions including general information about HIV/AIDS, Transmission and Prevention, Treatment, and Stigmas/Discriminations. We covered main information and some activities that would help them to understand aspects of HIV/AIDS. We’re trying to compress every content into a four-hour workshop without sounding too scientific. 

The workshop that happened on the 28th of March was successful with audience engaging, session leaders explaining, and the atmosphere turning this topic into an influential one. We are educating people to understand that HIV is just the same as other viruses, that AIDS is not a consequence of bad doings, that people living with HIV are just like people living without HIV, and that the only difference between them is people living with HIV need to take their treatments. We have established this workshop to be a safe space for everybody since it covered some sensitive topics that people might have a hard time dealing with. It turned out that everybody was honest and opened themselves to this topic and that we as the session leaders were touched and grateful for everyone’s participation. We’re also doing a modified version of this workshop in Khmer targeting the high school Cambodian students as well. 

Our mission statement: “Cambodian youth combating HIV/AIDS discrimination through normalizing conversations, dispelling common myths, and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, and treatment.”

Here are further details on Google presentations that we’ve made:

General Information about HIV/AIDS

Transmission and Prevention



Playing “Circle Busters” activity
Conclusion Time
Our team 

VEX Robotics Competition 2018

On the 3rd of February, there was a VEX robotics competition that held by NIST international school in Bangkok, Thailand. A boy team, Botjitsu, and a girl team, Beta-B represented Cambodia and participated in this competition.

Likewise, we’re required to create a functional robot that can lift a cone (Yellow) to stack it on the Mobile goal or Stationary goal, lift the mobile goal to the zone, and park the robot at the end of the game (The red and blue tiles). 

Therefore, the girl team has decided to build a diagonal Omni-wheel base with a reverse bar lift and a claw. Due to robot’s dimension limitation of 18 inches cube, we decided that our robot can only stack yellow cones on goals; therefore, we abandoned the mobile goal lift. 

The game ended well. We made it to the final with two other alliances and come back home with Tournament Champion award.

Gender Summit 2018

In one of our 7-week explorations, there is an exploration called ‘Gender Equity’. This exploration talked about how the world nowadays giving equity to both genders. One of their final products is to host an event called, ‘Gender Summit’, and participate by liger students and other schools that are invited. 

On Saturday 27th, the discussion of gender equity was held in English and Sunday in Khmer. They’ve divided into four main points including Culture, Power, Commercial, and Language usage regarding gender issues. 

We talked about how culture shaped our perspective on many points especially the idea of boys being masculine and girls being feminine and talked about how we still keep that perspective functioning in our brain. Power, how this male-dominated society gives opportunities to male, female, and LGBTQ+ community. On the other hand, we also discussed how commercials, TV-shows, and other entertainments shaped our young adults’ perspectives. For example, those funky dresses that girls on TV wear influenced the young kids of how girls should look like. Furthermore, the color, Pink, that should only be girl’s color while in fact, it’s just a color. Lastly, we talked about connotation and denotation that the society refers and uses to describe female and male. For instance, the word, ‘male’ the society connotated this word as masculinity, strong, while in fact, it’s just a sex to describe a person. 

After all these discussions, we’ve concluded to the point where we are all equal and we’re trying to change the new generations’ ideas upon this. We all are capable of doing what we want to do, achieving our dreams, and living to the best of our lives. Therefore, we’re trying to fight through gender barriers that happen currently and it should be an issue that concerns everybody, that urges the eager of everybody to keep fighting. 

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One of our school curriculums is called “Exploration”. It’s a seven-week long project where students gather in a group with their facilitator focusing on one specific topic. My first round exploration is Animation. In this exploration, we’re learning how to draw as parts of creating an animation; furthermore, we also get to learn some basic animations from our mentor. Our mentor is from an animation company called, ithink Asia. We got to visit that place and learn some basic animations stuff and drawing with tablets. Ithink Asia is an animation company created in Cambodia where they’re looking for Cambodian animators and train them. The director of that place had an enormous experience regarding over animations. He is involved in creating animations such as Kung Fu Panda, Despicable Me, and many others popular animations. Currently, he is working as a team on new animation talking about Khmer Rouge base on true story. It is called “Funan” which will be air in 2018.

We’ve learned a lot of drawing skills that could be applied to create animation. Speaking of creating animation, seven weeks long is not enough for us to create an animation; therefore, there is an internship that offered by ithink Asia for our group if we want to pursue doing more animation. Since I realized that animation is what I wanted to do, I am planning to apply for that internship.  

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