Village Earth

Empowering Youth Cambodia July 2012 Newsletter

I am happy to be sending you this update of our recent accomplishments. Our schools are operating very well and I am proud to be a part of such a great team.  In recent months our team has grown, our students have increased, and we are currently in the process of improving the quality of our educational programs. We currently have 495 students learning and taking part in fun activities at our schools on a typical day.  While we need to adjust to the recent growth, we are also aiming to make it increasingly relevant for our students to find job opportunities .
Our steadily increasing number of students and scholarships make your donations increasingly important and appreciated. If you are in a position to make a donation please do so.  If I can assist with anything please contact me; [email protected] Please take the time to read our updates included. .
Best regards,
Drew McDowell

855 (0)92 982581

In this Issue of our Newsletter: EYC Launches Job Training and Placement Program EYCycling Team Looking for Sponsors Community Garbage Clean-Up University Scholarships New Staff Members

EYC Launches Job Training and Placement Program A new program steps up placement of students into internship and paid positions with businesses and organizations throughout Phnom Penh. With Cambodia having the youngest population in Southeast Asia it is no surprise that high youth unemployment rates remain a pressing issue for many of our students. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) 700 youth enter the labor market in Cambodia every day and compete for the very few opportunities available. While observations ‘on the ground’ show that the reasons for the high youth unemployment are rather complex, there is consensus that improvements in literacy, education, and relevant skills are pertinent for securing steady and sustainable employment. EYC started our Job Placement Program in April 2012, and has seen great results in a short time. At the core of this program is Mr. Sophea Sor, the program’s coordinator, who establishes and fosters relationships between EYC and local businesses/organizations in order to place qualified and motivated students in internships or paid positions. We are proud to announce that eleven students were placed in internship positions in the first three months. Of those eleven interns, two were offered permanent employment within the first month of their internship. An additional eight students were placed in part time jobs this year (cleaner, English teacher, and waitress), allowing them to continue their education. To help EYC’s students be more marketable and successful in their employment search we developed and implemented a comprehensive Job Training Program, which will build on the education EYC is providing to give them marketable skills. The first training class enrolled a total of 48 students across all EYC schools and was held on weekends at the Aziza and Youth Schools.Continue reading by clicking here.

EYCycling Team Looking for Sponsors EYC’s youth cycling program, “EYCycling” takes top placements at races and is looking for sponsors. The EYC cycling team (EYCycling) is currently shopping for sponsors at all levels to allow its members to compete at races and pay for the cost of bike maintenance and gear. The EYCycling team is the latest activity in EYC’s sports program. The team’s fifteen highly active members are students at the EYC schools and vividly display team work and sportsmanship during their weekly group rides and as participants at bike races across Cambodia. While EYCycling’s objectives are to promote a healthy lifestyle and bike safety, reduce traffic congestion and noise/air pollution, the members’ competitive nature and thirst for achievement is evident in the twelve top-3 placements the team achieved in races during the first half of this year (in 4 categories). Continue reading by clicking here.

Community Garbage Clean-Up EYC’s Community Organizing Committee raises awareness about how waste management affects their community and conducts a garbage clean-up in one of Phnom Penh’s “slums”. EYC’s Development and Community Organizing Officer, Ms. Hem Nareth, successfully organized and lead the third garbage clean-up initiative at the “Building Community” in Phnom Penh; the run-down residential building blocks where the Aziza school is located. This half-day program was divided into three parts: 1.       Creating awareness 2.       The physical clean-up 3.       Post-activity reflection As part of ‘creating awareness’ the group focused on and illustrated three consequences of improper waste management to the community: The health risks to residents, their reputation/image as perceived by others, and how improving conditions can help stop forced evictions that may be looming. Given some of the forced evictions and associated hardship experienced by multiple Phnom Penh communities in recent years, the last point resonated strongly with community residents when the community organizing group rallied people with megaphones. Hearing the carefully crafted messages, residents opened their doors and sent their children out to help, resulting in over 100 people joining the effort. Continue reading by clicking here.

New University Scholarships Needed For EYC, summer means that there will be new graduating students at our community schools that will be ready to attend university, and they need your help. Through the generosity of our donors we have been able to provide scholarships to some of our brightest and most promising students in past years. We would like to continue providing this assistance to help these young men and women start or continue university. The students we support can easily break and escape the vicious cycle of poverty via a postsecondary education, but we can’t do it without you. The difference YOUR financial support makes is invaluable; not only in the life of an individual but also in how the gratitude is paid forward and consequently changes families and communities. As one EYC scholarship recipient told us, “My family is really poor…but I wanted to study at university so much…I got a scholarship from EYC to study at university! Now my family doesn’t need to support me and…I have gotten a job as a bookkeeper … so I can support myself and my family a little bit.” Tuition and fees for an academic year as a freshman range from $400 to $600. If you would like to change the life of a young and ambitious person by making a financial contribution of any size to our scholarship fund, or if you would like to personally sponsor an individual student please contact Drew at [email protected]

New Staff Members Ms. Teng Sokunthy, IT Manager Kunthy joined EYC in late April as our IT Manager. In her role she is managing our four computer labs, 12 computer teachers (all EYC students or alumni) and building capacity related to technology “best practices” for all of our staff and team leaders. Kunthy graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering, and lives with her family in Takmao. In her free time Kunthy is learning to play the guitar through the Music Arts School (MAS). She also enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family. Mr. Sor Sophea Sophea also joined our team in April as Job Training and Placement Coordinator. His prior work with PSE (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant) has helped him tremendously in establishing EYC’s Job Training and Placement Program and fostering relationships with Human Resources Managers at companies and organizations throughout Phnom Penh. Sophea graduated from Build Bright University where he studied Business Administration. Sophea is married and has a 4 year old son. His experience is an excellent addition to our young team and we are looking forward to his out-of-the-box thinking and can-do attitude to grow and improve our programs. Ms. Nov Synoeun Synoeun joined the EYC team in April as our Youth Coordinator. In this position Syneoun contributes to a variety of activities such as development of a women’s group, advising our student team leaders, volunteer orientation, co-managing Aziza and Impact Schools, as well as teaching advanced level English two nights per week at the Impact School. Synoeun is an EYC scholarship recipient and is about to finish her freshman year as a Communications and Media major at Pannassastra University. Her involvement with EYC dates back to 2006 when she was a student at Aziza. Her great command of English and leadership skills enabled her to become a team leader at Aziza, and after gaining experience through our partner ACE she has come back to work for EYC as staff. We are pleased to have seen her grow over the last 6 years and expect she will go on to great things in her life.

Newsletter by Michael Kern, [email protected]
Copyright © 2012 Empowering Youth in Cambodia

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