“You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Gandhi.
This phrase has tapped into my mind and became a part of me.
As a developing country, Cambodia is driving through rapid economic growth and seeking to advance the country socially. Although this country is developing quickly, there are still gaps in many sectors; education is one of them.
Government schools all over Cambodia are facing problems with lack of technology education and limited electricity usage. Especially for rural areas, skillful teachers and class materials resources are limited. Without adept teachers and rich of resources, it prevents students from obtaining a career and growing as change agents for their country.
On the other hand, Liger Leadership Academy provided me and other students with a “project based learning curriculum” that prepared us to become successful individuals in the future. In this curriculum, we have access to modern technology and English program, that expose students to different things that inspires our future.
The Liger model stated, “We believe that one empowered individual is capable of changing the world around them.”
“We rise by lifting others”, stated Robert G. Ingersoll, an American lawyer and a politician.
According to New York times best-selling author Steven Kotler, there is a rise in accessibility to technology today to those in the bottom billion population (poorest populations of the world). As this bottom billion population continues to rise, technology will also play a big role.
I believed that if we increase technology literacy to the bottom billion, we will be able to increase the opportunities for these people to lift themselves out of poverty. Country like Cambodia, who is a part of the bottom billion, will now receive the opportunity to become a part of the rising billion with more access to technology.
Currently our team is trying to bring new technology which will be powered by solar panels to the public schools that are lacking technology. We have high hopes that this project will bring Cambodians a better future with more opportunities. Moreover, we believed it will give students extra experiences with computers which is advantageous for their future applications.
After 14 weeks of intensive planning the budget added up to 30,000 US dollars. “We can’t request 30,000 dollars from the school, that is impossible” shouted someone in the room. We were struggling with the money but not for too long, I and the three others wrote a 17-pages grant to a foundation and requested 30,000 thousand dollars.
After a few weeks of waiting the email has been sent to our facilitator, and it says we got the grant! I and Wasseam – a Liger learning facilitator were electrified; jumping around like crazy.
Our project has been implemented and are rolling in one government school. It took us a few weeks to set up all the electronic components and varieties of teachers training. By seeing and touching the computer for the first time, the students reactions were priceless, they were emotionally overwhelmed. I could see many students were so excited and engaged with the curriculum. Immediately, my head was in the cloud, I pictured the moment that our Liger students have the access to the computer the first time. I saw tears running down their beautiful faces and everyone hold their computer just as it is their baby.
After a few days of rolling the program we were still struggling with the technology. The computers were not fast enough and the English program was too slow, but our team is working really hard to make sure they have the best experience possible.
With these changes, we hope to inspire the students’ futures by exposing them to different skill sets they have never been taught. This could change the future of Cambodia with technology education and English program which will improve our developing country with better equipped and more educated people. The country will be elevated.
Through this exploration I can see the power of one individual and how much change one person can truly make. Think about this, when one person effects a few others, it is like a ripple effect that over time can actually impact thousands over generations. By working hard and having passion to make positive change, it can really happen.