Cambodian Youth are Committed to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Cambodian Youth

“Young people are  important drivers in achieving the 2030 goals because they have knowledge, energy and time to participate with other like-minded youth  in making positive changes in their community. I am very happy to be a part of this network in which I can contribute to promoting SDGs”, said Lyinh, one of the youngsters, during the 2030 Youth Force gathering last Sunday.  

Cambodian YouthThe independent youth network, “2030 Youth Force in Cambodia” (2030 YFC), is  actively working to inspire youth to engage in promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to initiate actions to drive positive changes towards an inclusive and peaceful society in the country. The network focuses on peace-building along with strengthening youth capacities for participation in decision-making with the 2030 Youth Force in Asia Pacific.

“We understand that in order for the Sustainable Development Goals to be successfully implemented and achieved, involvement from every stakeholder and all members of society  is very essential. Raising awareness about SDGs among Cambodian people and how each one of them can play a role in working toward achieving them is therefore very important, and the 2030 YFC wants to use youth participation in volunteerism as a means to do that. Besides raising awareness, the 2030 YFC is also a place for the young people in Cambodia to present their ideas about  change and initiate youth-led activities targeted at the SDGs as well” stated Mr. Athika Phuong, co-founder of the 2030 YFC.

In an effort to expand its local network, the 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia conducted an  Assessment Day on June 10 to recruit passionate and active young people to get involved in this journey with them. Out of almost 150 candidates, a total of 60 passionate, energetic and dedicated young people with diverse educational backgrounds were selected. All of them gathered together and were introduced to the 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia and its objectives. Based on the performance on the Assessment Day, 17 people will be chosen from the 60 selected to become SDGs Ambassadors.  They will lead their members (43 young people) to conduct various projects and campaigns to raise awareness and to solve social problems in their communities.

There is no doubt about the willingness of the members to engage in the network, however, the 2030 YFC  recognizes that skill-based volunteerism is still very limited in Cambodia. Therefore, it is important to equip all the SDGs Ambassadors and members of the network with skills so that they can conduct their project successfully. Every member will be given capacity-building training related to both soft skills and practical skills. By letting the volunteers plan their own projects, the 2030 YFC will also be able to incorporate skills in leadership, decision-making, communication, as well as in team work; all of which are important soft skills needed to prepare the members for their future careers. The members will also be able to learn some ICT skills such as photography, video editing, design, using social media, online marketing, using blog and website, & digital security and privacy, etc.

“We want the 2030 YFC to be a reciprocal network. By becoming a part of the 2030 YFC, young people are not only able  to contribute to their society, but they will also be able to gain many useful skills through the process, which will help with their employability. It is like killing two birds with one stone” said Danit, Youth Affair Coordinator of the 2030 YFC.

Strong and friendly partnership

Without a strong and committed partner, it would be difficult for the 2030 YFC to sustain and further develop its activities. In Caritas Czech Republic in Cambodia (CCRC), we are very proud to be able to support and witness the passion of these young people being ignited in developing their communities and their country. Seeing such dedication and engagement of these potential future leaders has shown us great potential and given us confidence of the bright future ahead of Cambodia”, said Barbora Goffin Vlasova, Country Representative of CCRC.

“CCRC has started its cooperation with the 2030 YFC in Cambodia with the intention of  supporting the young leaders and initiators in providing both technical support and resources in conducting their projects. Last Sunday, for instance, CCRC had the pleasure of  supporting  the hosting of the Assessment Day to recruit new members into the network”, added Barbora Goffin Vlasova.

This year marks the second anniversary of the establishment of the 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia; after the network was localized in 2016 as a part of the 2030 Youth Force in Asia and Pacific. During these 2 years, the 2030 Youth Force in Cambodia has been working actively both offline and online on projects such as the #SendLoveOn advocacy campaign, the Donating in Book Box project, and many other activities such as attending and speaking at many events, workshops and conferences to raise awareness and invite more youth to participate in SDGS implementation in Cambodia.