By Emiko Perea
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Cambodia has developed a host of youth programs to uplift the country’s young leaders and assist them in bringing sustainable peace to their communities. In January, Global Peace Volunteers kicked off 2020 with the ongoing GreenEd Project and Peacebook Project at primary schools, while also taking part in a forum on the Global Standard for Youth Volunteering.
The GreenEd Project allows volunteers to educate students on how the interactions between people and nature can affect their communities. The project highlights how people, society, and the environment can work in harmony by teaching participants the best ways to take care of the environment, how to recycle and reuse products, and identify solutions to environmental challenges. One volunteer, Pov Daywin said, “The GreenEd Project is one program among many programs in the Global Peace Alliance – Cambodia which gives an opportunity to university students and also the youths like me who are fascinated about the environment to share their knowledge by teaching primary school students to protect and preserve the environment.”
The Peacebook Project is an ongoing program that collects donated books for school libraries to encourage higher literacy in young people, develop rational thinking, and help them contribute to the advancement of their community. The volunteers read books at the libraries for the children and set up other fun activities inside and outside the library to engage the children. Hol Lina, a volunteer for the project, said, “At first, I only expected that I would just work in the library and read the books for kids. But then, I think I could do other things as well to add value. I have the potential of playing music and I shouldn’t waste my talent. I created a choice of initiating extra activities and take responsibility for it. I believe that since that day, some of the kids I performed for, will induce their obsession to discover their musical talent when they grow up.”
The volunteers gained valuable teaching experience while more and more youth joined the activities eager to grow from the experience. “As a youth, I have dedicated my time and energy to teach kids whom I have never known regardless of how distant my house is from the school,” said Kem Solyka, a volunteer for the GreenEd Project. “Teaching is not only for the sake of teaching, but it builds personal strength and makes me a role model for kids who are believed to be a great human resource for the country's development. After studying many great lessons in class, they could convey those lessons to other people regardless of how old they are, what class of family they are from and which religion they are obeying. By doing this, everyone is imparted with knowledge which develops peace and dignity and reduces violence arising from obeying different religions and possessing different cultures.”
These ongoing programs provide unique opportunities for volunteers to grow their leadership and mentorship skills while providing an invaluable service to uplift the next generation to be able to contribute even more to their local communities in the years to come.
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