Over 550 youth aged 17 to 24 years from nine provinces and Phnom Penh capital city came together for World Vision’s National Youth Festival on Tuesday 1st September. The festival was organised by the youth and focused on ‘Youth Civic Engagement’ to promote youth in leadership and decision-making for their future and the future of Cambodia.
World Vision’s National Director, Jason Evans encouraged the youth to work together to make history and shape the country. “Our dream is to see you (youth) make a difference in your community and country.
At the festival, nine-youth representatives from the provinces World Vision works presented on their ‘Youth Learning Club,’ as part of a public speaking competition. Talent among the youth was showcased through comedic performances on nutrition, child labour, gangs and violence. Traditional dance, hip-hop, beat-boxing, flash mob, singing, drawing and village crafts were also on display creating an engaging and culture-rich environment for the youth.
“Be the change you want to see in the world,” was the message from a Songdy Chim. “We want to encourage our youth to keep growing by building capacity ourselves, sharing experiences and using the knowledge to contribute to serving our community,” he shared as an encouragement to his friends.
To fuel youth commitment 17 year old Srey You from Banteay Meanchey shared about the life of children in her community, comparing the lives of children from rich family and vulnerable family.
Youth came from Phnom Penh, Kandal, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chnang, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear and Kampongthom to the festival organized by 27 youth leaders with the assistance of World Vision.
“I want to see Cambodian youth have knowledge and skills for our future career and community. I wish we will become good leaders of the country,” Thavy Chheunge from Preah Vihear told the festival gathering. Thavy has worked in her community to raise awareness of child nutrition and community sanitation.
“Unleashing youth to be creative and active will build the next generation of leaders,”
“Unleashing youth to be creative and active will build the next generation of leaders,” said World Vision’s Creative Youth Officer Davit Chuon. “70% of Cambodia’s population is under 30 years old and World Vision believes that youth are the future of the nation. If they know their rights and social responsibilities and are given opportunities to be creative and connect with each other, they can be the leaders that build stronger future for Cambodia.”