You might not hear or know of Cambodia before, since it is such a small country located in the Southeast Asia region, bordering Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. I was born and raised here in Cambodia, a country in which used to have a remarkable history during the Angkor Empire, with rich nutrients and the great irrigation for the agriculture. We use to be “the diamond of Southeast Asia”. Though people had been suffered, losing their friends, family, and their life, from such a cruel time during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975 – 1979) – genocide. We had been losing our hope and ambitions from that brutal time. Our elders keep carrying those memories in their soul since it is unforgivable and unforgettable to them. Yet, today as our nation started to develop with the steadily growing economy, we are starting to stand back up and fight for the great future in front of us.
Health is a significant topic that we all cannot be miss out since it is the root cause of everything that we do. Have you ever heard of “anemia”? Did you know that this condition is affecting half of the world population and no one had noticed it? It’s affecting to most of the Cambodian citizen as well, especially to those who are living in poverty. Iron deficiency is the one of and the most common anemia that causes the lack of iron in our red blood cells. When you are feeling dizzy or tired, you might not know why you got them, since it is pretty normal. These are some of the symptoms of the iron deficiency condition. Even myself had not known this fascinated topic before. In order to get a better understanding of this concept, we worked with Lucky Iron Fish company that aim in reducing iron deficiency condition in Cambodia and the whole world. To spread the word about it, we had done workshops at Siem Reap province in three different locations. I and the other students educated community people and the students in the organization about the cause of iron deficiency and the solution to it, which is the lucky iron fish. We distributed out a bunch of lucky iron fish to people for their family and teach them on how to use it and how to take care of it. Not just that we did workshops, but we also create the documentary about it to share to the world. Even though we can only focus on just a small amount of people, but I believe those people will spread the word about it. This little steps can really create change to the future. I’m so proud of myself that I have the ability to help my people with this issue even though it just a small one.
Helping people is really important, but helping yourself to understand and get a deep clear idea about your own country history is vital as well. The Khmer Rouge exploration had manipulated my perspective a lot. There are so many inputs that I’ve got from this exploration. During 1975 – 1979, my country had suffered from a Khmer Rouge regime, a time where our elders can’t forget and can’t forgive. Today 2017, even they don’t show those sorrow and anger, but I understand their’s feeling really well from visiting two memorial places, such as the S-21 prison, and Choeung Ek, the killing field. Both places provided an audio tour, which we can get a clear sense about the situation during that time. I got goosebump during the tour. The information, the voices, the images, are just so memorable and it just dives deep down into my soul. It was shocking for me to know all of the detail about the Khmer Rouge and the victims since I never get a deep understanding of it before. The cruel strategies that Khmer Rouge used for the country were just genius – evil. It was supposed to make the country a better place for everyone, but it went into the wrong path. It just……….. – I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t really describe my own feeling about it at all. This information is just kept pushing and encouraging me to keep moving forward and help my country for a better. I committed that I would never ever let my country to experience that brutal time ever again. Every single action that I take will always for my people not for my own good sake. It completely changes my mind about my country as I can see the big picture of it, as my people are living with the memory that is unforgettable. Born to be Cambodian, will always help Cambodia!
Generations through generations, time to time, day by day, we keep growing a bit by bit, step by step, and will never stop. We can start from failure, but we never will end up being a failure. This generation of our country always keeps pushing forward and that’s including me as well. We are shaping our country’s destiny to a better stage with little steps in creating positive change. I am a promising child in the Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) that had the potential to change my country future at a really young age. I am proud to be born as Cambodian. Thus, we are facing so many issues on our path, whether it is externally or internally for each individual Cambodian and the whole country. But, no matter what, we will stay strong and fight for the great future in front of us!