“Youth Talks 2019” made a return last Saturday to promote active discussion among young people, especially involving common issues faced by the same age group.
Organised by a young group of students from Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), the half-day talk also received support from NGO partners such as Go Ahead Open Space School and Liger Leadership Academy.
Held at Neeson Cripps Academy in Phnom Penh, the talk featured 11 young speakers who individually selected their own topic of discussion within the theme of “Creating the Spark”.
“This year is special because we had invited our school partners to join us. For the previous years, we had only encouraged participations from our school students and everything was conducted in English. However, this year to ensure everyone could understand, the talk was held in Khmer,” said Grade 12 student Yert Ratha, who is also the organiser,.
Mr Ratha said that the purpose of event was to give a chance to young people who had brilliant ideas but did not have a public platform to share it with, adding that CCF created the perfect avenue for such discussions.
“Secondly, we also hope this will equip our participants with the skill to be brave, to be a leader,” said Mr Ratha.
One of the young speakers, Sorn Leza, who is now in Grade 9 at Liger Leadership Academy, said that from the beginning, she was a timid person and got really nervous when it comes to speaking in public. She, however, said that she conquered her anxiety so that she can share her sentiments with peers of her age.
“My topic is about a feeling among the youth called ‘Adolescence Mood’, but explained through my own experience.
“I think it may be hard for some young people to open up to their parents or family. So the only people that they trust is their friends. Building friendship sometimes is good but it can be tricky especially when looking for real friends,” said Ms Leza, aged 14.
Speaking on stage on the topic of “Overcoming Ourselves”, Grade 10 student Bo Sreynet from the Neeson Cripps Academy suggested that people should always trust their own guts when facing doubts and challenges. She said this is because no one else would know our intention better than ourselves. Therefore take the leap when our gut tell us to.
“I shared my own experience through my topic. I noticed that the more often I am on the stage, the more confident I get. Some steps that I shared could be useful to other young students. If they think my talk is positive, benefit from it. If not, it doesn’t matter because everyone has their unique way of thinking,” the 15-year-old said.