Adolescence is never easy. It is the time when we get to question so many things, including ourselves. It is also a crucial time to set goals, establish an identity, discover talents and raise self-confidence. But more often than not, the youth find it hard to be confident about who they are and what they can do, more so building authority among their peers or instituting leadership – very important skills that everyone should have and master in order to survive and rise above.
With the main objective of boosting the leadership skills and confidence of Cambodian youths, the annual Education Convention (EdCon) will be held for the fifth time on October 25th at the Factory Phnom Penh.
Tagged as EdCon X5.0, this year’s event will highlight events and talks focusing on the theme “Leadership through self-exploration and beyond”.
Soth Sonen, former Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme (Global UGRAD) awardee and currently the project coordinator of EdCon X5.0, said that “the reason we chose this theme is because we believe that young people can be leaders, starting from being aware of one’s own capability to identifying what can be improved as well as inducing more productive actions accordingly.”
The whole-day convention is organised by Fullbright and Undergraduate State Alumni Association of Cambodia (FUSAAC). It is specially designed to guide youth to explore their abilities, expand their minds and extend their initiatives, she added.
With so much on their hands – school and family pressures – many young Cambodians struggle to cope with the loss of motivation, depression and stress. The challenges they meet in schools and within their social circles also contribute to a depleting inspiration to move forward and be productive.
With the education convention, youths will be encouraged to not dwell too much on other people’s expectations and instead do their best in their chosen fields.
“It is very hard for youths to discover who they are and who they want to be due to other people’s criticisms and their own doubts. Therefore, I think it is very important for the young ones to feel confident and positive inside out to do what they believe in and overcome their fears. Rather than assuming that they cannot do something, they should start doing it without fear and hesitation,” Sonen shared.
The convention also aims to fill the young with ideas, interaction and inspiration from brilliant presenters and extraordinarily interactive activities. The event will feature various styles of speeches and strategies for around 200 participants to enrich their leadership potentials.
“We believe that this year’s EdCon will play an important role in helping students build their self-esteem, self-confidence, self-reliance that will enable them to march towards success.”
The youths have great potential to be leaders, but this should start from their own selves. They should learn to enlarge the abilities to develop self-confidence, combined with encouragement from invited speakers.
As project coordinator, Sonen expects that the convention will strive to make this experience a great opportunity for students to find their inner strengths and become enthusiastic in becoming proactive leaders or members of the society.
“From this event, I really hope all the participants will experience the resemblance of international youth conferences at home (Cambodia) and become more ready to participate in the interactive leadership programmes. We also expect them to get a clearer idea of leadership and their inner strengths and also have the chance to build and create communities of leaders with other participants,” Sonen said.
EdCon X5.0 will be held from 8 am to 5 pm on October 28th at the Factory Phnom Penh.