The Indigenous Community in Cambodia

After we published a book that helps to promote geographical features of Cambodia, we found another gem that were hidden at the corner of the country. They are the “The Indigenous Community of Cambodia”.

According to OpenDevelopment Cambodia, The 1998 Cambodian population census identified 17 different indigenous peoples, but the consensus today is that there are 24 groups spread across 15 provinces, with the highest populations by far in Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, and Kratie. They are estimated to number around 200,000 or around 1.2% of the population. Groups are often identified by their language. They broadly fall into two linguistic families: Austronesian, which includes the Jarai people, and Mon-Khmer, which includes the Brao, Kreung, Tumpoun, Bunong, and Kui.

Unfortunately, most of them are being unknown. I would say “Pnong” is the most well-known indigenous group. Other than that, we people have no idea if we’re mentioning the other indigenous group beside Pnong. Did you know that they have an amazing tradition that they deserved to be known? That’s why a project-based-learning called “Indigenous Community” existed. We are trying and working so hard to promote and bring back their tradition and culture.

However, we only have 7 weeks to accomplish this project, therefore we couldn’t help to promote 24 groups at once. We decided to choose two specific groups and make it nice and polish and the two indigenous groups are “Kui and Stieng”.

The population of Stieng indigenous community is mostly in Steung Treng province. Kui population is mostly in Bangkerng pal village, Preah Vihear province. We did a lot of research about this community on a variety of topics and there is not much information about them. We decided to take a trip to both communities for 2 nights and 3 days. The topics that we researched are ceremony, language, norms and belief, language, music, art, education, healthcare, food economy, geography, people and environment.

First off, I would like to write what the outcomes of this project are. We would like to make videos about each topic that listed above for Stieng community and we publish a book that included all of the topics listed above for Kui Community.

As you know that we only have 7 weeks to finish it up so again, lacking time is the main challenge that we’ve faced. 3 weeks took us to go on a trip and conducted the interview, we have 4 weeks remained to design this book. However, our passion would never end. We used our time wisely and worked so hard toward achieving this remarkable book.

We finally finished putting things together into a book! However, we went there again because we have to verified the information with the villagers as well as the village chief if the words are appropriate to use and also are the information that we are putting about them is true or not. It’s been a great journey throughout the exploration and I can see how ecstatic Kui people are seeing us as change agent doing such an important project that give a lot of impacts.

I really appreciate how hard our team had been working on to accomplish this project. Now the videos are done and the book is published. Being a change maker is hard, but our passion keeps us to continue what we are doing and here we are with our lovely book and videos. Here’s the link to our website if you’re interested to see more about indigenous community: Remember it’s just our first step to make the change!

2 Years Worth 420 Pages

Imagine that there are numerous gems that your country has, but no one knows how prepossessing they are. They were hidden in the corner of the country. How would you feel as a citizen of the country?

As a result, this crucial problem had lead us into an idea where we are trying to promote those treasures that Cambodian ancestors offered to us as a next generation. Book is the outcome of this project.

Making an impact on something requires a strenuous effort. However, I believe that small step does matter. Most people wouldn’t believe that it is possible for a 14-year-old girl to change her country. However, Liger Leadership Academy provides a project-based learning program for the students to become a change agent for the country. This year, cohort 2 finally finished a huge project that they have been working on. The project is called “The Geography Book of Cambodia” and guess what? We’ve been working on this project for 2 years and spending our time designing this book fo 3,150 hours which is not that easy.

It has been through innumerable steps to get this book polish. The cohort 2 of Liger Leadership Academy spent 4 rounds of the project-based learning traveling to 24 provinces including 1 city in Cambodia. We interviewed the villagers, visited the geographical places and enjoyed the marvelous view there. The photographs that are in our book are originally taken by our students. There are a few pictures that we took from Google Image, but we credited them in the caption underneath the picture. We conducted the information that after we came back from the trip. Some of the information that we got in our book are from research as well. After we wrote and organized those text (in both languages) into a google docs, the facilitators introduced us into a fancy way to credit the author of the data. It is called “APA citation”. Obviously, we don’t want to take the information from others and do not credit for them. That is called “plagiarism”. After we organized the information, checked the words and credited the authors, we started to the exciting stage which is “designing”.

There are ten designers in our team. We started off with conducting the designs/templates and chose which template will we design in the book. First of all, we would like to say that we were very new to the software. It is called “Adobe InDesign”. Therefore we also had to take time to learn how to get familiar with this software. We had two people from cohort 1 taught us how to insert texts, images, shapes, etc. After we chose the final design, we started to divide the designs to our lovely designers. There are four sections which is 4 regions that we designed in our book. We tried our best to finish this book even though the homework had stopped us from having free time. After a long journey, we finally did it! The only thing that needed to be done was finalizing it.

Adobe InDesign Software That We Used To Design

However, something had happened. As we’re reading through our book, we feel that we should input more of students voices into the book. That’s why our team came up with the add-ons which are Traditional Belief, Did you know?, Student Observation and Watch out. These add-ons are written from our students who have visited those places. We will include those in the part of the book because we want the reader to understand the Liger students’ perspective of visiting those places.

Moreover, everyone agreed that The Geography of Cambodia book had too much-written texts which might lose the reader’s interest. Therefore, the idea of creating more visuals for the text came to our minds. This meant inserting more graphics in the book. We discovered, researched different ways to do this and made a lot of graphic design through Photoshop and other software and websites. “Self-belief and hard work always earn you success” is quoted by unknown. We finally saw how our book turns out and looks like!

After we finished the design, the other main challenge for us was to get the sign from the minister of culture and fine art. We did really hope that they did sign for this amazing Geography Book of Cambodia. Three of the designers went to the Ministry and we presented this book for them. It was a great experience for me to speak formally in front of important people. Actually the minister was in France at that time, so we presented to the deputy director. It was a little bit scary because we need to be careful with our words, but I did it! Finally, we got the sign from the minister and we finally get this book the the very final stage!

Presented to the Deputy Directors

We were at our final stage in which we went through every single word in both languages (English and Khmer) and check if there are any writing mistakes in the book. There are some mistakes in our book, so we corrected it. After a long journey, I can’t believe that it is now in my hands. Was I dreaming? This book is very beautiful and I am very honored to be a part of making this book.

Comparing our very first design and the final design now, it had been a huge improvement. I couldn’t believe how we did it! We started off with a very boring book that was full of text, but now it is an amazing and creative textbook! I still can’t believe it!

Front & Back Cover of The Geography of Cambodia Book

Can’t Believe It’s In My Hand Now!

One of the goals publishing this book is to distribute them to the government school in Cambodia. As you know that the students at Liger Leadership Academy come from different provinces in Cambodia. During the Khmer New Year break, some of our students went to their hometown and distributing the book to the government school that they studied before coming to Liger or the school that is close to their house. We’re planning to put the book in the curriculum and right now we’re in progress of approving from the minister. When I was talking with school principals, they couldn’t believe how young kids making this huge project to change the world. They showed me the appreciation to the book and I’m proud that I accomplished this for my country!

I’m super excited for people to read this book and understand more about the Kingdom of Cambodia. Accomplishing this project might be the proudest moment in my life. I am so excited about what I can do more to give impacts to my country.

Making Educational Boardgame

It sounds a little bit silly because we changed ours by making the game. I’m in the junior cohort and I was in the exploration called Entrepreneurship. Mr. Keith, our facilitator has led and walked us through within 7 weeks and inspired us to be a successful entrepreneur. It is not a very big project, but it is our first step in making changes. I and my others two teammates tried to brainstorm what is the problem for people nowadays. We finally found out that most of the students didn’t get the knowledge of some subjects such as Science, Geography, etc. This problem stays deep inside our mind, therefore we decided to create a product that will solve this problem. Our team name is LiLife. I’m sure that you noticed the word Life because it related to the life lesson. This board game is made from recycled cardboard. We also cover our board game with the plastic bag to protect from the water. Moreover, we made our game pieces from 3d printing. The goal of our board game is to make everyone to have fun and gain more knowledge by asking the question and answer which is about general knowledge and some entertainment. The benefits of our products are that it is not just for fun but you can gain more education too.

Several of our board game is sold out and we were really happy that they enjoy our board game. We also shared our board game idea to everyone in some events (e.g Maker Faire) and they really like our idea. People got to try our board game and they gained some knowledge as well. I’m glad that they gained the education from our board game and if we have free time we’re going to develop it not for ourselves but also for our country.

Government School Project

Since I grew up, I have a passion for helping Cambodia through raising awareness. I would never expect that I will change my country through being a teacher who helps people change their perspective.

One of the days that we’re in this exploration, our team went to a government school in Kandal, Cambodia to teach students about disabilities. Our goal is to teach students about the type of disabilities and we will provide them with some activities that related to disabilities. So these are the activities that we’re having them done:

  • Tie shoelaces and bracelet by using one arm
  • Drawing through instruction (Intellectual Disabilities)
  • Whisper Challenge (Deaf)
  • Blind activity

We want everyone to relate to the feeling of having disabilities. We also have them writing the reflection about this studying and they enjoy and learned a lot about disabilities. They are understanding well about this. We’re also happy when we hear that the students understand about it. It is one of my greatest memories with them.

Overall, this is a very convenient topic for me and I have a very strong passion and potential to help my country. I’m so glad that I’m in this exploration and I like to do all this kind of work with kids outside my school. In conclusion, I enjoy this and I’m ready to be a change agent for Cambodia.


Technovation is the programme for girls to involve in technology. Technovation is the combination of the words technology and innovation. More than a thousand girls involve in this programme around the world. I’m also a part of it. I joined Technovation for 2 years and it was ridiculous. In the first year, my team has created an application called “Pre-Health”. Pre stands for “Preventive”. We decided to create this application to make people learn about their lifestyle, exercises and healthy food to eat. We completed a really big accomplishment. Our team pitched the ideation of our app and we won national pitch in the first year. We also participated in Technovation in the second year. I think we’ve been improving a lot in the second year. We created a bigger idea app. This time, we found out that most of the tourists hard to find places to visit in Cambodia. This made us came up with the solution for that by creating an application that helps tourists (Both national and international) find out a lot of places to go in Cambodia not only attractive places but also some hidden places that less known. We also include hotels and guesthouses for tourists. Our second app is more complex, but we made it and enjoying it as much as last year even though we didn’t win the national pitch. My team and I got a lot of good experiences from this programme and we inspired a lot of girls to joined Technovation and involved in technology. There are more and more girls in this year join this programme than last year. I’m so proud of the girls that using an immense of hard work to code and using their business skills to create this wonderful and useful application for the world. Not only this skills can succeed, but there are more important skills such as collaboration and presentation. We are very confident to go and share our application to people who watch us. We really want people to know the potential of girls. If we have a chance, my team is going to develop our app and publish it into public for everyone. We are all the winners!!! “Winner is not the people who never fail, but they are people who never quit” -Unknown. Last but not least, I want every girl especially in Cambodia to know the importance of technology and I would like to inspire all of you to be the hero and diamond of our country and make it grow.