Passionate students and A play — Setting out to spread awareness

     Earth, the planet we are living in, consist of large bodies of water. 70% of Earth is covered in water. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that as much as 95 percent of the world’s oceans and 99 percent of the ocean floor are unexplored. What wonder could lie out there. In the never ending deep, where no light can reach.  The breathtaking view, stretching further out into the horizon. It’s endless food sources for us are now perishing day by day. At the bottom of the ocean, the colorful animals that looks like rock providing habitat to millions of species are demolishing, taken out of the water or losing their color. The seagrass bed ripped apart, releasing sediments, fogging the visibility of the once clear ocean.  According to plastic-pollution.org, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. Human creates different impact to the ocean. Some are more serious than the other. The important thing is that most of us, is still clueless, having no clue that we are destroying our home and the future of our generations. Actions such as: illegal fishing, coastal development, waste pollution and many more that have an immense impact to the under-water environment. It made me feel sad to know that we are basically, destroying our own food resources. 

The goal of this exploration, Marine Theater is to expand the understanding about our ocean to people who are living in coastal areas. We want to convey a message to our audience about just how important our ocean is and what we should do to protect it. In order to do that, we ourselves have to learn more about our ocean. So we went on a trip to the MCC, Marine Conservation Cambodia, an organization that help conserve our ocean. When we got there, I was able to go snorkeling around the coral reef that was there. It was my second time going snorkeling but it never failed to wow me. As I dived deeper I could see the different colored fish dancing around it’s home, the long spiked sea animal. As stated from the guardian, coral reefs are so gloriously beautiful and complex – and so vulnerable. I felt so blessed to be able to expose myself to this huge world underwater that I never knew about. I also felt sad and upset to learn that not many people know about this dying ecosystem. In Cambodia, almost all the time you have to respect an adult, whatever they say is always right. In the play we wanted to create a character that is confidence to voice her opinion. A kid who is going to be a hero in her own story without depending on an adult.  A kid who has a voice, an ambition for saving the place she loves. I felt like after creating a character that was a girl and was able to confidently take action on what she believes; Inspires me. We chose to target the issue of plastics in the ocean since it’s active all around Cambodia. We took the play to coastal area in Cambodia, since the community live closest to our ocean. We had costumes and props ready to go. We went to Kep and did three shows there. It was rewarding to see the reaction of the kids when they saw the different variety of sea creatures that is in our ocean. After the play, we did a quick discussion with them about 4 main problems that are happening in our oceans which is plastic and trash, coral bleaching, illegal fishing, and coastal development. I think the problems that our oceans are facing is not easily solved. Everyone has a story behind what they are doing. We can’t just say that it’s the trawler fault. Every problem is interconnected; We have to start with smaller problems and building a new fundamental thinking of our oceans. I truly believe that the play had raise more awareness to people about our ocean. One highlight from the whole journey was when I talked to a grade 11 and 12 students about the problem of plastic in our oceans and to see them discussed the topic with so much confidence. It made me realise that there are more people out there that cares about our oceans. I think we need to change the complex mindset of people about plastic, the mindset of saying that plastic is not a threat to our ocean. People are so used to using them that they don’t realize the consequences it will cause. Say no to plastic, avoid using any single used plastic because if you and I start doing that, then the ocean will be a much better place. 

 

Girl for the future | Technovation

At the Google headquarter

“Dream doesn’t become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, hard work and determination – Colin Powell”. Nowadays, many programs are created to empower and show the potential for girls. That’s why I decided to join Technovation. Dom, our country director introduced us to Technovation. In order to join technovation, we need to have at least two or three people in our group. For my group, there were me, Cheata, Leza, Sabda and Mariya. When we started learning, each team got at least two mentors. The beginning of technovation was really stressful and difficult. Since it was my first time getting introduced to a much former code block. Every day on Sunday we would go to CKCC and learned more about technovation. CKCC is a school where we went to study for technovation. There were two categories that we need to learn about are business and coding. I was the coder and sometime it can be so stressful that I want to drop out of Technovation. The only things that keep me motivated were my team and the thought that I have come this far and accomplished this much but if I turn back it is like all the effort and sweat that I put into all of this would be meaningless. I and my team were developing an app that is called “Cambodia Identity Product”. The app helps people that are living in poverty and are selling Cambodia traditional product. The goal of this app is to help and promote traditional product since nowaday moderns product is so popular. It was the last week of technovation and I have to wake up early in the morning which is 3 am and finished the code checklist. After our submission globally we have to pitch our idea which is in the mini pitch. Unfortunately, my team didn’t win and we thought that our app will not be good enough. From then on I stopped thinking about my app and I just try to forget it. On the day that I opened my computer, I stood in front of my computer paralyzed both in shock and in excitement. My team got to the semi-final and I am very proud of it. For now, all our team can do is to cross our fingers and hope that we could get to the final. The finalist was announced and we were one of the finalists. We got to go the US to pitch our idea. We spent about one week in the US. I am very proud of my team because this is the first time ever that a team from Cambodia has won to the world pitch. We really enjoyed being in the US and we got to visit different places such as cryptic studio, Google. I was very excited to make new friends, gain new experiences and try new foods. Even though my team didn’t win the world pitch, but I am very proud of my team. Getting to go to the US help me to have more perspective on different problems in different countries. Collaboration on a team is very important. So that’s why you need a lot of teamwork to succeed. For my team, we need to pitch our idea to a group of smart and professional people. I am really proud of myself for being able to  speak confidently on the stage. I also want to say thank you to the Cambodian who came to support us. It felt really great to know that we have someone there that are helping and guiding us. For them to take their time from what they are doing and to come support and teach us, is phenomenal.  Lastly, I want to show the world that girls can do just as many things as boys can and I also want to inspire girls to join technovation because opportunity doesn’t just come and go so any opportunity that knocks just open a free hand for the opportunity.