Youth Star to Sign MoU with Ministry of Education

Meeting with MinisterYouth Star Cambodia had a great honor to meet with the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, H.E Dr. Hang Chuon Naron on 08th June, 2015. The meeting outlined the importance of Youth Star’s program and the areas of cooperation where the two institutions can work together. A Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed to promote volunteerism in Cambodia and undertake non-formal education in marginalized rural communities. It will serve to strengthen Cambodian civil society through the development of youth leadership and the raising of educational standards.

The program will support the Royal Government of Cambodia through empowering Cambodian graduates as volunteers and thereby help develop them as future leaders of Cambodian in the public sector, private sector and civil society. Through undertaking community activities and being responsible for program delivery, volunteers will develop skills and competencies that assist them to obtain future employment. Youth Star Cambodia will work closely with Ministry staff to ensure its programs are consistent with and complementary to the Ministry’s educational programs and objectives.

We are thankful to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport for the cooperation and support which enable Youth Star’s program to help both our young people and marginalized rural communities.

Ms UTH Sithea Represents Youth Star At Peace Corps Siem Reap Workshop Attended By US First Lady

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Ms UTH Sithea in Siem Reap with the First Lady

Our first progress report for our Global Giving project Fund 10    Cambodian Graduates To Educate Rural Youth is now available on the  Global Giving UK website. This report focuses on Ms UTH Sithea’s  participation at and contribution to a Peace Corps workshop in Siem  Reap attended by the First Lady, Mrs Michelle Obama. At this event  the First Lady promoted her ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative.

20th Batch Of Youth Star Volunteers Placed In The Field

We are pleased to announce that our  20th cohort of volunteers has been placed in the provinces of Kratie and Prey 20th placementVeng for their year’s voluntary service.

Our volunteers received their Pre-Departure Training (PDT) in early March and were placed into their new communities on March 18. Like every year our community partners also attended the last week of Pre-Departure Training to learn more about Youth Star’s mission and their responsibilities as our volunteers’ mentors.

Traditionally we sent the volunteers off to their exciting new venture with a closing ceremony, which was attended by the volunteers, Youth Star staff, community partners, Youth Star’s Board Director. This year the sending off ceremony coincided with the Youth Star Alumni reunion.

Cohort 20 will be working with 10 marginalized communities in Prey Veng and Kratie, where they will be implementing programs with our partners. The main focuses of these projects are illiteracy and poverty.

I am thankful to Youth Star for this volunteer opportunity. I could see a lot of issues here in the community. Promoting literacy is my first priority – Ms. Heng Rina, Kratie province.

We wish all of our volunteers a fulfilling and successful time with their new communities, families and friends.

Youth Star attends inaugural ‘Philanthropreneurship Forum’ in London

On 13 December 2014 Youth Star’s Executive Director, Mrs Mora Gibbings, attended the inaugural Philanthropreneurship Forum in London. ‘Philanthropreneurship’ is an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy seeking to deliver meaningful and sustained social change. This approach fits well with the Youth Star mission: ‘To build a just and peaceful nation through citizen service, civic leadership, and social entrepreneurship’.

The Philanthropreneurship Forum was co-convened by the Stars Foundation and London Business School. Youth Star was invited to attend this event through its involvement with the Stars Foundation—in 2012 Youth Star was received an Impact Award from the Foundation for its positive contribution to the improvement of Cambodian society. The Foundation generously met all of Youth Star’s travel and associated costs in attending the Forum.

Mrs Mora Gibbings with former US President, Mr Bill Clinton

Mrs Mora Gibbings with former US President, Mr Bill Clinton

 One of the many distinguished speakers at the Forum was former United States President, Mr Bill Clinton, who was presented with the first ever Philanthropreneurship Prize for his groundbreaking work with the Clinton Global Initiative. This work has built a movement that has improved the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

Mrs Gibbings was very impressed with the range of initiatives and approaches presented at the Forum that were achieving profound social change. She hopes to adapt some of these approaches to advance the work of Youth Star over the coming months and years, and to use some of the networks established at the Forum to assist Youth Star in its efforts to fulfil its mission.

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Youth Star commences second Globalgiving fundraising campaign

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On the 5th of December 2014 Youth Star commenced its second Globalgiving fundraising campaign. This campaign—Fund 10 Cambodian Graduates to Educate Rural Youth— aims to raise US$25,000 (just over £15,000) by 15 January 2015. These funds will be sufficient to place 10 graduate volunteers in rural Cambodia in 2015.In total, Youth Star aims to have 25 volunteers “out in the field” in 2015. If we are able to achieve this goal our office in Phnom Penh will be very busy. The recruitment of volunteers is an extensive process. Youth Star is very careful to choose volunteers that have the appropriate skills, approach and motivation for what can be a very challenging role.

Often the selection of a volunteer also requires close liaison with the volunteer’s parents, who may require convincing that serving as a volunteer is in their child’s long-term interest. Volunteers only receive a small monthly stipend of $US90 during their placement. We encourage parents and potential volunteers to also liaise with former Youth Star alumni, so they can appreciate the benefits pf volunteering to the community in which they serve and to themselves. Over 90% of Youth Star alumni have gone on full time employment, often in roles that provide ongoing service to the Cambodian community.

All volunteers receive two week’s pre-departure training and return to Phnom Penh for follow-up training of one week’s duration twice during their 12 month placement. Youth Star also periodically visits graduates in their rural placements.

Our longer term aim is to gradually increase the number of volunteer placements on a year by year basis. We will only do this if we are able to provide the level of support each volunteer requires.

If you would like to help fund a volunteer please visit the campaign page on the Globalgiving website.

Posted 9 December 2014

A$5000 raised for Youth Star at Melbourne fundraising event

On a recent balmy late winter’s evening in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick East just over A$5000 was raised to support Youth Star’s activities. The money raised is almost enough to support two Youth Star volunteers for 12 months community development work in rural Cambodia.

 A wonderful feast of Cambodian food was provided for the evening, with a team of Australian-based Cambodian cooks preparing mountains of spring rolls, vegetarian dumplings, Cambodian noodles and a selection of curries and salads. This was topped off by numerous Cambodian and western desserts, complemented by freshly brewed coffee and other hot and cold beverages. Around 100 adults and children attended the event – with face and finger painting provided for younger participants.

The highlight of the evening was a Skype video call featuring Youth Star volunteers and their young protégés in Prey Veng Province, who sang a song to entertain the Melbourne crowd. Mora Gibbings Executive Director — currently on leave from Youth Star — hosted this interaction in Melbourne while Mr LUY Tech Chheng created the Cambodian link. Mora returns to Cambodia in November 2014 to continue her role in Youth Star, taking over from Chheng who has done a wonderful job in this role during Mora’s absence.

During the evening the vision and mission of Youth Star was explained to the guests, with a presentation supported by photos and a video of Youth Star at work in Cambodia. It was explained that in some ways the Youth Star model is similar to the more widely known Peace Corps, with its dual purpose of helping needy communities and developing volunteers into future leaders.

The fundraising event took place in the garden of friends Julian and Nicole, who along with other Australian and Cambodian helpers were responsible for organising and preparing the festivities. It is hoped that this will be the first of many annual Melbourne Youth Star fundraising events! A special thanks to all those who donated their energy, resources and time to this event; and to those who attended the successful fundraiser.


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Miss UTH Sithea gets Youth Star programs underway in Krang Veaeng village

The Youth Star 2014 volunteer placements have now been underway for 3 months and are all going well. This report provides some examples of how Youth Star works with under-served rural communities to provide resources and role models to foster positive future development in these communities. The work of Miss UTH Sithea,in Krang Veaeng village in Prey Veng province, illustrates the Youth Star approach

Please click here for the full report.

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