Sophea 1Veasna Sophea was born in Prey Veng Province. She pursued her bachelor’s degree in English literature at Beltei University and graduated in late 2013. Sophea started working as a Youth Star volunteer based in Kampong Thnal Villge, Lvea District, Preah Sdach Commune, Prey Veng Province in early 2014. What she remembers most about her one year of service was the establishment of a commune library and youth club. This

Every weekday, Sophea taught 40 ‘at risk’ children who were struggling to keep up with their schoolwork and therefore at risk of dropping out of school. She also undertook additional educational activities, including providing extra classes to 25 local youth club members, some English language tuition, operating a local library two times per week and taught basic bodily hygiene practices to local children. Sophea gained strong support from village leaders, which was demonstrated through obtaining donations of furniture to assist her teaching activities and funds from the local community for the erection of a village flagpole. She also arranged for the village chief to open the local kindergarten.

In order to facilitate and run the diverse range of educational and other activities Sophea was also required to develop considerable organizational and planning skills, which will be of great use to her in her future career. Through the establishment of a local youth club, the local youth developed a more defined role and directed range of activities in the community, which was welcomed by her local partner and other community members. During her service, Sophea was invited to participate in Global Saemaul Leadership Forum 2014 in South Korea to share to volunteer experience. Having struggled and built up her experience through volunteer work with Youth Star, Sophea is now working in her dream job. She is employed as a district supply chain coordinator at IDE Cambodia, which is an international non-profit organization.