International Volunteer Day 2018

Youth Star Cambodia joined the 8th National Forum on Volunteerism and International Volunteer Day 2018, organized by Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in close partnership with civil society (represented by VolCam) and the private sector. The events took place on December 5th, 2018, at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) in Phnom Penh.


The ceremony opened with a welcome speech from H.E. Tauch Choeun, Director General of the General Department of Youth, MoEYS. Speeches from Ms. Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Heang Vannary, Youth Representative from Pilot Volunteer Program, and H.E. Sean Borath, Secretary of State, MoEYS, followed.


This event became a sharing platform for both knowledge and experience on volunteerism in Cambodia. Our Youth Star Executive Director, Mr. Luy Tech Chheng joined as panelist to discuss the topic, and our volunteers Ms. Sok Makara, Ms. Sar Reaksmey, and Ms. Peang Sopheany all shared about their experience as well.




International Youth Day 2018

Youth Star Cambodia joined International Youth Day 2018, which was held on Saturday August 11, 2018 at the Institute of Technology. It was declared as such to create awareness about cultural and legal issues surrounding today’s youth. This year the theme is “Safe Spaces for Youth”.


The event is celebrated worldwide to highlight the need of young people to come together, express themselves freely, participate in decisions that matter to them, and pursue their dreams. These spaces can include school, work, parks, youth centers, or even online platforms. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. We at Youth Star Cambodia were very honored to share our perspective regarding this year’s theme and how our program has been working to create a safe space for youth in our own way.



Se Savin, Featured in “Dream Magazine

In August, Ms. Se Savin, a 16-year-old youth club leader in Prey Veng province was featured in the United Nations Volunteer in Cambodia (UNV)’s “Dream Magazine” on youth employability. The magazine was part of a project between the UNV and the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MoEYS) aiding poverty reduction among youth and developing volunteers’ skill sets for increased employability.


Savin says in the magazine that she first learned about volunteerism from a Youth Star volunteer serving in her village when she was younger. “At first, I had no idea how to lead a youth club. However, the Youth Star volunteer taught me leadership skills that enabled me to lead the team effectively”, she says. 

The magazine has been distributed to secondary/high schools all over the provinces and also through online channels. You can click here to read it (Savin’s story is on page 10).

Pre-Departure Training Cohort 26A

March 2018 saw another great achievement for Youth Star Cambodia, with six volunteers successfully recruited for Pre-Departure Training (PDT) from the 5th to 16th at the Youth Star office. Our new cohort comprises of five females and one male.

Pre-departure training is a crucial period for equipping volunteers with the skills and confidence they need before heading to their communities. It covers areas such as community mobilizing, leadership, conflict resolution, communication, and networking. A session on management and report writing is built in as well to ensure the volunteers will provide effective updates on their work in the community. We also invited our partner organization, Sipar, to provide training on monitoring tutoring and public reading classes for children in the community in order to improve their reading skills and habits.

Upon completing training, Youth Star Cambodia held a closing ceremony to celebrate their success and commitment prior to taking up placements in Prey Veng province.


In May 2017, Youth Star Cambodia Program Officer Ms. Kao Sokunphrady and Communication Officer Ms. Heng Yen had the honor of representing Cambodian Youth NGOs at the seventh UNESCO NGO Forum. The event was organized in partnership with the MiSK Foundation and based on the theme “Youth and their Social Impact.”

The forum took place May 3rd – 4th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, comprising over 2,000 registered delegates from 400 NGOs and representing more than 70 countries. The event provided a platform for Youth Star to share our insights on youth empowerment and contribute to strategies for community bridging and development. The shared belief in the power of volunteerism and youth has opened Youth Star to a global network of likeminded colleagues.


Youth Star’s Newest Volunteers, Cohort 24

February and March have been busy months for Youth Star. We have successfully recruited, trained, and placed eight new volunteers for the Youth Star Cambodia program. Cohort 24 will be placed within communities in Kratie and Prey Veng provinces.

The process began with an early January recruitment announcement that ran until mid-February, with assessment days following for successful applicants. Having made the final deliberations, eight successful candidates joined us for the Pre-Departure Training schedule. Running for a fortnight (February 19 – March 3, 2017), the training sessions were designed to equip the candidates with the knowledge, skills, practices, and confidence to successfully undertake their volunteer placement. Youth Star Cambodia, along with our partners from AeA, SIPAR, Save the Children and KAPE, provided training that covers both soft and hard skills. As our program deals with the education of children, Child Protection Policy forms a crucial component of our training.

Having successfully completed their training, Cohort 24 took part in the closing award ceremony and dinner. This year, the ceremony was held at The Salmon House in Phnom Penh. Attended by board members, staff, volunteers and their community partners, the evening was a deserved and joyous celebration of Cohort 24’s upcoming commitment.

We wish our volunteers all the best and look forward to sharing their stories with you as we move through the year.IMG_1072

Recall Training Week for Cohort 23

Recall TrainingYouth Star Volunteer Cohort 23 have successfully completed two recall training sessions. The training was undertaken from Monday 9th to Friday 13th of January and supported by our partners ‘Aide et Action Cambodia (AEA).

The first session ran for three days, and considered five core focuses: reflection, work plan development, data collection, training skills, and the sustainable development goals. There was also a review of the volunteer handbook to re-familiarize everyone with Youth Star expectations and mission statement. The second session over Thursday and Friday took the form of a focus group discussion and training on interpersonal communication skills.

The recall session began with volunteers reflecting on their first five months in the field. This session linked to the following days ‘developing a work plan’ activity, by identifying strengths, weaknesses and requirements. The volunteers worked to develop a plan of action for the next three months, followed by a presentation and constructive feedback session from Youth Stars Program Director and Officers.

Given the importance of tangible outcome measurement, Tuesdays session covered the best means of data collection and reporting. To develop the quality of volunteer service delivery, Wednesday focused building the capabilities required: namely, preparing session plans, conducting effective youth training, and setting example as a positive role model.

To close session one, Cohort 23 discussed the lessons learned from International Volunteers Day 2016, and the role of the Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, volunteers reviewed the Youth Star volunteer handbook and their requirements in relation to the code of conduct, financial policies, and report submission responsibilities.

The second session across Thursday and Friday was a focus group discussion for the identification and discussion of issues faced during community placement. The ability to develop interpersonal communications and identify problems is crucial to the formation of successful solutions. The Program Team discussed the tools Youth Star have in place to solve problems in the communities. With these in mind, the volunteers worked on roleplay activities that presented problems and a requirement to solve them. This was followed by a consideration of potential methods to solve the earlier identified community problems for individual volunteers.


img_4109Youth Star’s Cohort 23 Volunteers have successfully navigated their first two months in the field. During this time they have conducted their extensive community mapping process, whilst integrating in to their respective communes. Having identified those most in need, Cohort 23 then set about establishing and/or maintaining their corresponding Youth Clubs.

In achieving these milestones, Volunteers were invited to take part in a supplementary training weekend in the Stoung district of Kampong Thom. The weekend summarily focused on core competency development in tutoring, small proposal writing and community campaign organizing. Additionally, focus was ascribed to the ‘’Mobile Library initiative‟. The event was held from October 13th – 17th in cooperation with Aide et Action and Kampong Thom Provincial Office of Education.

Day one addressed the requirement for effective classroom management. The reality of Volunteerism in underserviced communities is the formidable number of pupils to one class. Oftentimes this can range upwards of one hundred learners from varying school grades. It is therefore crucial that our volunteers possess the skills to plan, arrange, and execute effective teaching strategies. The day also covered effective proposal writing. In facing limited funding for numerous good causes, the ability to articulate and present an effective small project proposal has the ability to change lives. In line with the required competencies for transfer of skills, the training was conducted with our partnership trainer Mr. Thong Socheat from Aide et Action, alongside Youth Star’s Program Officer Ms. Kao Sokunpharady.

Day two engaged our volunteers in the effective management of the mobile library initiative. Volunteers also learnt techniques for the assisting of slow learners. We would like to thank the excellent training provided by Kampong Thom’s POE Officers, Mr. Seng Sokheang, and Mr. Khorn Pin.

20161017105109_img_4650Day three engaged the use of teaching materials in the creation of an inclusive teaching environment. This was delivered by partnership trainer Ms. Set Sokleakna of KAPE. Prior to departure Volunteers and members of their Youth Clubs were lucky enough to be invited to Preah Damrei Youth Club in Stoung province to see a success story in action. Alongside the final reiterations of inclusive community dynamics, the group was treated to a variety of traditional Khmer dance and role plays. Our volunteers have left this weekend more prepared than ever to effect substantial and sustainable change in their communities.

Recruitment, Training and Placement for Cohort 23



August ushered in the culmination of a successful recruitment, training and placement process for our Cohort 23 Youth Star Volunteers. Each volunteer will spend upwards of twelve months located in their respective districts, working relentlessly to engender real change and opportunity for the local youth. Primarily this will be achieved through the successful formation and integration of Youth Clubs, designed to provide the necessary mentoring and support for the communities young Khmer. This rounds action districts comprise of Kampong Svay, Prasat Balang and Stoung districts in Kamong Thom Province, and Kampong Trabaek, located in the Prey Veng Province.

Tremendously, of this Cohort’s twelve volunteers, Youth Star can proudly confirm an organizational first for more female volunteers (7) than their male counterparts (5). Herein resides a clear testament to the hard work and dedication Youth Star pours in to the training, mentoring and support provided to our volunteers.

Prior to their placements, our cohort undertook the mandatory two week pre-departure training based in Takhmao, Kandal province.  The experience seeks to introduce, build upon, and cement core competencies and content complementary to field work. Under the expert tutelage from members of Youth Star, Aide et Action, KAPE, SIPAR and Save the Children, the team covered an array of crucial topics including communication, mentoring, organizational planning and diversity. Here’s wishing them all the best in their placements.