KOH KONG PROVINCE - BBC Media Action, the BBC's international development charity, hosted its Klahan9 Roadshow Academy as part of the Klahan9 SPACE project, which provides in-class and outside-class learning spaces for young people on soft skills and life skills at Techo Sen Koh Kong General Knowledge and Technical high school.
From May 18 to 20, a series of orientation workshops took place to provide soft skills and life skills training to high school students, according to the Roadshow Academy briefing. The workshops aimed to inspire and motivate young people through television programs, online educational platforms, and community outreach activities. They also provide opportunities for young people to participate in raising awareness of social development and encourage them to participate in public life.
Klahan9 Roadshow Academy is also a youth-oriented program that supports young Cambodians to learn about how to plan, communicate effectively, use social media literacy, participate in volunteer work, and develop social development skills. These skills can help young people better adapt to the new working and living context of globalisation.
The Klahan9 SPACE project is being implemented by BBC Media Action with the funding support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Embassy of Sweden Section Office in Phnom Penh.
Mao Chankosal, Community Outreach and Partnership Manager at BBC Media Action, said, "In space projects, we have held 11 roadshows and this is the seventh time. Our roadshows can be offline or online. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we held an online roadshow with 100 students. They learned from videos that were linked to the Klahan9 channel and page."
Chankosal added that his team has held many roadshows, but the number of students who could participate was limited. The roadshows included both in-classroom study and outside-classroom entertainment activities, such as engaging with Klahan9 Facebook content. These activities were designed to create an interactive live-learning environment for participants that is more convenient and in line with digital education.
Another roadshow will be held in September in Mondulkiri province. The remote high school where it will take place is attended by many students who lack the opportunity to be involved with inspiration and education. The event will aim to inspire and motivate young people through television programs, online educational platforms, community outreach, and implementing partners.
Chankosal added, "Originally we planned to work only in rural areas because we want the youth there to learn and know about the community activities regarding our introduction about offline space which includes education, both soft skills and hard skills, motivation, and entertainment."
However, the events are held in urban areas of the province because BBC Media Action always does a risk assessment of those areas, especially regarding safety while conducting the event, especially safeguarding and abuse. They also consider school collaboration, which is very important for program implementation. Now, they feel more confident because they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).
Man Hannafy, BBC Media Action Project Manager, said, "Klahan9 Roadshow Academy is designed with a modern, participatory, and creative classroom setting that provides opportunities and facilitates participants to learn, seek for information, and reflect on what they have learned and apply skills and knowledge directly at the event. This format of the program is called LERP (Learn, Explore, Reflect, Practice)."
Hannafy added that in the roadshow, they bring youths more knowledge about safe online communication, including hate speech, cyberbullying, and sexting. They also teach youths about verifying information on social media, including types of information such as fact and fake information.
In addition, they teach youths about volunteer work in social development, planning and networking skills, youth participation in public life, how to increase confidence and communication skills, speaking to decision makers, and exploring by questioning and answering about panel discussions on youth responsibility in public life.
"Youth will get even 100 percent, but we expect they can understand what are the roles that they can do for their society; they can learn and reflect because they come not only to learn, but they can have some entertainment which has a key message," Hannafy said in a Kiripost interview.
"The first day I came, I saw they seemed not willing to join, but after they joined on the first day, they continued to join us again because we provided them with knowledge, energy games, and refreshments."
Pho Bunthouen, a school principal, told Kiripost, "It's a great honour for us when Klahan9 came and launched this event (the Roadshow) because it can provide students more knowledge regarding social media, society's activities and involvement, like volunteer works. It's a good time for students here even though we live in remote areas, we can see and develop as people in the cities."
He added that students will know clearly how to use social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram, in the right ways, and can identify the benefits of using them. Klahan9 has also provided opportunities for local non-profit organisations in Koh Kong province to promote ways to help young people become more involved in their communities.
Project Manager of Youth Council Cambodia (YCC) at Koh Kong, Im Chorven, said, "I am so excited for the Klahan9 Roadshow to come and support young people with many activities that are beneficial to them and society in the long-term. They cannot just learn, they will also learn about their responsibilities as young people."
He had the opportunity to join the event to share young people's responsibilities to society. They can identify challenges and report them in order to find solutions, as the government needs collaboration from citizens as a form of solidarity. The event also gave him the opportunity to share with young people who are interested in volunteer work, and said they can contact YCC for support and practice to improve their experiences when they want to apply for relevant jobs in the future.
Van Ei Hong, a grade 12 student at the high school, said, "Klahan9 provided us with a good opportunity to understand people's lifestyles, especially as I have seen many young people wasting time on Facebook and TikTok in the wrong way, which has affected their studies."
He added that many of his friends have bullied him because he does not have a father, but after joining the event, he expects his friends to be open-minded and understand his feelings. The Klahan9 Roadshow has opened up a space for everyone to express their true identity, in addition to learning and training. Young people can show themselves, for example, by dancing and modelling at the end of the session.
Cheam Sopheak, a grade 12 student, said she improved her knowledge and experience after joining the training, as she came from a remote area to study in the urban city of Koh Kong.
Among the lessons that inspired her, she was particularly interested in planning and networking skills, such as planning and executing non-confrontational campaigns. This was because it fits with her passion for networking as she comes from a poor family, so life planning is very important. If she misses the right plan, her future will be complicated.
She added that she will take the lessons from the Roadshow to share with her friends, society, and family with confidence, and explain the importance of planning. She will also teach children not to bully others, as this can make them feel bad and potentially lead to depression.