Empowering Tomorrow’s Change-makers in Cambodia

Our partner in Cambodia, PNKS, knows that with training, mentoring and development opportunities, today’s passionate young people are tomorrow’s leaders and change-makers. Ou and Khea are two young women who know the PNKS team’s effort to develop local leaders. They have built courage and confidence in young people passionate about seeing change in their community.

‘Being involved with the PNKS project, I have seen the change in myself’, Ou reflects. She has experienced the involvement of PNKS in her community. She has recognised how they have walked alongside her and developed her as part of the next generation of community leaders. Ou became a member of a Community Initiative Development Group (CIDG) and took part in projects providing sanitation and waste management systems in her local area.


Khea is also a CIDG leader, who similarly was recognised for the love of her community,

‘I want to see it growing better’, she explained. While she started her role to help others, she also began to recognise a change in herself, reflecting that she has developed ‘confidence to talk in groups of people’. Khea has fostered a strong relationship with others in her team.

Like all those who experience public speaking jitters, Ou knew herself to be shy in front of others and quiet in group meetings. She felt her palms get clammy and, with a turning stomach, preferred to listen. Over time, Ou started to share more and grow in confidence in her role in the community. ‘Monthly meetings with the CIDG have taught me to be brave to do presentations in front of people, ’ she exclaims. Ou has increasingly taken the opportunity to speak, knowing that her voice needs to be heard to deliver the best outcomes that benefit young people in her village. As the CIDG’s work is catapulted towards greater community involvement, Ou has taken on leadership and recognised her role in building a better future.

‘I am updating on the report writing… and have joined in other activities like village cleaning, tree planting in the village… I had the chance to visit another community to give insight into developing ourselves and other youth.’ Reflecting on their development as leaders, Ou and Khea both credit PNKS for how they can think positively about the potential of the community and imagine more for themselves and others. Ou and Khea are no longer shy CIDG members; they are strong role models and leaders passionate about their community's development.

PNKS receives funding from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).