It’s been 7 months since awarding Sovanny, Sopheak, and Chenda, the most outstanding students from our Youth Legal Rights Courses in 2010, with university scholarships. The three young women have been studying subjects such as computer skills, statistics, political science, history, and public administration as a foundation for their law degrees. They are now well into their second semester, learning more about how they can be utilized as educated Khmer women to make much needed change in their local communities and Cambodia as a whole.
Sovanny and Sopheak both have articulated how they wish that more young women had the opportunity to study past grade 12. The culture of Cambodia needs to change in order for violence against women to become a thing of the past. In a plea to her community Sopheak says, “Could you please just take your daughters and sons to study together. I hope the society won’t ignore the girls’ and women’s abilities.”
When asked what she enjoyed most about her studies, Chenda said, “In a month, I spend one day teaching poor communities about HIV, violence in family, drugs, and some education that I learned from my school. I try to practice it for experience.” In the future, Chenda sees herself as a key member of an NGO, educating vulnerable people about key issues surrounding Cambodian society, strengthening laws and the enforcement of such, and transforming traditional views of gender roles to adapt to the needs of future generations.
Sovanny, Sopheak, and Chenda have expressed time and time again how thankful they are to SISHA and Gina Rinehart, our key supporter of the program, because without this program they would not have had the opportunity to continue with their education. For more information you can always contact us.