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Community service can be individually rewarding

The competition for international scholarships is tough, with just about every Cambodian student applying for many different programs at once.

Often left by the wayside in the flurry of applications are opportunities to do community service, which few realise can really boost your chances of securing one of those coveted scholarships while giving back to those around you.

Sombo Manara, a professor of history at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said he had always encouraged students to participate in community service, which foreign institutions looked upon favourable when awarding scholarships.

“[This] is because community service educates people to love through their own will, not just because of the influence of religion,” he said.

Manara explained that in both developing and developed countries, the idea of young people voluntarily helping the community was no longer just driven by religion but had become strongly promoted by the education sector.

“I would like all the students who are Cambodian to pay more attention to learn about their own abilities before they help the community. When they are capable enough, they can, of course, help Cambodian people to become more successful,” he said.

The three keys to successes, Manara said, were to show that you pour your heart into society, show the world that Cambodian youth can help their nation themselves and receive valuable admiration from those surrounding you.

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