“For young Cambodians, life isn’t just about studying,” Chap Kavey said.
“They should try to involve themselves in social activities. It’s group participation that will push them to think critically and conceptually, rather than just walk away with theory they learnt at school.”
Smiling and dressed in an unassuming casual T-shirt, 23-year-old Chap Kavey sat down with LIFT to tell us her awe-inspiring story.
She currently works as the full-time program officer at NGO Agir Pour Les Femmes En Situation Precaire, and freelances as a news reporter for Voice of Democracy during her weekends.
“Of course it’s tough working seven days a week,” she said.
“But finding a work-life balance is all about keeping some time to relax.”
Chap Kavey graduated from Prek Leap National School of Agriculture, with a major in Rural Development. Now, she is pursuing a second bachelor’s in English Literature at Western University, where she attends at night-time.
“I like keeping myself involved with people,” she reflected.
“Though I’m busy with everything, I’m always curious to learn more about others. I’m a fourth-year student now, and after I’m done at school, I’m going for my Master’s degree.”
Chap Kavey hails from Pursat province. She came to Phnom Penh to pursue higher education, and figured out how to live and work on her own.
“After I graduated high school, back in 2006, my older brother and I moved to Phnom Penh together. We had to rent a house, since we didn’t know anyone. Six months later, my brother got a scholarship to study in Vietnam for seven years,” she recounted.
“That’s when I started living alone.”
Living alone, Chap Kavey said, pushed her to involve herself in such a diverse array of activities. She started out as a volunteer at Khmer Youth Association aiding a drug abuse prevention project, and also at Youth Resource Development Program as a young leader for social accountability.
She began volunteering at VOD as a young leader as well, and she was recruited to work full-time after finishing the volunteer program.
“I’ve learnt so much about social interaction, how to work well with others, and how to network,” she said.
Chap Kavey encourages all young Cambodians to participate in the range of activities offered by NGOs and poise themselves to have a voice in changing the future for the better.