Natural disasters are a big issue for society. It is not only the government’s role to respond to them; everyone in society, espec-ially young people, have a duty to contribute.
When she came back from a meeting in the US, Kong Davy, 26, who is vice-president of The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) International Cambodia, worked on a project to help Cambodian people whose houses and farms had been destroyed by flooding.
To spread the message to the world that Cambodia is struggling and needs help in all areas, Kong Davy and her colleagues are calling for donations of cash and items such as food, tents, clothes and medicine to provide to people who are suffering after the floods. She calls the project “In case of trouble, we need a helping hand” and she has posted several short video clips asking for donations have been posted on social media like YouTube, Facebook and on the SSEAYP website.
“I hope what I did may inspire every young Cambodian to start to think what their own role is in helping society,” said Kong Davy.
So far, Kong Davy and her colleagues have received only small amount of donations, but she still keeps trying to get more. She has contacted her family, friends and everyone she knows by phone and email asking for donations
“We are happy to share at least some of burden of the government and our activities can show the world the disaster in our country. If it’s big or small, they will give us something,’’ said Kong Davy.
Kong Davy and her colleagues also teach villagers about health and hygiene and they distribute donations to people who are facing hunger, poor shelter and unhygienic conditions in Kampong Kda village, Kampong Tra Lach commune, Kampong Tra Lach district, Kampong Chhnang province in early November. In late October, Kong Davy gave out some money to one poor family. The mother had just given
birth and house the family house was destroyed in a flood in Kien Svay district, Kandal province.
Kong Davy is calling for anyone who is interested in travelling to villages in flooded area to help in the distribution of donations to flood victims.
Besides the “In case of trouble, we need a helping hand” project, Kong Davy has organized and attended many social activities related to the environment. For instance, in 2008 Kong Davy organised a camp that focused on young people’s role in environmental protection in Sihanoukville. About 130 young people attended from high schools, universities, public and private companies and NGOs. The theme of the camp was environmental disaster.
“On the project, we focus on raising awareness on a clean environment and to remind young people they have role in protecting the environment,” Kong Davy said.
Those who attended a workshop on the environment at the camp participated in a cleaning campaign by clearing rubbish from a beach. “We did this because we want to keep our tourist resort clean and as be a good role model to everyone,” she said.
Also this year, Kong Davy has participated in the Cycling for a Clean Environment project. This project focuses on young people’s role in ensuring the air is clean and encourages them to cycle instead of driving cars or motorbikes, which cause air pollution. There were 80 participants in the project and all of them rode a bike from Wat Koh high school to the Independence Monument and back.
“Young people, be useful for society! Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!”, says Kong Davy.