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Youth of the week: Loem Lida

Youth of the week: Loem Lida

{jathumbnail} “Let’s start doing the small things to help our community,” Loem Lida, a 22-year-old information technology assistant and creative learning teacher at Pepyride says. That attitude is what led Loem Lida       to win the Young Achiever Award from a women’s international group for serving the community.

On March 12, Loem Lida received $1,500 for the award. She decided to give it all to her own group, Volunteers for Community Development (VCD), because she wants to improve the group and her community.

“I used all the money to develop my group plans, such as education, the environment and agriculture,” she said.

Lida said she was able to win the award because of her leadership in developing education in rural areas, working with kids, and her age, which fitted the requirements     of the award.

“I felt very happy and surprised when I won this award,” she said. “Let’s try to serve our communities, because we are the main resources.”

Loem Lida formed VCD with others in July, 2009 in the Krolanh district of Siem Reap province.

At first, there were only 10 to 20 students who volunteered to teach children in two or three villages, but now there are many students who teach children in eight villages.

“We always contribute our own money to run our group,” Loem Lida  said. “One month, I gave around 10,000 riel.”

Lida said the main purposes of VCD were to train secondary and high-school students how to work with one another and how to share their knowledge with other children    or people.

She added that she saw the potential in those students because they worked very hard to serve the children and their villages and communities.

“I do not go out to the rural areas to teach the children directly.  I make teaching plans for the volunteering students, and they do it,” Loem Lida said.

She said that if the volunteers had problems with teaching, they could approach     her about them.

Loem Lida hopes those volunteers will be able to run this group on their own and help it grow to become a big organisation that serves their own community.

Because of her efforts to serve her community, Loem Lida has become admired by many women and children.  

She said VCD was very beneficial for students in the Krolanh district of Siem Reap province because it encouraged them to use their free time helping their villages and communities, instead of doing less productive things like playing games or, worse, fighting.

Loem Lida was born to a poor family in Pursat province, but was able to finish high school and obtain a bachelor’s degree through her own hard work.

She said studying was the most important thing to her, and she had never given up her studies because of her family situation. She received a scholarship to pursue her studies at the Center for Information Technology in Phnom Penh.

“I always try my best to be a good student,” Loem Lida told Lift.

“Simply studying in school is not enough, so I try to do as much research as possible and learn from others.”

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