At the age of 21, rural development major Seat Lykheang is the president of Youth Experience Sharing (YES) at Royal University of Agriculture.
“Most young Cambodians think that rural development is a very large problem that they cannot deal with, but I think I can deal with that problem by starting to improve education in rural areas,” he said.
Seat Lykheang fist began to involve himself with social work in 2009. At that time, Seat Lykheang and a few of his friends spent time on a small undertaking in Kampong Speu province, teaching English to boys and girls.
Seat Lykheang was inspired by this experience, and had an idea to start YES with about 20-30 members. The goal, he had in mind, was for YES to make and implement plans to promote the pursuit of university education in rural areas.
And since he had that idea, YES has been working towards that goal ever since.
From 2009 until now, Seat Lykheang and YES often plan and organise trips to rural provinces to explain and share their university experiences.
They also encourage kids to succeed in high school, make good decisions and prioritise and strategise for the future.
Seat Lykheang said that many urban university students rather enjoy their time on holiday, when it wouldn’t hurt to lend their time towards rural development projects.
“This [rural development] is my contribution to society,” he said.
Since Seat Lykheang began YES, he’s received scholarships to attend conferences in Indonesia and Malaysia. He was also accepted into the SUSI exchange program, an exclusive international exchange program with the United States.