The Cambodia-ASEAN Youth Association (CAYA) is gearing up for the 20th ASEAN Summit, which will be hosted by our Kingdom from April 1 to April 3.
Twenty-one-year-old Lang Hywfi is a second-year student majoring in Finance at Mekong University on a scholarship – and among 150 other bright and eager young Cambodians, he is a volunteer coordinator for CAYA.
The CAYA office was silent when we went to interview Hywfi – on a normal day, he said, there are only three other volunteers and two paid staff members at the office at a time.
“Basically, CAYA is split into nine groups spanning from economics to arts,” he said. “I’m mostly involved in human resources and facilitate between high-level office staff and staff working throughout these groups.”
Hywfi said he became a member of CAYA for almost a year before he was promoted to a volunteer coordinator. He often uses his free time when he’s not at university to aid the organisation.
“Normally, I have to lead my group members and divide into small group to discuss plans to develop communities in cities and rural areas. I also face some challenges because all members are from different universities, so we all have different schedules,” Hywfi said.
Hywfi added that a lot of young Cambodians don’t stick with CAYA because they fear the time commitment.
“Also, some [youths] have expectations that are too high. When I am a standby, I’m expected to prepare some documents, arrange meetings, and finish up other administrative tasks. Now, I am getting busier since other volunteers are busy with their studies,” he added.
Hywfi usually spends three to four hours a day working at the CAYA office.
“I can gain a lot of knowledge and experience from being involved,” Hywfi said. “What I get from volunteer work is learning how to be a leader.”
CAYA is an NGO that aims to train and develop young Cambodians across all fields. It is located at The Buddhist Institute on the 2nd floor.