Youth of the week: Banung Ou

Youth of the week: Banung Ou

Being a scout and an outstanding student during high school caused Tep Sokpanha, 21, to get the chance to fly to six different countries in Asia. “It is not only luck, but also ability and I tried really hard to get that,” Sokpanha said.

Sokpanha was not really any different from the only child in other families, but she was a bit of a coward in her childhood. However, since she started being an exchange student, it changed her completely. “I did feel nervous and uncomfortable whenever I was asked to talk to my teacher. On the contrary, after I had been involved in many activities in society, I changed my manners a lot. I do know that our lives are really meaningful,” she explained.

Sokpanha is now a senior majoring in finance and banking at the Royal University of Laws and Economics and a year two English literature student at the Institute of Foreign Languages. After becoming a scout for about two years, Sokpanha first packed her suitcase and went abroad at the age of 15.

“It was great and amazing. Of course I felt some kind of worry, but I had to let her go,”    Tep Saril, Sokpanha’s father, said. “She was actually really little but I strongly believed in her.”

In 2005 Sokpanha went to Thailand to attend the Neighbouring Country Youth Camp and the 25th Asia Pacific Scout Jamboree for 15 days. In 2007, she joined the ASEAN Youth Development Exchange Programme in India. Then in 2008 in Vietnam she attended the Cambodia-Vietnam Youth meeting. In 2009 she went to Malaysia and participated in the Malaysia Technical Cooperation Programme. In 2010, she attended both the International Youth Development Exchange Programme in Japan and the 3rd ASEAN Scout Jamboree in Singapore.

Sokpanha said she had these opportunities after getting information from the Youth Department and also from friends who used to attended these programmes. Social networking is extremely important, but her parents’ emotional support was also a big part of her achievements.

“Anyway, it is not so easy to handle two majors at the same time, especially when I went on missions to each country. For sure, I always need to ask permission from both schools. And after I got back I tried so hard to study. I spent more time on my studies and kept asking my mates when I did not understand something,” she added.

Sokpanha wants to work for either an international or local non-governmental organization, or whichever can improve the ability of youth in Cambodia. She hopes to work at a bank as well and is studying hard.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman