Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program provides a link to the region



Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program provides a link to the region

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
SSEAYP participants live and work on a 547-foot ship for two months, while visiting other countries. Photo supplied

Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program provides a link to the region

The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)—a Japanese program that dates back to 1974—brings together youths from within the ASEAN community and Japan during a two month voyage. The aim of the program is to form a mutual understanding of the region’s community and the neighboring countries.

Chhuong Yiv Chhoy, 29, who is currently a staff member of PNN TV, is one of thousands of youths who have gained first-hand regional experience through SSEAYP.

He recalled how the program helped him become a more open-minded individual.

“It was the best opportunity for me, as well as other youths, to open their eyes clearly in order to seek out the traditions in the [other] nations of our region,” he said, adding that before the program, he had been unaware of the depth of the different cultures around him.

For almost two months, the 547-foot ship sailed throughout Southeast Asia, eventually reaching Japan. During that time he created a strong bond between the youths from the different countries aboard. Inevitably, he formed lasting friendships.

“We got experience, and at the same time, we learned from each other through presentations and performances from members from 11 countries. What was wonderful was that SSEAYP made each of us proud of ourselves and our nations, more so than before, as well as gave us the true friendships with [people from] countries in the region.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Participants aboard the ship teach others about their country. Photo supplied

For Chhuong, the journey throughout Southeast Asia and Japan allowed him to learn the customs, habits and cultures of each country.

Chhuong, who participated in the program in 2013, reminisced about his time in Japan.

“I still remember the time when I stayed with Japanese families in Kochi. It was an unforgettable time,” he said, adding that although he didn’t speak Japanese, “not even one word”, nor did the host family speak English, they used body language to communicate with each other, which allowed him to feel the warmth of the family.

“There, I just knew that Japanese people were friendly, patient, helpful and thorough and careful in their work. They always thought beforehand for all the work they did, resulting in smooth and correct work. These are the best customs and habits that the Japanese taught me,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
SSEAYP brings youths from all over the ASEAN together. Photo supplied

Pech Bolene, CEO of Westline Education Group Co., Ltd and the senior member of JCI Cambodia, has participated in educational seminars in Japan, explained the value of a cultural exchange.

“The most noticeable thing to me, that we should follow, are three important things: Japanese people have the custom of respect and adherence to duty; they work in a friendly, fast and respectable manner; and they have great customer service,” he said.

Chhuong said that since Cambodia began participating in the mission of the SSEAYP in 2000, more than 400 Cambodian youths have joined the program.

“Every year, this program provides the opportunity for 28 youths from each ASEAN country to participate,” he said, adding that it was an unforgettable experience.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement