In December, I conducted my first ‘Tell Your Own Story Project’ video workshop with incredibly talented students sponsored by the Ponheary Ly Foundation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was a life changing event for me. The success of this workshop prompted me to alter my travel plans in order to return to conduct more workshops in February and April. After the February workshop, PLF President Lori Carlson and I discussed the potential future for these students.
The standard employment options for lower class Cambodians are four: be a farmer, work in a textile factory, work in a hotel or restaurant, or work in construction. These students are far to bright and talented to have their wings clipped by circumstance. With the Information, Communication and Technology sector exploding in their country, it is our hope that these students can use their skills and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit to create their own work. The students want to create a Media Production Studio in order to create videos and websites (and much, much more) for pay. They have already had one paying client and several more offers. In April, they spent the month creating this video as their submission to the GoodTube grant. They can receive $10,000 to fund their new media lab. I believe so much in these students and their future, that I will be returning in October to continue to teach them. Part of this grant would pay my salary.
What they need from you is simply for you to view their video. You may also comment. It is making a major difference in the way the students see themselves and their future. My favorite line in the video:
“My friends and I did not live long with the wartime [Khmer Rouge], but we live with the effects everyday,” Soy Sen, 17 years old.
Please take the time to click play, and support the entrepreneurial spirit of these young Cambodians who inherited a war.