On the 14th of August, I participated in an event, hosted by Impact Hub, where six passionate start up teams “pitch to a panel of judges for 6 months incubation.” All of their apps have to link to one of the themes of the Toyota Impact challenge: road safety, smart cities, future of transport, and environment.
After the first session, I went to talk with a girl who is the founder of JisDer app, which could possibly solve the issue of traffic jam in Phnom Penh. Basically, the users can see if there are people going to the same place as them and connect with the driver to pick them up too. Then, the driver will receive money from the user. After she reintroduced me to her app, I asked her multiple questions, especially about user’s and driver’s safety.
One of the teams in particular that I love has developed a TosJis app. They noticed that public transportation is very popular all around the world, except Cambodia. To combat this problem, they created an app to show the route and real-time updates of each bus. In the future, they plan to implement GPS trackers on all the buses so that the users can receive “accurate arrival and departure time.” Because of their business model and feasibility, their team got selected for the 6 months incubation program with the other two teams.
Click on the link to read more about the other 6 teams: https://phnompenh.impacthub.net/2018/08/14/toyota-impact-challenge-semi-final-pitch-night/
March 8 is an International Women’s Day, and it is when we “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women.” On this day, I attended an event that was organised by an organization called Cambodian Children Fund. There were so many incredible female speakers that confidently shared their accomplishments, projects, and their pride. Some girls talked about their app when they enrolled in Technovation, which is a global program that encourages girls to participate to create application to solve their country’s plight. Additionally, a few girls from Liger presented their marine conservation project. Whereas some of the Cambodian Children Fund girls talked about their robot and chemical reaction. One of my most memorable stories was when a 90 year-old lady told us that she was forbidden by her father from going to school. That was why she tried to encourage her daughter to go to school and be educated. Also, she mentioned that now she is learning how to code with the help from the software team. Listening to all of these amazing presentations, varied from projects to achievement, made me think of how many women suffer from violent, lacks of equality and equity, racism, and ignorance. Yes, we are celebrating their accomplishments, but we should not ignore the pain that they have to go through and those who are working tirelessly to combat the problems that women face in their daily life.
On 11th of February, I attended an event called “One Billion Rising” at Chenla Theater. One Billion Rising is a global campaign that aims to end violence against women. According to World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women has experienced violence and abuse in their life, and it is not a surprise that Cambodian women are still suffered from exploitation and discrimination: rape and domestic violence.
It was my honor to participate in this gathering and to know that this campaign exists in Cambodia. At the event, I saw two performances; one of them is about an injured woman that got raped by her partner, and the other one is about an abused woman that feared to talk about her experience and seek help. At the end, we danced to the song named “Break the Chain.” It was my first time to dance in front of strangers, but it was worth it because I want to show that we support this movement and that we have to collaborate to “break the chain” that constrains us, women.
Link to a recap of Cambodian One Billion Rising 2018: https://www.facebook.com/447568601969682/videos/1676937285699468/
On the 12th of September, I attended an event at Impact Hub, where inspirational speakers have the opportunity to share their dreams. The theme of this event is “Youth with Impact.” So, there were five talented speakers such as: independent filmmaker and founder of PEACE Films, public relation director of Humanity Helping Hands, an author of “A Proper Woman,” SmallWorld SmallBand vocalist, and a funding artistic director. My most favorite speech was a gay rights activist, who is promoting traditional Khmer dance. My biggest takeaway from this event was that you have to follow your dream, no matter how complicated it is going to be because through perseverance and determination, your dream may come true. In additional, sometimes, you have to break the mold.
gay rights activist
This was an event where Cambodian children came and show off their talent. I was not really part of the committee, but I volunteered to help to run this event. Many people came to see what our Khmer children got including foreigners, news people, NGOs, international schools, etc. Our performers were very talented. Here are the following performance: singing, Khmer dance, hip hop, magic tricks, Khmer fighting, and music. At the end, our judges announced the winner in each category and the performer that audience like the most.