Conducting a Year-Long Research

Cambodia is still very new to the concept of sexual orientations, especially homosexuality. For instance, in Khmer language, there is no specific terminology to describe different sexual orientations; however, “ktery” is the only word that we use to describe all types of sexual orientations. Additionally, Kantar TNS has collaborated with ROCK (Rainbow Community Kampuchea) organization to conduct a research in 2015 called “Opinions, Attitude, and Behavior toward the LGBT Population in Cambodia” but never once did a research only on public perception toward homosexuality. Their report also mentioned that in the next 4-5 years, there should be another replica of their survey for comparison; in this case, 2019 is the perfect year to do another survey. Because of the above reasons, I would like to conduct a research about public perception toward homosexuality in Cambodia. This research will be an outlet for people to hear what “a boy loves a boy” or “a girl loves a girl” terms mean in Khmer and for people to think critically of what would they do if their children tells them that they are homosexual or should the government legalize same-sex marriage. The more people hear about how to say those terms in Khmer, the more it will become normal for them to use. By the end of this project, there will be data that can be analyzed and shared to everyone, especially students to utilize the findings as a learning resource to better understand the current situation of homosexuality in Cambodia.



Before I joined Research Strand class, I knew that I wanted to conduct a research related to gender issues because of my passion for this topic. There were three main ideas that I wanted to research about: LGBTQ, women, and marriage. Next, I have to come up with 10 thoughtful questions related to those three topics. Since those questions were very broad, I narrowed it down to three questions: why does Cambodian culture placed great value on female long hair? How can we use gender norms for women as strength? What is the current perception of people and government toward gay marriage in Cambodia? Then, I chose “what is the current perception of people and government toward gay marriage in Cambodia” for my research. After thinking about that question for a while, I was not satisfied with it at all because it was too specific. Therefore, I modified it into perspectives toward LGBTQ in Cambodia; however, since it is general and doesn’t have actual Khmer translation, I changed it to public perception toward homosexuality, which is my final research idea. While I was redefining my research topic, I also had to gather contacts of organizations and possible mentors for this research. I have reached out to ROCK and a few people to be my mentors. Additionally, I learned how to organize data and how to be ethical in my research; for instance, give credit to other published data, open to recommendation from others, not react or disagree with people’s opinions, and interpret the information correctly. After knowing how to be ethical and write methodology, I had to write a research proposal.


What have I done?

So far, I have formed 35 questions both in English and Khmer. Next week, I will be meeting with one of the staff from ROCK and Kantar TNS to discuss about my methodology and check my questions.

Before this research rolls out in March, I plan to do a mock interview with most of the Liger staff, who are Khmer. By doing this, I will be better prepare for the real interview with my actual target audience, since I can learn about what went wrong, what went well, and what I need to alter.


Photo Source: Thinkstock Images

Critical Teen Issues

Before entering adulthood, people have to go through “teen” stage, where rapid physical and emotional growth development occur. As we are a group of young Cambodian teens, our CTI team plans to conduct a workshop in order to facilitate discussion revolving around teen issues. On the very first week of our project, we brainstormed most common critical issues that Cambodian teens encounter. At the end, we came up with four significant teen problems in Cambodia: marriage and parenthood, stereotypes and bias, soft skill, and healthy teen relationships, which is our current topic.

With the changes that happen in teen’s brain, and the pressure from our parent, peers, partner, and society, it is challenging to maintain a healthy relationship with these groups of people. For instance, your parents expect you to have good grades in school and obey them, your partner anticipates you to say “yes” every time they ask you to do something, your friend always want to spend time with you, and the society requires you to look in a certain way in order to be “normal.” These expectations and the emotions that teens experience can adversely affect their relationship with other people.

In October, we have sent our survey, which consists of 26 questions, to Liger students. This survey helps them to reflect on their relationship with others and assists our group to better develop our workshop, which will be held on the 14th of November.  

Click here to view the responses

Aquaponic: 100% Organic Farming

As our Earth’s climate is getting warmer, drought has become the worst nightmare for Cambodians, especially farmers. That is why we decided to introduce a family-size aquaponic system to the the rural community in Cambodia. 

However, to achieve this goal, we have to develop our own prototypes first. So, for the first couple of weeks of this project, we have been researching of what is an aquaponic and exiting models. In addition, we contacted multiple aquaponic owners so that we can visit their farm to learn more about it and figure out what need to be change for our system.

Since we are at the beginning stage and have a lot of things to complete, we have divided our group into six roles: project manager, reflector, explorer, reporter, networker and communicator, and finance person. I am a reflector, and basically I am a mediator that make a group comes to an agreement. It is also essential that I am not biased toward any idea whether it is mine or not. Furthermore, I need to ensure that every member get similar amount of work and to talk with the team about their feeling toward their work. I plan to send out a survey every school term to know how they feel about the group as a whole and each teammate.


MekongCup 2018 Organizer

MekongCup is an international non-profit Frisbee tournament, which will be held from the 20th to the 21st of October at the Navy Field in Cambodia. Currently, the teams that are going to participate are from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Cambodia.

Frisbee is a  new sport in Cambodia that many people are not aware of it.  In this event, there will be three Khmer teams including Liger. 

To ensure that this event will be happened on those selected days, Bee Force, Cambodia women ultimate’s team, decided to collaborate with five students from the Liger Leadership Academy to organize this competition.

There are multi-faceted roles in this project such as create a logo, Facebook page, and game schedule, collect music, finding sponsorship, contact ice company, find transpiration to take the players to the field, and research tents owner. For me, I have already find nurses for the two days of the event, and I am in the process of figuring out first-aid essentials that we need to buy. Additionally, I have contacted a clinic and a restaurant, ElevenOne Kitchen, that can cater our tournament. Right now, I am just dealing with small details with them like they should bring their own tables, dishes, utensils, and there is no kitchen at the field. Moreover, I and another student are working on developing an “info pack” for the players. Also, my most important job at the moment is dealing with finances and filling out the price for all variable and fixed costs. 

One of the main challenges that we need to overcome as a group is communication among our Liger and Bee Force team.  We usually distribute our information through e-mails, and sometimes it is quite inefficient because it can be unclear and the process of writing e-mails back and forth can be long. Despite this issue, I hope that all our tasks will be done before the event, and it is going to be exciting days!

To Spray or Not to Spray?

“To spray or not to spray?” was my first Exploration of the sixth year at Liger. The scope of this project was to determine whether or not to spray chemical pesticides on our campus. So, to answer this important question, we need to understand the adversely effects and advantageous of pesticides. During the first week, we examined the contemporary controversy of pesticides usage, especially DDT. In Cambodia, many farmers apply synthetic pesticides to their crops because they kill harmful insects, and the farmers do not have to worry about the negative impacts of those organisms on their crops. However, they do not consider that these hazardous chemicals can have long term effects on their health. Additionally, according to the sellers in Kampong Cham, the farmers rarely wear protective gears during the spraying because they are accustomed to not wearing them. This is a serious problem that our government and other organizations need to get their hands on. So, CEDAC is the organization that is trying to promote organic farming across Cambodia and currently, there are 18 provinces that have already involved with their projects. To further our knowledge, we traveled to Snoul to look at an organic farm. Along the way, we stopped at various markets to interviewed agro-chemical sellers to find out about their perspectives on pesticides and how government regulates the import of pesticides. Moreover, we visited CEDAC offices to learn more about how they monitor the usage of pesticides and how they promote organic farming. After we gathered information via interviews, field works, and internet, we came up with the idea of creating our own magazine. So, we went through a writing and designing process. All of the picture in the magazine took by our members.  This magazine encompasses five main categories and my article is called “Present Pesticide Practice,” which is about public health in Cambodia. 

Going back to our essential question, our team decided that Liger should continue spraying pesticides but with rules and regulations. To know more about these precautions, please take a look at our magazine: 

Read more about my trip to the organic farm:

Change Agents

Liger Learning Center goal is to create change agents in our country. So, that is why we have Change Agent Exploration. The objective of this Exploration is to learn from other change makers all around the world. To do this, we need to contact to them to set up the schedule to interview. We interview them by Skype, phone, or in person. After interviewing, we create a video because we really want to share this to other people, specifically young Cambodian. Currently, we have 10 videos with subtitle in Khmer or English. Also, some change makers prefer to answer our questions by using Email. So, we have a few people that do like that.


As you know that sometimes everything is not going to go the same as what we expect. So, as usual, there are some people that reject our request because either they are too busy or the time scheduling because we have a different time zones from most of them. One special thing is that we have reach out to Sheryl Sandberg. However, she is a busy woman, but she takes time to write back to us saying that she is thankful and want us to keep up with our project.

I interview a change maker in my country. He is the founder of Khmer Smart Keyboard. Before, Khmer people always transliterating-taking English alphabet to write Khmer words. But after he published this app, many Cambodian start to write in Khmer whether in their message or in their social medias.

Youtube Channel: Change Agent





Liger Pride Yearbook

In this Exploration, we created a Liger Pride Yearbook for everyone in Liger to look back what we have done in four years at Liger. Here are the following things that we did in this project: writing, editing, designing, collect photos, master layout, etc. It was a fun Exploration because I got a chance to write and edit and also design the credit and Essential page. After our Exploration ended, we printed many books and gave one book to each student and facilitator in here. Also, people got chance to sign each other book. As you can see that if they forget what did we do in first year, they can go back to take a look at our book.

Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Have you ever wonder how does government school curriculum in Cambodia looks like? Well, let me tell you. Government school curriculum is followed by the customary learning and teaching approaches. As usual, teachers will go up and write something on the board and the students will copy in their book and just learn in order to pass the tests.The goal of this project-based learning (PBL) Exploration is to implement project-based learning that we do at Liger into government school by doing pilot projects. Before we had this Exploration we had the request from the minister of education. He wanted us to share the experience of learning with PBL with the students at the government school. We learned that he is really want to change the education in Cambodia by implementing PBL as part of the government school curriculum.

We had four projects that we gave to the government school students to do. There are two projects in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), which are biology and physics. The other two projects are in social study, which are about women’s role in society and the Angkor era. Before we gave this four projects to the government students to do, our Liger students in this Exploration had divided up into four groups. Then did the projects by following the lesson plans that our teacher wrote. I mean the lesson plans are for the government students, but we don’t know if it going to work or not. So, we try it with Liger students first in order to know if it acceptable for the students or not. Also, in each category, we have a play that describe that topic in Khmer (see as below).

Also, we researched and did the four aspects of PBL, which are PBL definition, how to work in team, interviewing skill, and presentation skill. When we presented to the government teachers, first we presented to the them the key four aspects of PBL. Then the four projects that we did. Finally we gave them the lesson plans.

We observed that some teachers are acceptable to our projects and some are resisted. PBL  is new to them. So some of the teachers are used to the old ways of teaching.The two pilot schools that we implemented PBL in were Cha Om Pov (in Phnom Penh) and Kroches Krong high school (in Kratie). First we presented to the teachers and then it is their responsibility to share it with their students. Students will have three weeks to do their projects, but they only had one hour per week to do. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do it outside of their class. After three weeks we went to their school to see the students presentation.

Conclusion: Implementing PBL into government school is really difficult because this is new for the students and also for the teachers too. The main issue that they are facing are the lack of resources. AND our issue are having difficult time of finding promising teachers who are willing to collaborate with us.

Here is the link to our Facebook page. It displays the videos of our four projects and the four key aspects of PBL.

Our own unique PBL definition: Project-based learning is an educational method that involves inspiring students in problem solving and investigative activities to gain deeper knowledge, skills, and experiences; giving students the opportunity to actively explore challenging questions and real-world problems outside of the classroom resulting in realistic products, solutions or other outcomes.

  • Greeting each other

Here are the plays:



Angkor Era History:

Women’s Role in Society:

Liger Senior Cookbook

Exploration Name: Liger Senior Cookbook

Exploration Dates: Nov 30, 2015 – Feb 5, 2016

Number of students: 9

We created this Exploration because this year in August we are going to live in the new campus. Also, we will cook dinner and lunch by ourself and we will be less dependent. We divided up the students into three groups such as, recipes researching, photography, and book designing. For recipes researching, they need to research a lot of recipes from online. Then they ordered the ingredients and then cooked it. After that they will need to edit and make sure that all recipes are acceptable for the students to cook. Then they moved the documents that they made to completed folder to make it easier for book designing group. During they were cooking, I and my partner took pictures of important methods and finished products. The pictures that we took we need to give to book designer to put in the book with the edited recipes. Book designing group used two programs to design our book which are, Blurb Bookwright and Adobe Indesign. At the beginning of our class we used Blurb, but then after three weeks we noticed that we can’t print it in Cambodia and it is very expensive to print. So, we changed to use Indesign. BUT it was quite challenging because we need to copy everything from the Blurb and paste it in there.


Something that I learned was that I got to know more about photograph the food. Before I used to be in biography class and I got to take the pictures of people, but that was a long time ago. So, now I get opportunity to improve my skill. Also, during my recipes group cooking, I also help them to cook. So, by now I know a lot of cooking and vocabulary.
One of my highlights was after recipes group cooked, as a photographer I always get chance to taste before them because they were cleaning their stuff. So, I think I was so fortunate to be in this role.


Some Pictures from the Book

  • Front Cover (ingredient)





Khmer Interior Designer

This Exploration was so special because this was the first time that we leaded this project by our own. We chose our own topic and we collaborated together to get this done in time. In Phnom Penh there are a lot of buildings are happening and that is the sign of needing more interior designers. Also, in Liger there are a lot of constructions is going on that’s why we take this opportunity to design one apartment. Our goal is to encourage more Khmer interior designers to take over this career by sharing with them at sharation.

At the beginning of this project, we thought that it will be easy just buy the furniture that we like and then put in. BUT actually it wasn’t the same as our thought. We divided up our members into three groups were, designing kitchen+living room, bedrooms, and designing bathroom+toilet. So, my role was to design double bedroom. First, we went to town to meet with our professional interior designers. We asked them some basic questions and some tips. We learned a lot from them. Right now, our apartment nearly done because we need to buy a few more furniture to put in.

Khmer Interior Designer Exploration Plan Template

Job Skills

Tips + Design Process (1)


  • Hallway