SOR Samet, 26 from Takeo, has been working at Youth Star in Kampong Trabek district, Prey Veng province since August 2012.
He studied rural agriculture at University of Puthisastra and graduated in 2011.
He found it difficult to get a job when he graduated as perspective employers said he lacked experience.
Samet was attracted to Youth Star because of its unique vision and mission and he thought it might provide an opportunity to improve his life and gain valuable skills in order to enable him to have a better chance of getting a good job. He wanted to go to a rural community to learn from the commune and also share his knowledge and experience with them. He really wanted to help the children in the community with their schooling.
It was hard at first as he felt isolated when he arrived to the commune, he didn’t know anyone and didn’t get much support from the community. Due to his disability some community members felt he wouldn’t be able to effectively carry out his assignment.
Samet refused to quit, and remembered what he learned from his Youth Star pre-departure training and proactively sorted out the problem himself.
He went around all the houses in the community and did a census and mapped out issues in the community. Then he created a youth cluband he and the youth club are now active participants in the “Good Man Campaign”.
Before Samet became a volunteer he never expected it would be so hard but now he is very happy and really enjoys teaching the young children in the community.
Samet feels he has become a lot more confident in his abilities and he sees a big change in community’s attitudes, especially the children who tested him a lot and didn’t take education seriously at first. He is proud of himself for fighting for education and improving his life. When he finishes his assignment in June he wants to set up his own center of education for all.
The Good Men campaign is chaired by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and coordinated by Spanish based NGO Paz y Desarrollo. Its goals and objectives are to challenge the gender norms that perpetuate violence against women, promote understanding of different ways of ‘being a man’ and encourage changes in attitudes and behavior towards gender equality. The campaign is primarily targeted at men 15 to 49 who live in rural areas. The campaign has been launched via a manner of mediums such as mass media and branded materials, social mobilization interventions in the fields of art, sport, social media, Interpersonal communication and advocacy at grassroots and national levels. Youth Star has been working in collaboration with PyD, since July 2012 on a one year pilot project. Youth Star volunteers aim to:
“I have noticed a big change, the local authorities have changed their attitudes towards me and I get respect from all these people. In working for the Good Men Project: I feel part of the leadership in the community now, and people are proud of me for this. Now the commune recognizes me as a good educator, making achievements.
I’m very proud to be volunteer, I have encouraged children to be volunteers in the community, and this ideology has spread to the youth clubs as well”.
- Empower and develop youths to make a positive change in under-served communities and promote gender equality and raise awareness on causes of violence against women and girls (VAW/G).
- To start community conversations about VAW/G and to empower young people and other community members to take steps to prevent gender-based violence in their communities by changing attitudes and behaviour.
- To create a space for young people in rural communities to have meaningful peer discussions on values, sexual rights and gender relationships.
- To set up a network of men/boys working to work on gender-based violence issues long-term and exchange information.