Khmer Model United Nation

Have you ever heard of the Model United Nations? If not, that is fine, Model United Nation (M.U.N) is a model of the annual conference of the United Nations. The conference discusses different topics or issues around the world with the honors of delegates from many countries together. MUN is pretty much the same. It is an educational simulation for students to understand the world-issues, international relations, especially to experience the United Nations (UN) conference. 

There have been so many MUN conferences happening before but guess what, it has only been in English. So, our facilitator along with some of our students thought of a very unique idea. We wanted to make the first-ever MUN in the Khmer language. The purpose of this was to teach us, the Cambodian students to understand the use of professional language in Khmer, and also provide the opportunity for the other millions of Cambodian students out there who only know a little bit of English or can not understand the language. With the Khmer version being made, they can understand and experience the same as the casual conferences but with their own language.

There have been a few times where the Khmer MUN is being held in our school with our students and a few other schools. But there has not been any time where every student has participated together yet. With all the preparations and research, we made it possible and had the Khmer-Model United Nations conferences participated by every student in our school. Well, there are only a bit over 100 students in our school, if you do not know yet, and wonder how many students are there. Feel free to know more about our school with the website: http://www.ligeracademy.org/

There were four general conferences along with a security general conference. Each conference had two topics to discuss. I was the delegate of the Kingdom of Cambodia under the topic of “Legalizing the same-sex marriage” and “Drug Trafficking”. We had plenty of time to do research and practice our speeches. It was my first time experiencing MUN and I was very excited.

The first day of the Khmer Model United Nations. Everyone dressed professionally in suits and was looking very good. When it came to the opening speech, I was the first one up because of the alphabetical order in Khmer. I could not tell how excited, and I was a bit nervous, to be honest. But I made it in the end, and I was so proud and congratulated myself for finishing the first main job of the day. Everyone’s speech was very professional and got the job done with quality. After all the opening speeches, everyone worked with different delegations on finding resolutions to our topics as some agreed on the topic and some did not but we had to discuss the topic and find the right resolutions.

The second day was the debating day. Well, it wasn’t like a debate, it was made to be more like a discussion where the main submitters presented their resolutions and the other delegates ask questions and discuss one by one. I got myself the opportunity to ask and gave a few speeches as well. We could not talk with anyone but sending letters through the admins of the conference.

At the end of the day, everyone came together to do the full conference with the other final topics. Here came the fun part as we finished the event by having a quiz night and the ending ceremony in which the facilitators gave their impressions along with the chairs, and delegates.

Overall, it was a magnificent experience to be part of the conference, to take the opportunity to know more about the real-world issues, and to understand the concept and what it was like to be in the United Nations meeting.

Thank you very much for your time reading my portfolio, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me or comment it down. Have a great day!

Math – Round 2

Since October, I’ve been focusing on systems of equations, inequality, and function. The areas that I feel I learned very strongly are something like graphing, writing equations from graphs or tables, the average rate of changes, minimum/maximum point, and some word problems. I often feel like I really need to improve on word problems because, one is the language, sometimes, I need more time to understand what it wants us to do. Word problems are something that is challenging for me but as I experienced, I got better at it the more I do and practice those word problems. In class, what I think I did well was working with friends – helping each other, and doing exercises in teams. Having work done on time as well as working on my own speed to make sure I understand. I usually don’t ask many questions until I practice it, then I’ll have some thoughts in mind to ask – either Jeff or my friends around me.

My goal for this round and the following rounds for the rest of the school years. Umm. Number one is to have better planning on homework, Khan specifically. Let’s say, the Khan is due one week from today, and there are 14 sections in the unit. So, what I need to do is to have a goal of doing it every day, two sections per day; something like that for planning. I also need to ask more questions in class related to the content. Even though I might not have any questions but I should ask to clarify or something like that to understand more.

It’s been great working with you and everyone in the class because I’ve learned much new stuff or reviewing something I’ve learned before in the government school but I forgot to get it back into my brain. I hope to achieve my goals and continue to learn more about math!

Refugee Narration – Inspired by “Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhha Lai [English Literacy]

Let’s rewind back to last year during our first round of English literacy class. I was excited as soon as I knew the theme of the round was about Refugees. According to the United Nations, there are over 70.8 million refugees on this planet, and 30 million of them are under the age of 18. Even though it is just a small amount compared to the entire population, if all the refugees were the population of a made-up country, they would be ranked as the 20th most populated country.

“Inside Out and Back Again” Book by Thanhha Lai

Let’s get back to what we did in our class. Have you ever heard or read a novel Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai? The author quoted the novel’s description, “Inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a refugee—fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama—this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration.”. I really enjoyed spending time working on this theme and learning about what happened to the country and the citizens, the hard times of refugees, and the lives of many during the war. 

 

To take the lesson into the perspective, we had been assigned to make our own novel poem. We discovered many stories of the refugees around the world and wrote our own poems inspired by them. I was influenced by a story from Afghanistan, but I won’t spoil the story here, I would love you to read it at the end of this article.

To sum up the lesson I’ve learned from the experience of the refugees, the information, and lives during a really tough time like them made me imagine the perspective of myself (e.g. what would happen if that ever happened to me? What would that change my life? How would the country be like?). I suggest you read the novel if you are interested and below is the poem I composed. I really hope you enjoy reading and explore around in my portfolio, thank you, and have a great day!

INSIDE OUT

(Mimmy = Munny)

My name is Munawar,

I am 18 years old,

And I am from Afghanistan.

 

I fled because of the notorious Taliban,

Dropping bombs,

Making bullets rain,

Is peace possible with the Taliban?

 

I was lucky enough,

To live in a safer place,

But still controlled by the Taliban,

We still can’t live peacefully,

They did not allow me,

And even my friends to work,

So, LIFE is like NOTHING!!

 

After my 18th birthday,

Mimmy told me to go to Paris!!

 

One day before leaving,

I spent all my times,

With my family,

Including my parents,

Grandma,

Grandpa,

And I couldn’t imagine leaving

Every one of them!!

 

The next day has come,

And I had to say goodbye!

 

The personnel carrier came to pick us up!

 

It’s hard to describe my feeling,

Mixed of joy and sadness,

I was so happy and full of joy,

But at the same time,

I felt so sad and sorrowful,

To leave everything behind.

 

While going to the airport,

We faced the people at the office of the organization,

Asking us in English to test us,

I knew if I speak English,

I’ll be in trouble,

I was scared,

My hands are shaking,

But I pretended to not speaking,

And replied,

“No…..Anglis”, which means no English!

 

I was sitting in there for a moment,

I wrote a diary with my extreme feeling,

Here’s what I wrote my mimmy;

 

Sitting here is not easy,

This is making me feel like once again,

I am accused of an offense, a treason,

Dear mum, these guys have the same rough attitude,

As the people who were interrogating me,

At the beginning of my imprisonment,

Do you think I will survive a new life with such a start? 

 

I didn’t know how to describe my feeling!

 

I got out of the military check,

But still a little nervous,

I started to feel more relax and happy,

And, even more, when arriving at the airport,

I was given Coca-Cola,

Salmon,

Eggs,

Steak,

Chicken,

Tomatoes,

Which I haven’t seen and taste for YEARS,

And it was all……YUMMY!!

 

We flew from Saravejo,

To the incredible Paris!

 

In Paris,

There’s electricity,

There’s water,

There’s Gas,

There’s everything,

There’s LIFE,

And once again, it’s INCREDIBLE!!

 

I caught sight of the iconic Eiffel Tower,

Arc de Triomphe,

Cars,

Houses,

Roads,

People,

And….LIFE!!

 

I’ve written a diary to my Mimmy,

Describing the beautiful,

INCREDIBLE,

Paris,

And how Paris welcomed me.

 

But I always wondering,

Can a glimmer of the light in Paris,

Ever illuminates the darkness of Saravejo,

So Saravejo can be my INCREDIBLE life as well?

Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program – Part II

As you have, or have not read part one of the “Cambodian Youth Outdoor Leadership Program”, we had been planning, doing workshops, and going out on a tryout trip. To understand more of part one, feel free to read on the link attached here. (LINK)

For this part, it was also our new round, the next step of this project. The two main goals for this round were to host a workshop and a trip for our participants and to create a handbook and a few smaller things which I will talk about that more.

At the beginning of this new round, we discussed and started dividing the roles for the purpose of making a small guidebook to outdoor leadership and our program. I was in charge of one of the sections about Medical and Risk Management, and (During) Trip. It was another exciting experience to compose and design the book. The book was planned to be published in Khmer because our target audiences are Cambodian youth. But during the process of composing the book, we had to write in both languages so that our facilitator could understand the context of the book also. Once we had our drafts, we were doing peer checking, presented to the whole group and we were getting feedback and comments for improvement and every section of the book was very interesting, and I couldn’t wait to share the books to the country.

During this round, there was an event in Phnom Penh called the STEM festival under the theme of Green, which focused on the environment and nature. We were pleased to participate in the event as the presenters and the audiences. Pitching a tent near our booth made many people come in to see our team. I was delighted to see the smiling faces of the audience, and how they were interested in our program.

That’s me (Black T-shirt) during the STEM festival, presenting and interacting the project to a few of the audience in our booth.

Another important part of this round was getting our first official participant. They are from a local high school in Kampong Cham called Green Village School. There were eight students. The time has come, our first team of participants! They were staying over at our school dormitory for two nights before going on the trip. During the first day, it was just a chill, relaxing day after arriving on our campus. The second day was the day of the workshop. We had four workshops, nature, wilderness skills, medical and risk, and leadership. My feeling after the workshop was superb. I loved sharing the experiences, doing activities, facilitating, and guiding them through the whole process was a quality experience. The participants themselves were really enthusiastic and engaging in the lessons as well.

The next day, it was time for our outdoor trip. I was one of the three leaders to lead the participants on this trip but we do have two facilitators from my school, and the Green Village School just in case of an emergency. Everyone got smiles on their faces with joys of laughter and excitement on the way to our destiny, Kirirom national park. Arrived, had a quick lunch, some preparations, and we were off on our hike to our campsite, the heaven cliff.

Again, all smiles during the hike, it was the first experience for most of them. As we were passing through the world with no buildings, no city lights, just nature and us, the adventure was really beautiful. We walked, talked, shared experiences, had some breaks, had some water and some small snacks, helped each other when needed, stretched, and continued. And finally, we made it to the heaven cliff. How about a little break to watch the fascinating sunset, the birds (we were lucky enough to see many hornbills), and the whole stunning view. 

There was something unexpected happening in later in that evening, I won’t include it in here, but I got a link for you if you would like to know the story. (Link to the story)

We had pasta with bread as our dinner. And I’ve noticed that the students didn’t really enjoy it because it’s not something that Cambodians eat, it was not an-everyday-food that we eat so it was a bit weird for them. But it was also an experience for them and that showed that when you’re in the jungle or going outdoors, you don’t usually have everything as living a normal life. It’s a skill to try something new, adapt to the change and environment, and we called that “Comfort to uncertainty”

It was a worthy experience to lead a group of students on this outdoor trip. It was a really wonderful two days and one night with everyone. We’ve learned a lot from both the participants and us as leaders. We are looking forward to doing the same and sharing the experience with other schools and spreading the skills and programs around for the Cambodian youth about outdoor leadership.

Here are some trip photos!

I suppose that is all from me. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and leave me a comment if you got any questions or any other information from this piece of writing. I appreciate your time in my portfolio and I hope you are staying safe, and healthy. Have a nice day! Thank you!