Hello!! I am Heng and it is the first time to apply for UGRAD Schoolarhip study in the US for one semester. I am looking forward to checking my essay under the topic;The Global UGRAD Program is for young leaders committed to serving their home communities.
Why would you be a great participant in the Global UGRAD Program?
Being from a difficult family with uneducated parents, I had been through various obstacles in life that I started to value every single thing I have. When I was in the darkest time, I was helped by a non-governmental organization (NGO) called the Cambodia Rural Students Trust (CRST). The NGO sponsors me to go to school, provides living allowances, and allows me to have hands-on experiences of leading others. The feeling of being helped when I needed it the most was so GREAT that I wanted to also share this with others. Therefore, while I am still a student in the NGO, I have been helping the communities in various ways.
I am the General Manager of "Project G" in the CRST NGO. Project "G" - that "G" stands for "Girls" - is one of the NGO projects partnering with Day for Girls in the United States to help provide "Health Education" and sustainable feminine hygiene solutions to girls in rural Cambodia. As the leader of the project, I lead a team of 18 to plan, execute, evaluate, correct, and continue the entire process. In 2020, together with my mentors and the teams, we taught and provided 3142 feminine hygiene products to more than 4141 girls in 20 villages and 35 schools. In addition, we also taught 2052 men about "Men Who Know" - the topic which covers the responsibilities of a responsible man in the family. I am so proud to be able to lead the project and achieve beyond my expectation.
One Sunday every month, I put aside all my work and study and dedicated my entire day to join the NGO's community service activities in the countryside to help build a house for a poor rural family. I am always excited and get up early to get myself prepared for the day to come. I understand from my personal experiences that living in a house without walls or a roof is tough. The families that the NGO selected to build the house for were old people or those who truly cannot afford one for themselves. When the rain comes, especially at night, they could not sleep and had to move from one part of the house to another part of the house, so they did not get wet. Some old grandparents had to bend their body (legs), so they can fit in a very tiny cottage. Being able to be a part to help these people, I remind myself all the time of how lucky I am to now live in a house with walls and roof, and I must always be willing to pass it forward. Helping the community, to me, is not only about volunteering but also the obligation as a human being to help one another in need.
With my skill and my contribution to communities in Siem Reap, I was just appointed to be one of the senior leadership team (SLT) in the CRST. I was explained that I was chosen because I am one of the role models for many girls in the NGO. Not only do I work hard with whatever I do, but I am also always spending time to help other people. I always believe that being from a difficult family is not an excuse to be lazy or selfish. Being from a challenging family means that I have the opportunity to show others that it is possible to stand up and fight for what we desire to have. The achievement I am having is not only for me but for those who look up to me and follow my footprint.
Being selected to join the Global UGRAD Program will not only build the global network with other 250 unique students from different countries as one of my dreams but also inspire and support many more girls to believe in themselves and fight for the opportunities in Cambodia.