Impact Statement |2019-2020| – Fantaisie-Impromptu as a Year

If you have ever listened to “Fantaisie-Impromptu,” by Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, how the year 2019 and 2020 went is no different. This sophisticated piece consists of drastic changes in rhythm that many musicians recognise as one of the most difficult compositions to play in classical music. The noticeable changes in rhythm are comparable to the situations of 2019 and 2020. Exhilarated and depressing notes battling each other in every bar are similar to how we decided what we should feel about every moment throughout the years. 

Unanticipated change can happen, for instance, the COVID-19 outbreak. It spun the whole world! Each country suffers from different economic crises and has to adapt to the unpreventable change, even if it means that schools have to close for individual student’s safety. Nations around the world, regardless of the infected patient’s status, affirm a high level of precaution, and treatments. Fortunately for Cambodia, the outbreak hit in early 2020, which was the middle of our fourth school year. Liger, at that time, could not do anything but to follow the Cambodian government’s regulation by closing the school for a short period of time. Now, winter can still be a season without snow, and day is still brighter than night even with a sky full of clouds. We can all agree that we were living in a time of uncertainty, but likewise, my fourth school year at the Liger Leadership Academy did have joyfulness, excitement, and positive impacts on which to reflect.

Before getting any further on my impact-reflection, you have the privilege to understand more about Liger. Liger Leadership Academy, my knowledge and wisdom fountain, is a project-based learning school that chooses students from all around Cambodia who have the most potential to become future change-agents of Cambodia. What is  project-based learning, you might ask? Well, project-based learning is a learning method in which students gain knowledge and skills by exploring and solving the real-world challenges and problems as a long-term or short-term project. A project is successful or failed does not matter. What matters is the experiences of processes that the students acquire from the project. It is peculiar, one could say, because it could be a contrast to the traditional teaching methods to some extent. Traditional teaching methods teach students how to fish in the classroom with a pen, whereas project-based learning has the student at the fish pond with a fishing rod. 

Liger Leadership Academy is a project-based learning school, then what is it about students becoming future change-agents of Cambodia? I was once an ordinary  boy who was born and raised in Battambang, a province of rice fields located in the northwest of Cambodia, and my life changed at the age of 11 when I was selected to be one of the many “change-agents” at the Liger Leadership Academy. There might be a fancy definition for it, but my definition is be the one to embrace changes, tiny or tremendous, that positively impacts your surroundings. In simple terms, just make someone or yourself satisfied by your generous gestures. Liger has always been pushing our capability to a greater potential through the project-based learning method and the “change-agent” motto. This year, creating a positive impact no longer on my life reminder list. Every morning, a simple question arises in my head, “what can I do to better yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year?” It has been buried in my action, speech, and thought. 

Chopin combined two simple notes, G2# and G3#, powerfully set the introduction of his melodious tune. In all of a sudden, hundreds of notes and chords jump rapidly from one to another, disrupting the simplicity, just like my fourth year​​​​​​. That year was my first diploma year. The same way as how every note contributes to the master piece, every hour that I committed in learning counts. Moreover, it was also the final year at Liger for our first cohort. They are the first group of students to graduate at Liger. I will miss them very much, and these were the two things that staff and students have to deeply note the rest of the year.

My third year ended with one of my most impactful projects, and that first diploma year began with another. Those excitement-striking notes is the feeling that I get when I think about Cambodian Youths Outdoor Leadership Program, the succession of the previous year Outdoor Leadership Exploration. This funded project had the ultimate mission, “to empower Cambodian youth to be outdoor leaders and environmental stewards by introducing them to natural spaces, raising awareness of conservation threats, and nurturing the passion and skills needed to positively impact their communities.” It took 21 weeks, or 3 rounds of exploration, and 15 students in order to achieve the promise. 

The project could be described in three major stages. The first stage had a main focus on designing a module for a one day workshop that delivers the basic but important outdoor lessons and experiences to young Cambodain youths. Many students and I committed our times to research and develop the module. We discussed many thoughts and experimented with different ideas. We took turns testing and provided constructive feedback to each other while also trying to make every activity fun and interactive. At last, we organized instructive lesson plans that were divided into four core sections: Leadership, Nature Appreciation, Medical and Risk Management, and Wilderness Skills. Each section has their unique feel and atmosphere. 

For the second stage, the goals were to further polish the module and make it more accessible in Khmer as well as English. For that time, we went out to different schools in different provinces to test the lesson plans. In every workshop that we did, it always concluded with short exclamations from teachers and students. “This felt very different from other learning!” “I want to know more!” “When will this begin? I want to be a part of it.” “Count me in!” I could not stop smiling when I heard these words. The module was still in the testing process, but, somehow, it changed their perspectives of the outdoor environment. We impacted the youths without realizing it. Also, in that same stage, our facilitators threw us a surprise challenge. They let us plan and led our own trip to Aural mountain in Kampong Speu purposely to train us to become outdoor leaders. This was when I realized that I was more than a member of a project. We were becoming the future outdoor leaders!

The objective of the third stage was to create an outdoor leadership guide book to extend our impact on Cambodia youths. The main purpose of the book was to make it convenient for anyone who is interested in exploring and leading themselves or others in the outdoor environments. Many parts of the outdoor module were included. A lot of discussions and brainstorming were made to ensure that the book would be simple but at the same time full of interactive activities for the users. The book was not fully ready for large-scale printing at the end of the round, but holding a test copy was thrilling. In the middle of the stage, there was another surprise. Green Village, a school from Kampong Cham province, interested in the project and decided to take part in the full outdoor program experience. It was challenging even with all of the preparations, plannings, and practices, but the program successfully ended. 

Cambodian Youths Outdoor Leadership project took a tremendous amount of time and effort to build, and the result was worth every drop of sweats. Every success has risks and challenges as a shadow, and this project is the perfect example. That is why the blistering introduction of Fantasie-Impromptu could wordlessly remind me of the impacts in Cambodian Youths Outdoor Leadership that I was a part of.

Two rounds close to the end of the year could sum up to one word, “restless.” This is alike the end of Fantasie-Impromptu’s exposition before unveiling the sudden drop in rhythm. The first cohort worked relentlessly, with the help of different Liger’s staff, to complete their diploma’s requirements. In the requirements, creating an impact statement was one of them. Unlike any other year where they write an essay, that year, it transformed into their choice of impact project, and they were given the whole year to work on.

Each one of the students created and led unique projects that individually tackles different real-world problems. I was asked to join two of the impact projects to help speed up the progress. One of the projects creatively demonstrated the problem with the loss of Cambodian ancient artifacts as a circus show. Whereas the other project was planning and preparing a Khmer Literature and Culture Festival. Even though I was not directly making the impacts, it is always delightful to know that I helped the projects to move on, which eventually created the impacts. 

Despite the fact that four-fifths of the school year was filled with excitement and tension, just like the melody of the piece slows down, the rest of the year also had to adapt to the unforeseen change – Covid-19 outbreak. Before Liger was closed, some staff members and all of the students had to stay locked down for 14 days. During the period, we had to learn remotely with a few classes that there were no facilitators’ presence. It was difficult to communicate, but we were able to finish the necessary work. After all, even if the candle died in the middle of the darkness, the journey was still half-way light!

And remember, the music slows down; it does not end!

We can all agree that Covid-19 was a negative change, but it is up to us to see it as opportunities or obstacles. At home, I spent a lot of time observing myself, especially my mental health, to understand how it changed. I believe that mental illness is a silent assassinator. It could kill us at any time if we are not careful. At the same time, I also reflected on Buddha’s teaching, my parents’ priceless advice, teacher Sokha’s, and Dom’s warm remark that similarly says, “No one will be there to help you but yourself!” With all of the experiences in my life, I agree with no doubt. Time moves on so does everyone’s life. In the end, it is you that will live with yourselves forever. 

In addition, I found that I am an auditory learner. I can remember more, understand more, and perceive things at a faster paste when listening. It had always been one of the questions that I could not answer. Now, I have the answer.  I know my strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, I discovered a new passion in reading as well. Before, I admit that I was not a reader. That was because I could not find the kind of book I was interested in. Personally, I knew that I wanted to improve my reading skills, so I pushed myself to pick a book. After a few weeks later, I realized that informational texts and strategy books suit me better than fiction. Those were tiny changes, but they were still changes. 

After the alluring transition, Fantaisie-Impromptu replicates its exposition, and I see it as a new beginning – the beginning that overflows with fun and excitement again. Without the change in rhythm and melody, this iconic piece would not be as famous as it is now. My fourth school year is no different. Without the outbreak, that year would have been just like any other year. It is true that Covid-19 was a negative change that greatly impacted everyone, but it has also allowed us to explore new adventures, led us into new directions, and challenged us to question our knowledge to a greater extent. I would not have learned or discovered anything new about myself, and 2019 and 2020 would not have been marked as “special.” That sudden change is what makes the melodious piece live. If Chopin were to use the same notes, rhythm, and melody, Fantaisie-Impromptu would have been forgotten.

Jr. Essential Khmer Literacy Round 3 (2019-2020)

One of the Khmer Essential lessons was to learn how to be a master ceremony. These are the final result of the learning. For better reading experience, please click on one of the images below to read as PDF.

Exploration Round 1, 2, 3 (2019-2020): Cambodian Youths Outdoor Leadership


This is the final product of the three rounds exploration in which everything is explained in slide no. 3.  For better reading experience, please click on one of the slides below to read as PDF.


How I Change Cambodia |2018-2019| (Not Done)

CHANGE is a verb which uses to describe anything that is in the action of developing into a newer age, and it happens essentially everywhere in this sophisticated world. No one knows about the outcomes of Change, only if they were planned them and wished for a great ambition. 

Change can be complex as a wild goose chase or as simple as flickering a finger. In this distinguish world, there are many complicated and malfeasance changes that make us as a human cannot understand. However, there are also many seductive changes that we believe make this world a superb place.

My life here at Liger is a miracle as the most surprising and priceless gift ever handed. Every day, there is always a lesson that I can learn to become an even better learner, no matter where I am; during an academic trip or at school. (I call myself a leaner rather than a student because a leaner, they learn everything that they want from everyone at anywhere. Meanwhile, a student they study in class and only from the teacher.) My third year at Liger is the time that I see myself even clearer as a practical game-changer in helping Cambodia. Let name a few!

Throughout the year, every project that I was involved in has the same intention to make different changes to Cambodia in any particular part. No Single-Use-Plastic at Liger is my first seven weeks project of the year that took action to reduce the amount of single-use plastic such as plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic cups, snack bags, plastic spoons that come to Liger every day. The project managed to reduce 75% of the total amount of single-use plastic usage at Liger in the first three months after the campaign was launched. It was a small and tough project to work on, but it created the most environmentally friendly impact on my school. 

ILO is the first Senior project that I have been involved in, in a role as a language translator of the own-learning soft skill module. ILO is an acronym of the International Labour Organization; an organization parts of the UN that bring together government, employees, and workers to build up decent work and jobs to all people around the world, has partnered Liger to become one of their soft skill module provider to Cambodia students. On the behalf of the ILO, a group of Liger students has put themself in tasks to translate the contents from English to Khmer as the ILO advised, make the translation sound like Cambodia as close as possible and suitable for them. My team provides all of those translated soft skill modules to Cambodia students to learn, to take action, as well as becomes a better employee. The result for all the modules that have given out to the students, when implemented, is hard to say that they will use those lessons for their future. However, throughout the feedbacks form that was provided after each module, we can say what we have done made most of the students satisfied and willing to use those in one of their paths. 

How I Change Cambodia |2017-2018|

Change is a natural development in the universe. Change is how something develops or upgrades from one to others anywhere, anytime, any second. There are two main changes, natural changes and non-natural changes. The two main changes are causing by two main factors, and they are living things and non-living things. Most of the changes are caused by livings things such as humans, animals, and plants. Now a day, Human is acting a really important role of change from voice to action, from city to country. Did you about King Jayaraman the 7th who made Khmer the great country, King Chan Reachea who protected Khmer from the enemies and King Norodom Sihanouk who developed Cambodia after French colonization? They are the heroes of Cambodia. They have made Cambodia a great country in its golden age and it was by change. You will think that change just comes from the countries’ leaders, but change is also coming from yourself and it is starting from you. I also have made a change to myself and others.

 The first change that I think I made it to myself, and it is in FLL Robotic. FLL robotic means “FIRST LEGO LEAGUE robotic”. It was about making a robot from legos, learning the mission that they give each year, and present it to them in other countries. Liger Leadership Academy which is my school chose to take this opportunity as an exploration to share this amazing experience for ten students, and I was one of them. This year 2018, the mission was Hydro-Dynamic. It was about finding a problem with water that we faced in our community, create the solutions,  and present it to them in Singapore. This changed both my perspective and my thought. The robot did not change me much, but the learning mission that FLL gave us to research; HYDRODYNAMIC stick into my mind. Our exploration’s facilitator teacher Chanda who is an expert with water divided us into a group of five and he had two topics; Arsenic and Bacterial in Cambodia. My team which was NERD 2, chose Arsenic because it was an interesting topic and a little challenge to find the solution. 

Arsenic is a deadliest, heavy, harmful, metal mineral that originated in the Himalayas volcano. When it erupted, the lava brought the arsenic and flow into the Mekong River. That’s why the country that is the border with the Mekong river has a problem with arsenic. Arsenic won’t kill you instantly, but it kills us like corrosion eat metal. When people drink more and more arsenic water every day, three or four years later they will get skin disorders all over their body, and that can cause a huge wound. Also, arsenic is a heavy metal so, it usually comes out of the tip of the toes, fingers, and hair first. The scariest thing about arsenic is untreatable. People can not use any medicine to treat, and that is a very heartbroken thing.   

One day, while my team doing the research, we found a video that was about a fourteen years old Cambodian boy whose life was depending on the water that contains arsenic. Every morning, he and his family have to bring water far away in his village’s well. It was a hard thing, but for a bucket of water, he must do it for his family. This is a very depressing thing. Imagine you have no safe water for drinking, and lack of water force you to drink harmful water. It is so sad that I think I will never waste any water that I used again.        

Jr. Essential English Literacy Round 1 (2019 – 2020)

“Why, For What” is a poem from my English Literacy round 1 (2019 – 2020). Base on the theme of “Refugees,” we studied a lot about: who is a refugee, why are they refugees, where do they come from, what are the reasons, etc. We have chosen a poem book called “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanaha Lia to study deeper about a real-life refugee from Vietnam during the communist invasion time. This is the product of the class.  Please click on the bold-tilted-text below to enjoy! 

Why, For What?

Exploration Round 2 (2018-2019): Outdoor Leadrship

I would like to tell you about more about Outdoor Leadership exploration, and what we learned as a short weekly reflection with many different photos and a video. Have a nice look!

Weekly Reflection of OLE

Week 1, Oct 15th – Oct 19th, 2018

For the 1st week of OLE, we learned and understand about nature and what does it mean to each of us. Everyone’s in our class, each has a different opinion about nature. Some said nature is a producer, protector, creator. Some said nature is a destroyer, a teacher. Even though we all have a different definition, but we understand nature is natural.  We also get outside of the classroom to search, observe and find what does nature looks like in a different place. From under a log to in water to around the trees. We found a lot of animals, flowers and many types of plants. We did some debate about Is Liger campus a wilderness? We spent an hour and a half on debating and questing each team. At last, we understand that all of the words such as natural, wilderness and nature were dependent on our definitions. If we think that nature is bad, its bad. If we think it is good, it is good. On the last day of our 1st week OLE, we did some Trust Fall and Trees and ropes scenario. We faced some challenges when we do the Trees and Ropes scenario that made us had, but we all talked, we all helped, we all safe and succeed.


Week 2, Oct 22nd- Oct 26th, 2018

For the second week, it was wonderful, fun and challenging week. It was the week that we had to prepare for our trip on Thursday and Wednesday to Kirirom National park. We learned how to pitch the tent and how to take it down. We prepared our stuff, discussed what we need and what we don’t need and about the trip. The morning of Thursday arrived. We were prepared and ready to do some trekking and hiking. We spent 3 hours until we arrived at the park. We did a three hours trekking in Teuk Chhou waterfall. We listened and ate our lunch there. While we were eating the sound and the feel of the waterfall made us felt relax and enjoy. Unexpectedly, we saw 5 gibbons were swinging around their habitat and finding food. It was very fun to see them and it was one of my 1st seen seeing real wild animals. We came back and find our camping place close to Srah Srang lake. This made the trip one of the most memorable moment. We helped each other to pitch the tent, cook the food, build a campfire place. We were hungry, we sang, we dance and saw a big moon shined a bright moonlight and it made the place very wonderful. We slept very well and it was rain in the dawn till morning. It was cold and moist in our tent. However, we were all happy with what we were doing. We laughed a lot and we arrived at Liger at 1 pm.

Week 3, Oct 29th- Nov 2nd, 2018

The third week of OLE was learning about risk management, how to make a safe route and learned to face any risk that might occur during trekking in a forest. A risk is a situation that might lead to danger or hazard. In our learning session, there are four ways that we can manage the risk and make sure that it is safe to take it. The four risk management are identified risk; knowing what is the risk, assess risk; knowing how dangerous is the risk, control risk; knowing what to do with the risk (should I take it or not?) and review controls; knowing what you do is safe and right. After the session, we made our own imagination risk trekking route on Liger campus. The paper told what is the risk, where is the risk, and what to do to avoid the risk. Later, we exchanged the risk paper with other groups, do a 10 minutes trekking around Liger by following their instructions. It was fun but also vague. It was hard to imagine that Liger was a dangerous place. However, we did it and everyone was happy. We spent the last to days to think about what will some risks that might happen for the future trip to Mondulkiri. What will be the solution to control the risk and how to avoid the risks.


Week 4, Nov 5th- Nov 9th, 2018

For the fourth week, the first day was simple but excited. We made the trip prep for Mondulkiri trip. We planned to go from Tuesday the 13th till Friday the 16th. We also planned to meet a South African park ranger who came and have a project with Wildlife conservation in Mondulkiri. We emailed him and was very pleased to work with us. However, there was a problem and we couldn’t work with him, but it was great to know from him. On Tuesday Keriean arrived back to Liger. She has been sick for a while. Start from that day we learned about some first aid skill. After we finished the lesson she gave us many different scenarios and three different characters: lead rescuer, assistant, and victim.

Week 5, Nov 12th- Nov 16th, 2018

The most exciting week of OLE has arrived. We spent the first day of the week to prepare any last minutes preps for the trip to Mondulkiri. Tuesday morning came and everybody was ready to feel their five senses with every form of nature in the wilderness. We left at 7 o’clock morning and it took us 7 hours to arrived on RDI red land. We spent some time on the bus to think about what are some goals that we want to see happen during the trip. After four days and three nights, here is the result.

“We had a fun and wonderful experience on the trip to Mondulkiri. We got to walk in the wood, step on the tall, green grass, scouted for the new beautiful and colorful wildlife, heard and saw the endless-long-icy waterfall surrounded by the most delightful green nature, and cooked the most delicious food for ourselves. We were given scenarios to help and save our friends when they were in need, took unimaginable risks while trekking, built a safe emergency shelter that happened to be strong and cozy, built the dramatic dancing fire to keep life warm, sat on a soft wet wood and rested to find the meaning of each form of nature, and met the old but not ill mama elephant. This experience was all about being a leader and figuring out how to help yourself and others in collaboration with nature.”

Jr. Essential Multimeadia Round 5


Photography is a visionary skill that tells an incredible story of existence time, through a stunning single-moment image by whoever wishes to feel that pleasant memory again and again. In addition, photography is also not about what a person sees (like cool, beautiful, amazing….), but it is how it makes a person feels about a moment that has happened in the past and then chooses to react over how they feel, not what they see.

At the same time, photo editing creates a new reforming vivid filter on top of a photo, that adds even more detail and story into an individual image. During class, I chose these projects to work on because I want to find my true creativity among different types of art and these are two of my most passionate about. I love the way how an image can tell an extraordinary 1000 stories just by a few single components. I really love photography and photo editing, as well as I,  am enthusiastic about these projects.

Throughout these short projects, learning the basic on how to take a photo is not really a challenge to me; since I practice it most of the time and it is based more on my creativity along with some techniques, when I have a camera in my hand. No matter in school or during a trip, any moment that I can get to, I will do so.

For photo editing it is a little compact, as a result, I have to go on Youtube to learn different types of tools while I have to ask Josh & T.Chanda for more clarification and example. I found some small challenges during the photo editing because on my PC the color pixel is not enough for the images to show up, and when I edit it the color is not accurate. Later, I fixed this problem by using the iMac in the Design lab. Another small personal problem is my eyes cannot identify the color of light blue, light purple, and others bluish color very well. Luckily, Lightroom has a name on every tool that they have including color. Even though my eyes can’t see a clear color in a picture, but they can see the whole story behind it.

No matter what happens in the future, photography along with photo editing will be one of the most creativity that I can express to the public and myself.

Jr. Essential Multimeadia Round 4: How to Use a (Python List)

Disclaimer: This is base on what I understand during the Class and it’ not covered all that I have learned. Just meant to give a short quick tip.

“Can someone help me put this apple, banana, pineapple, mango, longans, and grapes in this basket for me please?” It is an easy and simple task to do in the physical world but how does someone put that fruit list into a python language, let it reads and use it for their action? Well, you are have come to the right spot!

First of all, list in python is a code that just contains any data types: strings, integers in a pair of square bracket [….] and stored them in a variable as a database. It is in order; not messy and we able to change what should be inside the list.

Code Form:
The code form of a list looks like this:

1. refrigerator = [“apple”, “banana”, “pineapple”, “mango”, “longans”, “grapes”]

Just like that!
All of the fruits are the data types, the basket is the parentheses and the list is stored in the refrigerator which is the variable.

How to use the list:
Let’s think! It turns out that the uses of it are just the same as using any type of variable in python. You can print it out like this:

1. refrigerator = [“apple”, “banana”, “pineapple”, “mango”, “longans”, “grapes”]
2. print(refrigerator)

Computer: ('apple', 'banana', 'pineapple', 'mango', 'longans', 'grapes')

Like that!

How to add an item in a list:
Do also want to add more items into your list and use it later. You just have to add a new line of code like this:

refrigerator.append ….
1. refrigerator = [“apple”, “banana”, “pineapple”, “mango”, “longans”, “grapes”]
2. refrigerator.append “durian”
3. print(refrigerator)

Computer: ['apple', 'banana', 'pineapple', 'mango', 'longans', 'grapes', 'durian']

Remember: This type of code can only add one item at a time! If you have a lot of items that you want to add you might need to use another type of code.

How to take out an item in a list:
How about one time that you want to remove an item from your list when you don’t need it. Again, you just have to add a new line of code like this:

refrigerator.remove ….
1. refrigerator = [“apple”, “banana”, “pineapple”, “mango”, “longans”, “grapes”]
2. refrigerator.remove(“durian”)
3. print(refrigerator)

Computer: ['apple', 'banana', 'pineapple', 'mango', 'longans', 'grapes']

Remember: This code also has the same rule as the adding item into a list!

Jr. Essential STEM Round 3 (2018-2019)

Black Snake (Lab Report)

The black snake experiment on Thursday the 7th, when like this. When we mixed 20g of sugar and 5g of baking soda together we got a solution of 2 food ingredients. We had a bowl cover with an aluminum foil of sand and we poured alcohol until it was wet and soak. We made a 2 thumbs size hole through the sand but not through the bowl and the aluminum. We poured all of the solutions to the hole, and we lighted the sand with some matches. We saw that the alcohol was burning with a blue and orange flame dancing around while the solution burning, turning to a mad black the outside, the inside colored a dark bronze and smelling burned because of the sugar. The texture looked rough with a fair hardness, but it felt very light like a piece of cotton, very soft like cotton and fragile like cotton candy. Overall it was fun to see the outcome.

The Rocky Candy

When we put the simplest food ingredients with the simplest liquid on Earth, we have an extremely delicious sweet rock candy. Boil the water at the temperature of 100 degree Celsius then pour table sugar into the boiling water. Stir it until it becomes thick and sticky close like ATM glue. The taste of it should be close to honey but not too sweet. Pour out the sweet water and put it into a clean glass. Put a stick with sugar table on it into the glass. Make sure the stick is straight and secure by using whatever that help the stick stand straight. 4 days to 7 days under the room temperature or less, you get your extremely delicious sweet rock candy. It happens like that because when the table sugar bonding dissolves with water bonding, it mixed up together and become a sweet liquid. The bonding in the liquid is just floating all around nothing to hold on. When we put the stick inside the sweet liquid, the bonding stick to the stick, become a hard crystal and the extremely delicious sweet rock candy.