A glimpse of my story

By Nop Monineath

©Nop Monineath/2017

As you know, the Internship Programme is starting. We obviously do not want to hear “Oh, by the way, what’s your name?” in the very last week of programme. It’s always best to get to know each other while we begin this journey and work altogether to achieve our shared goal. Well, here you go.

Hello Reader. My name is Nop Monineath. I am 23 years old. Currently, I am a Part-Time teacher at Singapore International School. I graduated in 2016 holding a Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) Bachelor Degree of Education from Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL). My love for this school and Language course did not stop there. I decided to take a certificate course majoring in Translation and Interpretation and a French language short-course. Like most people, I do have a lot of dreams and goals. A fairly good piece of news is that I have achieved, like, one-fifth of them so far. One of them is positively contributing to my society– to create a positive change. This actually sounds like what seventh graders would list in their background after watching Superhero series. And the best news is that I can smell the success of this goal coming as I am able to take part in this internship programme.

I was born and raised in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have experienced volunteering and participated in several Youth and Environment related workshops and projects, such as IFL Organising Committee (OC) whose main objective is to promote environmental protection in the community. Also, I participated in a “beach clean-up” event in order to spread the awareness of environment to people there. These environment-related experiences have widened my perspective and I am able to see my community in a positive light for its plentiful environmental knowledge. This has made me feel very proud.

We are not, of course, the “Say NO to exams to save trees” or “Say NO to showering to save water” type of people. We are also not totally capable of undertaking every environmentally-friendly activity in our daily life. Not to exaggerate, but by this I mean that we understand what it takes to keep our society clean. Also, my community is well known for its peaceful atmosphere.

Each and every member of my community, both youths and respectful elder members, have together created and participated in peace building and safety enhancement. Having crime scenes or chaos here is such a rare case. It does happen once in a while among the at-risk youths and gangs, but this kind of problem is always tackled by the fellow youths and others. These stories above are included as I don’t want these award worthy stories of my community to go down the drain.

The question “Who am I?” tends to pop into my head a lot when I get to do a self-introduction as my life has not been fully figured out yet. However, my goal (a.k.a having any positive contribution to my society) is on its way. This is one of the reasons that I partook in this programme, hoping that my experiences together with VOY training would make something better for this society.

Community is incredibly important to us. As the youth, we are a pillar of our community; we have an important role in working toward social betterment with passion and experience. I have shared my story. The mic has been passed to you. Share your story and let’s see whether we have something in common or a shared goal toward our society.

Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.

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