By Sophearith Dareth
Right now, I am sitting in my favorite café drinking hot chocolate (yum!!) as the rain pours down. I am the only customer here right now.
I am savoring and indulging the silence as I am writing this blog.
Then it hit me that this is my last blog on the Voices of Youth Program.
When I first got the email, saying “Congratulations” from UNICEF, I literally squealed with excitement. As cliché as it sounds, happiness filled my soul and I realized that my life was about to go on an exciting journey full of experiences and I knew I would acquire more knowledge.
And in fact, I was right!
I remember the first day and the first meeting of the internship so clearly.
I got lost in the Exchange Square trying to figure out how to get to the fifth floor and instead I got into the elevator with the construction workers and wandered into the 20th floor instead.
I even asked the receptionist where the “UNESCO” office is. She replied with “There’s no UNESCO here, there is only UNICEF and it’s on the fifth floor”.
Finally, after 40 minutes of trying, I met bong Pich (shout out to you for being so patient) in front of the UNICEF office.
Being more than half an hour late, I was catching my breath and sweating like crazy. I was also terrified that I might get a few death stares or worse, kicked out.
I was entirely wrong.
Instead, I was greeted with what I remember to be an Australian accent and a wide smile, “So glad, you can join us!”
(Shout out to Sarah!)
I also met other 9 young individuals, who I later found out to be incredibly talented bloggers.
Throughout the ten-weeks internship, I have absorbed knowledge I never knew I could acquire from bong Kounila. I have opened up about my sexuality, and used the platform to write about controversial topics and most importantly about what I believe in.
Everyone was so supportive and it felt like a safe-space, where I can also be myself and write without being judged or criticized.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the program for your hard work and for being so kind and understanding. Without your constructive comments and suggestions my blogs would’ve been pieces of grammatical mess and mistakes.
I’m exceptionally grateful for the opportunity that has been provided by UNICEF. I encourage other youths who are passionate about writing or blogging to apply for this program in the future.
I guess, I have said everything that I wanted to.
I’m curious to see and read what the youths next year will write about.
Thank you all from the bottom of my little gay heart! ❤
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.