by Ravy Sophearith
Here is my journal of the 12 weeks in 2018 with Voices of Youth Cambodia that were totally worth it. The journey started in August 2018, but before being selected to be one of the trainees, I was rejected twice.
I have been blogging for three years since my freshman year in mid-2015. What I put in my blog was stuff that I had done in my class, like assignments, journals, my personal experiences and news articles I wrote during my internship. However, most of the pieces I wrote seemed like simple articles for my own enjoyment. I thought I really needed to do something in order to improve myself, but I had no idea what I should do.
Until 2016, when I saw an announcement on the UNICEF Facebook page about “Voices of Youth Cambodia” that said they were looking for trainees to join the blog training. I was so excited to apply at that time, but I failed. In 2017, I applied again, but failed again. So, in 2018, when I saw that announcement again, I told myself that I needed to make it this time. Luckily, I did. I was given the chance to be a part of Voices of Youth Cambodia. I’m glad I didn’t give up.
After I was selected, I had to spend 12 weeks with a trainer who was actually my senior from school. She was an outstanding student who was famous for her academic skills and performances. I was a bit surprised and happy at the same time.
In the first week, we learnt how to introduce ourselves to the audience. So, I decided to write something about rejection… Week after week, the trainer came up with a lot more good topics related to blogging like:
- how to properly give credit or cite sources of information that we use in our blog
- how to make use of images under Creative Commons License
- how to use hyperlinks
- how to use proper English grammar in articles
- how to do proper research in order to get the information we want
- some tips for interviews
- different styles of blogging
Besides, the topics I described above, I also got a chance to meet a guest, Kounila Keo, who is a famous Cambodian blogger. She shared some of her experiences and asked us questions to improve ourselves as well.
Last but not least, I learnt some soft skills, like being confident to write something sensitive with a sense of responsibility; time management as I needed to manage time to finish an article per week; organizing skills as we needed to pre-select our sources or photos for an article. Another important thing I took from the training beyond blogging, is to let my voice and thought be heard and seen through writing.
I couldn’t thank those who made this program happen enough. Especially, my blogging trainer who is so kind, understanding and tolerant. Instead of complaining that I submitted my blog article late, she always checked up on me and asked me how I am, gave me more time, and encouraged me to finish it without putting any mental pressure on me.
If you have read this article till the end and you are interested in blogging, I do recommend you to apply to Voices of Youth. If you applied and failed many times, no worries. Apply again, and eventually you will make it. This program is truly an eye-opening experience for you to learn, how to write like a professional and become a better blogger.
Thank you so much for these 12 weeks. All the best!!
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.