What is the Voices of Youth programme?
Voices of Youth (VOY), founded by UNICEF Headquarters in New York, is a vibrant community of youth bloggers offering inspiring content, original insight and opinion from across the globe. Bloggers on VOY share their creative talents with the world through writing about issues that matter most to them. UNICEF Cambodia started this programme in-county in 2016 and since then Cambodian adolescents and young people were successfully trained in blogging as well as in other critical skills like communication, online-safety, self-expression and team work.
What does the programme consist of?
Each year, a group of Cambodian adolescents and youths are selected to be part of the programme through an application processes. They then receive training on blogging, research, writing, among other skills, every week with a professional blogging trainer.
How long is the programme?
The length has varied each year as we continue to evolve and improve the programme design. In 2018, the training lasts for 3 months, from August to November with a combination of weekly face to face sessions as well as weekly writing assignments.
What are the requirements to be a trainee?
-Be a Cambodian youth aged from 14 to 24
-Be able to attend 2-hour face-to-face training at UNICEF Cambodia Phnom Penh office once a week
-Be able to write one article every week during 12-week program (with one-week break during the course)
-Be committed and hard-working
-Have access to internet connection to conduct research as well as to regularly blog, comment and participate in debates
Do I have to speak English?
No, there is no level of English required. The training sessions are conducted in Khmer and you can write your weekly blog posts in Khmer.
Do I have to write one blog article per week?
Yes, it is part of the programme. Your trainer will advise you and give you feedback every week.
Can I write the blog posts in Khmer?
You can write in Khmer or in English, it is up to you.
Do I need any writing background to apply?
During the selection process, we will assess your writing skills. You do not have to be enrolled in any writing degree, but you do however need to demonstrate your interest in writing. Any texts you would have written or any activities that will show your motivation to take part in the programme will count for your application
What are the benefits of the programme?
-Receiving regular feedback on writing
-Access to tips and tricks on how to write a good blog post
-Exchanging ideas with fellow Cambodian youths and the wider audience on topics that matter
-Improving blogging and digital media skills
-Gaining new insights into areas related to child rights and issues concerning adolescents and youths
-Building networks with local and international young bloggers
– Acquiring soft skills critical for future employ-ability, such as research skills, team work, communication, self-confidence, to name a few.
How can I become a trainee?
To become a trainee, you have to fill the application form when the advertisement is made (usually around June every year, although the timing may vary). Make sure you follow our updates on UNICEF Cambodia Facebook Page, where we will be posting the advertisement.
Where can I read the Voices of Youth blogs?
How can I get involved now?
You don’t need to wait until the next Voices of Youth!! You can already interact with the blogs written by Cambodian youth and share your thoughts and ideas too! This is how you can do this…
-You can share the blog posts on your own social media accounts and start a conversation about a certain topic with your friends
-You can leave comments on WordPress or on Facebook
-You can subscribe to the WordPress Voices of Youth blog and therefore get emails every time a new post is published
-You can share with us any suggested ideas of topics you would like our trainees to write about
-You can send us messages on Facebook if you have any questions about a blog post and we will be happy to answer
-We also share the Voices of Youth blog posts on Twitter, so you can retweet them
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Enjoy reading the blogs posts!
The UNICEF team