The newly formed NGO Youth Star, which hopes to encourage young Cambodians to volunteer for community service across the country, will start training its first batch of 23 university graduates today, NGO officials said.
Youth Star was established in August and aims to give university graduates a one month training course in fields including education, small business management or health education before sending them to a community where their help is needed, the NGO’s co-director Eva Mysliwiec said.
The NGO’s board of directors includes several senior government officials.
Chea Sophara, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management and former Phnom Penh governor, is chairman of the board, and said he is supporting the project so he can share his experiences with the younger generation.
“This is a very good idea. Many young people in the communities have skills but not enough to join hands and help each other,” he said.
Other government officials on the NGO’s board include Ministry of Finance Secretary General Hang Chuon Naron and Prince Sisowath Pheanuroth, a deputy Phnom Penh governor.
Acleda Bank General Manager In Channy is also a board member.
He said his company shares the objective of Youth Star to urge young people to contribute to society, adding that the goals of his company, which offers small loans, and those of the NGO would go well together.
Eva Mysliwiec said the NGO aims to develop good citizenship and civic leadership.
“We hope that all university graduates will want to give one year to full time service for their nation and community,” she added.
A one-year contract will be signed between Youth Star, the community and the volunteer, who will be paid $40 per month, she said.
Mysliwiec said Youth Star is financed by private sponsors in Cambodia and has a board of directors put together by a range of people with one thing in common.
“Why wouldn’t we have government people on board?” she asked. “The members are all role models for the young Cambodians to show them what they can become.”