This is the third edition of the popular Young Leaders Series. This series aims to inspire, motivate and tell a more positive story of Cambodia through the next generation of leaders. Too often we only hear about the problems plaguing Cambodia. This special series is dedicated to recognizing the intelligence, talent, creativity, innovation, and promise of Cambodia’s future. Each week in February and March through a series of interviews, I will profile a young leader, all under the age of 35, who is contributing to Cambodia’s development in various fields.
This third series focuses on Khmer diaspora who are coming back to Cambodia to make a difference. These are the children who were born in refugee camps after the fall of the Khmer Rouge or born in a country outside of their native homeland. Many grew up battling poverty, racism, identity crisis and a search for a sense of belonging. Yet, whether they expected it or not, pivotal moments in their lives brought them back to Cambodia. Whether they are temporarily or permanently living in Cambodia, they contribute in their own unique ways to their homeland.
Through their stories, you will hear the other side of the Cambodian journey; from growing up oceans away, and overcoming their own struggles and triumphs; to coming back to playing an active role in helping to redefine Cambodia. While the challenges they faced may have been different than their counterparts, their resolve to overcome obstacles, drive for success, and desire to help build a better future for their country are the same. Whether they are Khmer-French, Khmer-American or Khmer-Canadian, their journey is part of the collective Cambodian experience and their contribution back to their native homeland is also important.