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Cambodia's Young Leaders & Influencers (ENG)

21 Stories of Grit and Resilience

This series gathers the inspiring stories of 21 young Cambodian leaders and influencers, the stories that open up the odds against their desire to succeed, as well as their resilience and their aspiration to leave those fears and odds behind their determination to succeed.

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'The bamboo shoot grows up to be bamboo' is a well-known Khmer adage that reminds us all that young people will grow up to shape the future of Cambodia and the rest of the world. Despite holding such importance, millennials often face hurdles on a daily basis with their potentials still not being channeled into the right direction and being discounted in the decision making process. This challenge not only encompasses the youth but extends across large parts of Cambodian society.

Young leaders are not talked about nearly enough in Cambodia, yet there is a need to have good ones desperately. More often than not, the voices of young people have gone unheard. There have been countless opportunities which they have not been able to take because of a lack of self-esteem, resilience, or external motivation. Reaching the goal of inclusive and sustainable development requires substantial investment in the youth of a country.

The work to be done has to be beyond just creating more opportunities for the next genera­tion but also about treating young people as agents of future growth and development especially in terms of innovative ideas, political and socio-economic participation rather than being just passive recipients of social assistance. To this end, empowerment is needed. Young people need to be motivated and reminded of their dormant potentials and capabilities in making their families, communities, nation, and the world a better place.

Against this background, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has gathered promising young and potential Cambodian individuals from different walks of life to share their stories and is very pleased to publish them in 'Cambodia's Young Leaders and Influencers'.

Through a series of practical, concise, easy-to-follow, and question-based lessons honed through real-life experience, this book is an inspiring read about how the young rise to meet new challenges and become leaders and influencers despite the odds against them. It reminds all of us of an ageless truth that serious challenges persist, but so do incredible opportunities.

Deeply impressed and touched by these stories, I wish that this publication morally empow­ers and inspires every reader especially young Cambodians to stand a little taller with a vision of hope and promise as they en graft these principles into their daily lives.
I also wish to thank all the 21 individuals in this book for their invaluable dedication in terms of time and effort in making this project possible.

Have a good read!


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KAS Cambodia


Phnom Penh



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