The Project worker met Angel Joliennika So Thyna, a 17-year-old girl studying in grade 11 during Khmer Cultural Day in December 2022. Nika was very quiet and rarely started the conversation at first, but when the SLAC worker started talking, she was eager to ask questions.
The worker informed her about the youth participation project at SLAC and asked her to be in the advisory group, but she said she had no experience and she never did voluntary work anywhere before, so she felt a lack of confidence to be in the team.
The worker invited her to a social get-together with the group, not a formal meeting. The young woman enjoyed meeting other young people over lunch. She disclosed that her life was limited between school and family, and she had no other connections. This often made her feel bored or sad.
After this first social meeting, she became very active and involved in all activities, though she did not speak much and always used her face mask.
Towards the end of the year, the participant shared her feedback that she started feeling more confident, seeing that other group members valued her contributions; she acknowledged that she learned many new skills and was willing to continue active involvement and learn more.
Her main challenge was to change her lifestyle and give up the time she used to spend with her parents on the weekend in favour of participating in the project.