With around 50% of Cambodia’s population being female, there are plenty of women and girls in the Kingdom to empower and to encourage to step up to bigger leadership positions. With more and more co-working spaces being sponsored and funded by external organisations, one woman in particular took advantage of such abundant resources to empower women in the Kingdom.
Ms Phoeuk Rathana, one of the first young women under a mentorship program by Wedu, is an example of how young Cambodian women face financial and social barriers to realize their potential. However, with Wedu, an international organsation that seeks to address these challenges by unlocking the leadership potential of women in Asia by providing lifelong mentorship and innovative financing options to complete their higher education.
Rathana affirms the fact that having a mentor is very important for the success of young women in Cambodia. With 140 young women currently enrolled in the program within South East Asia, Rathana took it upon herself to organize and develop the program in Cambodia where they now support 33 women in 22 provinces across the country.
Motivated to make these young women the change makers in the community, Wedu headquarters in Bangkok brought Rathana onto the team and she is now the first staff outside of Thailand. Under part-time contract, she has also set up operations at 5D Lab at Development Innovations. With support from the USAID and EZECOM, one of Cambodia’s Internet Service Providers, the lab provides co-working space to Wedu as well as other like-minded socially conscious technologists.
Rathana chose 5D lab for operations, as not only does it provide free co-working space for those under the program, it also allows them to network and to raise awareness to recruit the next batch of ‘Rising Stars’. Using simple tools such as Skype, Facebook’s many initiatives and low bandwidth messaging apps, the team is able to connect young women in Cambodia to international mentors for a low, cost-effective price.
With many NGOs setting up camp here in the Kingdom, Wedu acts as a valuable role model by showing how simple technology is able to connect people from all over the world as well as to support development initiatives.
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To become a mentor or apply to be a rising star, contact Wedu via this channel.
// Article Adapted from Development Innovations