By Chhay Daroth
Eighty-five students from the University of Cambodia (UC) have volunteered to join the Red Cross Youth of UC, a new and officially recognized student organization on campus, to help improve the lives of vulnerable people throughout Cambodia. On July 8, the First Basic Training of Red Cross Youth of UC was conducted at the University. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen, presided over the opening ceremony on the first day of the two-day training. On the second day of training, Lok Chumteav Pum Chantinie, Secretary-General of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), and Dr. Kao Kim Hourn presided over the closing ceremony to celebrate the success of the training. The trainers of the two-day workshop were Youth Program Coordinators Kuoch Vengsrun and Lay Rithya.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Kao said that the trainees would learn to help the world. He encouraged the students to learn the values of being a Red Cross Youth volunteer, including how to promote morality and how to encourage society to eliminate drug use. In addition, he said that this would be a new opportunity for students to gain valuable leadership experiences and to link two worlds together--the theoretical world, and the practical.
In his speech during the closing ceremony, Dr. Kao continued delivering positive messages and encouraged students to continue learning and to be role models for other youth. He also said that students should devote some time to do humanitarian activities and emphasized that students need to share their knowledge and experiences with their friends. Moreover, he encouraged students to stay healthy.
Lok Chumteav Pum Chantinie delivered the closing keynote address and said that the two-day workshop was only the start of formal training for the Red Cross Youth group at UC. The students still need to learn First Aid techniques, she said, and they are representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross and the CRC.
Por Malis, Vice President for Operations, said that the training was a success because it met its objectives: 1) to strengthen the fundamental knowledge of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent Society, and the CRC; 2) to promote greater understanding of the fundamental principles, introduction of youth development programs, and management of CRC Youth Clubs; 3) to identify any obstacles among youth at the university level; and 4) to provide general knowledge about the planned programs to develop youth within schools and communities.
During the training, the Red Cross Youth of UC conducted an officer election for the new student organization. Sann Sethvitou was elected to be the President of the student organization, and Mon Doungmonyrath was elected to be the Vice President.
“I intend to help our society cut down the poverty rate by helping vulnerable people, like the disabled, orphans, HIV patients, and so on,” said Sethvitou. “I have always praised CRC youth who actively participate in social work and become helpful citizens of the country; that is why I want to be like them.”
As President of the UC Red Cross Youth, Sethvitou plans to create a structural organization for the club, a code of conduct, and short- and long-term strategic plans. In addition, he plans to strengthen the club members’ knowledge of the seven core principles of the club and to organize humanitarian activities with funds raised from sponsoring organizations and in cooperation with other Red Cross Youth clubs.
The Cambodian Red Cross was established on February 18, 1955, and is the 85th National Association among the 186 National Associations around the world.
Source: UC Bulletin September 2011, Page 24