Bridging a Technology Gap for Cambodian Students
Rural Cambodian youth have few income opportunities outside of construction, agriculture, or migrating to Thailand. As a result, education is undervalued and drop out rates are high, causing the cycle of poverty to repeat.
The impact of Covid-19, however, only worsened the situation with many Cambodian youth losing jobs in the tourism-dependent economy of Siam Reap. Diversifying students’ technology skills in Cambodia, beyond service sectors, is imperative for finding work in a tech-driven economy.
PEPY Empowering Youth Offers Training in Necessary Skills
Led by a team of local Cambodians, PEPY Empowering Youth is a non-profit providing skills training and mentorship to rural youth in Siem Reap, Cambodia. PEPY’s Learning Center offers training in three skills Cambodian employers find lacking in applicants. In particular, these include soft skills, English language skills, and technology skills. Before coming to the center, these students have little to no access to technology and very limited English-speaking skills.
PEPY estimates that 25% of their students and alumni have lost their tourism jobs in the wake of Covid-19. As a result, for students to level up in the job market, diverse tech skills are a necessity.
Team4Tech Expands Capacity for Technology Training
Prior to the pandemic, PEPY’s technology training for students did not extend beyond basic computer applications and typing. The Covid-19 crisis forced PEPY to transition all coursework online through YouTube videos and Zoom but with limited video skills, staff struggled to engage students remotely. PEPY views this challenge as an opportunity to expand their ICT capabilities to better support students. As part of their long-term vision to make technology a more integral part of students’ learning, PEPY plans to partner with Team4Tech to:
- Open the Future is Bright computer lab to offer technology training beyond basic computer literacy.
- Expand the curriculum to a multi-year program including training in 8+ applications.
- Train staff to teach web design, coding and video editing.
- Improve video lessons to reach and engage more students.
With the help of Team4Tech projects, PEPY estimates they will train 450 more students per year. Eventually, PEPY hopes to build small computer labs in rural schools and offer training to reach more than 1,000 students per year. To date, Team4Tech has helped support the following projects:
- 2022: 12 Zendesk Team4Tech volunteers worked with PEPY to create a community engagement strategy to support the launch of their Community Computer Lab and increase the number of youth participating in their programs as well as improve monitoring and tracking of youth engagement.
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