Training Cambodian Youth in Technology Skills with PEPY Empowering Youth
Problem Statement: Rural Cambodian youth do not see many opportunities for themselves outside of construction, agriculture, or migrating to Thailand to earn income. As a result, education is undervalued and drop out rates are high, causing the cycle of poverty to repeat.
The impact of Covid-19 only worsened the situation with many Cambodian youth losing jobs in the tourism-dependent economy of Siam Reap. Diversifying Cambodian students’ skills beyond service sectors is imperative for finding work in a tech-driven economy.
PEPY Solution: 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: 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. For students to level up in the job market, diverse tech skills are a necessity.
Team4Tech PEPY Impact Goals:
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.