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CSAJ ESSAY CONTEST

Topic: Why Volunteering Matters in Social Development of Cambodia? Contents: 1. 2. 3. 4. Participants Background The Summary Essay Reference Page Page 1 Page 2 Page 3-7 Page 8

Participants Background: Name Sex Age Date of Birth Occupation Institution Tell Email Address : : : : : : : : : Im Chanboracheat Male 21 August 6th, 1991 Student Institute of Foreign Languages; Royal University of Law and Economics 093362655 operation.khmer@gmail.com Group 4, Demkor Village, Demmean Commune, Takmao District, Kandal Province, Cambodia

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The Summary
The government is not the only sector that is responsible for nation building or social development. In addition, the citizens are the crucial forces that assist the government in developing the society. For this reason, we, the citizens, can volunteer to make positive changes in our society. There are four main reasons why volunteering matters in social development of our nation. Firstly, people volunteer in a group to achieve a mutual or one common goal. When people work together to reach the same destination, they will develop friendship and the social solidarity. Moreover, people will also understand one another as they are brothers or sisters. When people are united, they will live together in a peaceful society. Secondly, youth is able to gain work experiences from volunteering as they will be exposed to different fields of work. Once youth gain work experiences, they will be competent enough to be employed. As youth unemployment decrease, social problems will also be reduced. Nowadays, Cambodia is facing many social problems such as the lack of education, drug abuse, and the lack of social services. For this reason, we can all volunteer and cooperate to put an end to these problems so that we can develop our nation. When we volunteer, other people will realize the problems that we are facing. Volunteering makes people aware that they should also volunteer, and cooperate with us to develop the society since it is clearly the obligation of every citizen. I believe that volunteering is very crucial in social development. We work together to change our society to be a better place, and help those in need. Our country needs us, we need to get out of our comfort zone and be the change.

Why Volunteering Matters in Social Development of Cambodia? By Im Chanboracheat


Every citizen of a country plays a vital role in developing the nation since the government is not the only sector that is responsible for social development. For this reason, we cannot solely depend on the government. We, the citizens, have to take action and be the change so that we can change our society to be a better place for us and our children. Mikhail Gorbachev said If not me, who? If not now, when?1 Reflecting from this quote, we can see that everyone is essential for social development. In addition, everyone can help society in many different ways as we are the components of the society. Nowadays, the trend of volunteering in Cambodia has been increasing sharply. To understand the importance of volunteering in social development, we have to clearly understand what volunteer means. According to Oxford Advance Learners dictionary, Volunteer means to do something without being forced or getting paid to do it.
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Based on this given definition, we can imply that those who volunteer are people who dedicate

themselves to developing society. Since Cambodia is still a developing country, I believe that volunteering is really important for social development. First and foremost, volunteering creates social solidarity. When people volunteer, they will have opportunity to meet other people from different places and different backgrounds. Additionally, when they get to know one another, they will develop the sense of understanding and forgiveness. People volunteer for social benefits instead of working for their own benefits. When people work for a common or mutual interest, they will trust one another as they are

Mikhail Gorbachev quotes. (2002). Retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mikhailgor380415.html 2 Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary. 2011. Volunteer.

family.3 As the sense of social solidarity developed, people will live in a peaceful society where there is no civil war or internal conflict. The history shows us that Cambodia was a war-prone nation for decades. Wars destroyed everything, and Cambodia had to start from zero. Civil wars can be caused by the lack of social solidarity and trust. However, if people are united, civil war will no longer be a concern. Then, everyone will cooperate to build the nation, and to maintain social stability. When Cambodia has political stability, development and investment will also take place. As a result, the positive changes in our society will emerge. Secondly, volunteering empowers youth, and builds human resource. Currently, in Cambodias labor market, to be qualified for a position, one has to have considerable working experiences to prove that he or she is competent enough for the position. To get work experiences, Cambodian youth actively involves in social works by creating their own voluntary groups, or volunteering in various organizations.
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Besides gaining working experiences,

volunteering is a precious opportunity for youth to develop self-confidence. For this reason, when they achieve a goal in volunteering, they will feel that they have accomplished something for the whole society. They will realize how important they are in the society. When youth is confident, they will keep on working for social development, and developing themselves to become highly qualified individuals who will shape the future of the society. Youths will also learn from the others experiences while volunteering. They will be inspired by the experiences of those who are successful. Through this inspiration, they will be motivated to keep on working harder for their own future, and social benefits. Moreover, when youth is empowered, they will be competent enough to be employed. This contributes to the decrease in youth unemployment

Volunteering for Solidarity and Development. (2012). Retrieved July 15, 2012, from

http://www.worldforworld.org/volunteering.asp
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Pivoine, B. (2011, September 7). Social work. LIFT Magazine, 87-2.

rate. Consequently, when unemployment rate decreases, a number of social problems and social disorders such as crime, drug abuse, poverty, and violence will be reduced. In addition, social order will also be maintained. Volunteering can bring about desirable changes to the society, and put an end to certain social problems. One among the most serious social problems in Cambodia is drug abuse. According to the 2008 statistical data of UNODC, there are approximately about 6,000-40,000 drug addicts. 5The statistics shows that the rate is quite high compared to that of the other countries. In my opinion, the local authorities alone cannot deal with this issue without the cooperation with volunteers. As the local authorities take part in rehabilitation, we can volunteer to solve this problem in a different way. We, as volunteers, can initiate different programs to provide drug education to the community so that people can clearly see the disadvantages and the undesirable effects of using illegal drugs. What is more, we can also work closely with the local authorities to report drug abuse cases to the rehabilitation centre so that they can find effective methods to control the problem. Economically, there are not enough social services for poor people. 6Many poor children cannot go to school because they have to work to support their families. As Cambodian citizens, we have to help the others who are struggling. In this case, we can form a voluntary group to teach those children during the weekend. Although we are not the official institution, I believe that they can learn something from us which is better than nothing. In places where medical cares are needed, competent doctors and senior medical students can volunteer to provide free medical services to the local people on a weekly basis. These are the solutions to some social problems that we can solve by volunteering. Although we cannot

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Retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.unodc.org/docs/treatment/CoPro/Web_Cambodia.pdf Samath, K. (2011, September 7). We as nation need to develop a culture of helping others. LIFT Magazine, 87-7.

immediately put an end to these problems, we can lessen the problems and bring changes to our society. Every Cambodian citizen has responsibilities in developing our society. Volunteering raises the public awareness of social development. Generally, people may not realize the social problems that they are facing everyday. However, if a group of people volunteer to solve a certain problem, the other people will realize that they too, will have to cooperate and volunteer to combat the problem. For example, to raise the public awareness of the importance of a clean environment, Clean-up Day campaign is annually held by various universities. We cannot make the environment clean in one single day; however, we can alert the public of how important the environment is to our daily life. All in all, when we volunteer, people will see the areas that they need to assist in developing or improving. This can be a very good example for the next generation to see how social works and volunteering matter in social development. To get a clear image of the importance of volunteering, I will take my personal experience as an example. I have been volunteering for different institutions in various programs. I can say that volunteering is the beginning of my social experience. Every time I volunteer, I face different challenges, and I learn to overcome those obstacles. Through volunteering, I meet new people, build networks, and acquire many different skills. I am currently volunteering as a committee member of the 2nd Cambodian-Thai Exchange program which aims to build peaceful relationship between youth from both nations. I decided to volunteer for this program since I was inspired by the strong bond relationship between youth of the two nations which is the outcome of the first program. After attending the first Cambodian-Thai Exchange program, the hatred and discrimination that were passed down to the two races for centuries have been erased, and they love one another as brothers and sisters. This is a great achievement of the former committee

members who committed themselves to build peace. Today, I am following in their foot steps, and take action. In addition, by volunteering as a program committee, I am working as a peacebuilder who continues my mission, and put my effort on promoting peace in the region. Even though I do not gain economic benefits from running this program, my motivation and my passion to build peace encourages me to work for social benefits. I firmly believe that 40 participants of the program will work together to further strengthen peace between the two nations since peace is a key to development. This experience is just a single aspect of how volunteering impacts society, and I hope that this volunteering experience will convey a message to make people realize how crucial volunteering is to our society. In conclusion, I strongly believe that volunteering can make Cambodian society prosperous by bringing people closer, empowering youth and building human resource, putting an end to social problems, and raising awareness of the importance of social development. Volunteering does not give benefits to any individual directly, but it gives benefits to all people living in the whole society. You will not earn money from volunteering, but you earn credits given by volunteering, and you can help the others. People volunteer with passion to make changes to the society. Some of us might live in comfortable and easy life, but some other people may not. Those people are starving, crying, and living in poverty. They need our help. No matter how much we can help, we can all work together to change the world. I personally believe that when we make people smile, we will also smile. Time is running; do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. It is time for you to go out there and change the world, to inspire the others, and be inspired. Cambodia needs you.

Reference
Mikhail Gorbachev quotes. (2002). Retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mikhailgor380415.html Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary. 2011. Volunteer. Pivoine, B. (2011, September 7). Social work. LIFT Magazine, 87-2. Retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.unodc.org/docs/treatment/CoPro/Web_Cambodia.pdf Samath, K. (2011, September 7). We as nation need to develop a culture of helping others. LIFT Magazine, 87-7. Volunteering for Solidarity and Development. (2012). Retrieved July 15, 2012, from http://www.worldforworld.org/volunteering.asp