Applying Knowledge and Experience from
IATSS Forum & Paying Forward to Community

Participant's Voices


  • Country : Cambodia
  • Forum : 54th batch (2015 Autumn Forum)
I am Monyvann NHEAN and I was born in Phnom Penh, which is the main capital and economics zone of Kingdom of Cambodia. I am a mentor counseling and youth leader. I am currently an Urban DDR project officer at People In Need, where I am involved in Human Right-Based Spatial Planning for vulnerable people, examining the impact of urban disaster in 96 communes. Moreover, I invest a lot of my energy for youth, especially young women with many projects such women empowerment, career mentoring and safe migration. I hold a Bachelor of Information Technology at Royal University of Phnom Penh. I have been involved in Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN) since 2011. This is my first time to participate the crucial leadership program “IATSS 54th forum” at Japan. I have previously applied for the 51th and 52th forum, so I never gave up on the great opportunity, I kept going and reapplying. Finally I passed to be a participant in this special occasion. Failing was experience to achieve the success. However I would like to say thank you to Japanese people, government and other development partner, especially IATSS team that spend their energy, budget and resources to organize and create opportunity and capacity building to young generations in developing countries such as Cambodia and ASEAN members. Through reading topics in the handout, the main activity is small-scale and not large resource spending, but it is humble successes which are led by Mr. Morihiko Hiramatsu, the former Governor of Oita OVOP and participated in by community youth leader. They made me want to understand more about community development and education empowerment. All development should ignore money oriented strategies, but create strategy of livelihood and environment protection by promoting community produce and Eco-tourism. All Information on the local products should be spread to consumers. I have always dreamed to visit Japan, especially in relation to my work in urban planning and community development. I strongly believe all knowledge and experience I would gain I can implement with my project activities and my volunteer work.
Personal and professional development on the theme “Sustainability Community Design” and the “Leadership” were expected. Before I came to Japan, I had read all the handouts which were sent from AITSS team about the theme study on “Sustainability Community Design”, especially “One village One Product” movement which is the overall element of the theme. It was taken an initiative and led by Hiramatsu, the former-governor of Oita prefecture. Moreover, I filled all the information which required by AITSS’s team such the presentations and clearly understood and learnt more about the situation in my own country before I arrived to Japan. Each seminar cause me to obsess and explore more about theme, the first seminar, it deeply detailed on “One village One Product” and Japanese politics which fundamental to develop the country, all the citizen have to understand about the trend of politics and commitment of government about the creative ideas to encourage local products and be the prosperous nation. Followed up by LOHAS, Agritourism, sustainable environment, disaster mitigation and preparedness. Additionally, Education system is a pillar of human development. The concept of leadership from Sochiro Handa, founder of Honda automobile company “Leader develop human resource and be equal”. One of the greatest experiences I stayed with a family where I could be joyful with Japanese food and understand the normal life of Japanese people. Furthermore, I have never forgotten the Japanese volunteers who empowered me to learn and enable the relationship that are more than I expected. I do high value this culture, nation, and especially the people. I took my heart to observe and study all activities in the program which led to grow my knowledge on the way to coordinate the program from IATSS’s team and their commitment. From my opinion, to well foster in real development, a community should have a dynamic team, solidarity work, commitment, creativities and environment preservation.