Future Leaders Program
Cambodia had been under repressive and violent societies for many generations from Absolute Monarchy, French Colonization, Civil War, Khmer Rouge Atrocity and Communist society for generations. In history, most of the time, when leadership changes the people encountered violent and bloody transition of power. In history of Cambodia, there was no structure of peaceful transition of powers especially after the fall of Angkor Empire in 13th century.
Cambodia ended its civil war in 1991 through Paris Peace Accord – all warring parties signed peace agreement. The UN sponsored election took place in 1993 and Cambodia started its liberal multi party democratic system since then. But the democratic system is still very young and fragile in the context of Cambodian post war society. Impunity and culture of violence continues in current society which give negative impacts on social and political leadership.
In the Cambodian context, cultural practice separates elders from youth and this practice makes it difficult for the former to take advice from the latter. The questions of good role model, good governance, and accountability is far behind the Cambodian society in the past and present. It is hard for Cambodian young people to prepare themselves for good leadership. They may follow the same cycle of leadership from the past experience. In general, this means top down styles of autocratic decision making. Often Cambodian leaders are oppressive and even violent.
Future Leaders program actively engage young people in building communities that value diversity, practice inclusion, and model peaceful action. We offer leadership in areas of peace education, violence prevention and restorative practice and provide support for educational enrichment/service learning work.
Future Leaders Program involves development of young Cambodian capacity in building their leadership skills and culture of democracy through engaging local leaders, community people, and research. The program stimulates practical learning from community work and field research including learning from socio-cultural perspective and from other national and regional contexts. The program engages main actors – youth and local authorities. Young people from university, civil society, and political parties are encouraged to participate in the program.
This project aims to empower young leaders to lead Cambodia society in peaceful and democratic way in order to contribute to building a culture of democracy and peaceful society.
- To engage young people in developing their quality of democratic leadership and participating in non-violent social change.
- To improve local governance in communities through spreading positive models of leadership to Cambodian people.
- Local governance in targeted communes is improved and community members receive better public service from local authorities.
- Community members are well informed about current leadership and governance and start to change their communication with their leaders. Young leaders have learned from positive models of local leadership and can share their experiences with other youth.
- Young leaders can promote a culture of peace through leadership, civic engagement, and community service.