youth leadership challenge – second season


U.S. Embassy News

Youth Leadership Challenge Tapes Second Season

U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
July 27, 2007
Ambassador Mussomeli talks with the winning team from a recently taped episode of “Youth Leadership Challenge”. Full Size

The International Republican Institute (IRI), with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is taping episodes for the second season of its popular “Youth Leadership Challenge”. This innovative youth development project uses the medium of television to promote civic activism among Cambodian youth — a critical target audience as 67% of the Cambodian population is below 30 years of age.


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For the second season, the series has been expanded to 19 episodes, but like the first season, they are still patterned after the American TV show “The Apprentice” staring Donald Trump. Each week the group is divided into two teams and presented with challenges that test the participants’ abilities to constructively engage the government and citizens on good governance issues. A panel of judges — including Chea Samnang, Cambodian film star and UN Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador, and Seng Theary, author and Director of the Center for Social Development — provides feedback and selects the winning team for each challenge. At least one participant from the losing team is then eliminated from the program.

The winners of a recently taped episode that focused on lobbying strategies and protecting the environment visited the U.S. Embassy and had the opportunity to conduct an on-camera interview with U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, Joseph A. Mussomeli. The winners (and their universities) were Miss Chay Chansopeaktra (Faculty of Medicine), Miss Ang Leangmuy (Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences), Miss Bit Soktepy (International University), Miss Low Ly Y (Institute of Foreign Languages), Miss Kim Rady (Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences) and Mr. Chea Tong (Institute of Euro Union).

Ambassador Mussomeli said of the event, “This has been an exhilarating experience for me. I have never come across Cambodian youth quite so outspoken, and it reassures me for the future of this country.”

The first episode of the new season will be aired by Cambodian Television Network (CTN) in late September. The program will run every day consecutively, except on weekends, for four weeks.


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