To encourage Cambodian youth to develop their social conscience and to take responsibility for their own future and the future of their family, society and country.
YRDP envisions a society where youth are empowered and actively engaged as leaders in the development of Cambodia that is equitable and sustainable.
The Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP) was formally initiated in September 1992 as the Human Resources Development Program. In 1998 YRDP legally registered with the Ministry of the Interior to become a local non-governmental youth organization. YRDP is not affiliated with any political party or religion and bases its work on the values of empowerment, development, active non-violence, solidarity, gender equity, impartiality, and transparency.
The founder, Ms Myriam Frys-Denis, from Belgium worked in Cambodia as a nurse educator in 1988. She realized that Cambodian nurses needed training in critical thinking skills. As a result, she worked with a few Cambodian students to create a program to develop student capacity to analyze and reflect on their own and their country’s situation to act for social change.
YRDP recognizes the inherent strength and potential of Cambodia’s young people. Since 1992 YRDP has helped young people harness this strength to transform a society still healing from the Khmer Rouge genocide; and shape a brighter future for all Cambodians. Through YRDP training programs university students learn about human rights, peace building, gender equity, community development, and inter-faith and cross-cultural understanding. Students engage in public dialogue about issues of concern to them through YRDP projects focusing on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, climate change, and the management of oil and gas and mining resources in Cambodia, among others. Students, with the support of YRDP, are also encouraged to apply and share their knowledge by forming volunteer youth clubs and implementing their own community development initiatives in urban and rural areas. YRDP builds the capacity of young people to question the world around them; and gives them the confidence and the tools they need to create a culture of peace, justice, and sustainable development in Cambodia for generations to come.
Since 1992, over 22,000 higher education students have participated in YRDP training programs and activities. The steadily increasing number of participants demonstrate the significant role YRDP plays as a leading organization in developing young people’s critical thinking and social development skills.
Many students who have participated in YRDP activities now are working with different institutions, including private companies, civil society organizations, government departments, or as entrepreneurs.
YRDP adheres to and is guided by the following seven core values:
Empowerment: For YRDP, human resource development is first and foremost. It is the empowerment of the individual, allowing the potential within each person to blossom which, along with the enhancement of their discernment and critical thinking skills, enables them to make good choices. Within YRDP, empowerment refers to the democratic process that gives opportunity to participants to critically analyze the political, economical and socio cultural situation that effect their life and society and then decide to take action toward to the positive change. YRDP encourages the youth to reflect on themselves and their situations, to take initiative, to find honest ways of making a living and to actively participate in the development of their country. YRDP is focused on enabling the youth to act independently.
Development: Education through the critical study of reality is the best means of empowerment. “Development” stems from the empowerment of the individual through engagement in activities for social change and adult education.
Active Non-Violence (ANV): YRDP strongly believes that active non-violence is the only way to find truth and justice. YRDP is committed to actively promote peace, justice and development. Rice seeds will always produce rice. Rice will not grow from a cactus. Thus, if we sow seeds of peace, we will harvest peace.
Solidarity: Promoting peace and development demands all participants choose a way of life that takes into consideration the standard of living of the majority of the people. For YRDP, this means that its staff and the students with whom it works are encouraged to avoid acquiring superficial things and to “do the most with least”. This is in solidarity with the majority of Cambodians struggling to make a living.
Gender Equity: Women and men are partners for the future of the nation- Equal chances for women to access education and to be active participants in the society as well as mutual respect and understanding of men and women are key issues for Cambodian development.
Impartiality: YRDP is not affiliated with any political party or religion and has never received any funding support from political parties either inside or outside the country. Impartiality does not prevent YRDP from promoting its vision regarding issues of concern. YRDP remains being actively committed to promote peace, justice and developing process.
Transparency: We at YRDP abide by the principle of transparency which goes beyond financial accountability and includes the processes used to make decisions. YRDP advocates for accountability and transparency within government, civil society and the private sector through accurate and comprehensive disclosure of information and decisions.
The YRDP Executive Committee manages the myriad of activities across all of YRDP. The committee indirectly reports to the YRDP Board of Directors and consists of the following members:
Mr. Cheang Sokha
Mr. Cheang Sokha joined YRDP in 1999 and has been the organization’s Executive Director since 2003. His main responsibilities include YRDP’s effective and efficient management, ensuring its philosophy is adhered to, and that the program goals and objectives are achieved.
Mr. Sokha brings with him over two decades of relevant experience in education and training, as well as leadership and management as a former member of other NGOs’ Board of Directors. He has completed a Master of Educational Science, and is currently pursuing a Master of Developmental Studies. Additionally Mr. Sokha holds multiple education and training related certifications.
Mr. Ream Rothamony
Mr. Ream Rothamony has been working with YRDP since January 2009 as Deputy Director. In this position he is responsible for program management and human resource management. The Deputy Director plays an important role in directing the the day-to-day activities of the YRDP units and special projects.
Mr. Ream Rothamony’s previous experience includes being one of four founding members of Cambodian NGO “Youth For Peace” in 1999; and working as a Peace Education Trainer, Administration and Finance Coordinator and Program and Human Resource Manager. He has studied Financial Management and Peace Studies.
Mrs. Soun Sovanney
Officer – Training Unit (Youth Capacity Development Unit (YCDU))
Mrs. Sovanney joined YRDP in 2010, and is leading the development and delivery efforts of YRDP’s training offerings as the organization’s Training Coordinator. Prior to her taking on the responsibilities of this leadership position, she worked as a trainer at YRDP for multiple years.
Mrs. Sovanney has over 30 years of teaching experience and holds a degree in Khmer Literature. Moreover, she has completed multiple professional training courses pertinent to her work at YRDP.
Ms. Chan Ramy
Officer – Extractive Industry Transparency and Climate Change Unit
Although Ms. Chan Ramy joined YRDP as a staff member in 2008, her affiliation with the organization dates back to 2006, when she became involved in YRDP activities as a volunteer. In her current position she is responsible for leading and coordinating all of YRDP’s extractive industries and climate change activities. These duties require extensive event planning and coordination, in an effort to raise awareness and societal involvement in Cambodia’s effort to harvest some of its natural resources.
Before joining YRDP, Ms. Ramy held multiple positions in private industry. Sheis currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration and holds multiple relevant certificates.
Mrs. Ong Navy
Officer – Finance and Administration Unit
Mrs. Ong Navy joined YRDP in 2009 as the head of the organization’s Finance and Administration unit. In this position she mainly serves in an accountant function by administering YRDP’s payroll, financial reporting, and budget monitoring.
Before coming to YRDP, she worked in a similar capacity for Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment, and Cambodia Utility. Mrs. Navy holds a Bachelor Degree in Finance and Economics, and a diploma in General Management.