Cambodia: the First International Youth Assembly
By Iris B. Regalado, FFWPU Cambodia
A 3-day International Youth Assembly, was held in Kampot City Hall, Kampot province from April 28 to 30, 2017. The theme for the Assembly was “The Role of Youth to become Leaders in Building Family, Society, and Nation of Peace.” We had 36 participants who came from different provinces participated on the first two days for workshop activities and more than 300 participants gathered on the third day. On the opening ceremony, Mr. Chem Pha, the City Mayor, himself came to give a welcoming remark to the university students. He reminded them that that social media been one of the most powerful means nowadays, and that young people must learn how to utilize the social media in a more productive way.
On the first day the Mr. Hajime Saito, Special Envoy to Cambodia, gave an eye-opening lecture entitled “Let us become the Leaders in a World of Peace.” He talked about the geographic locations of the neighboring nations of Cambodia and their illustrious history. In the light of that, he emphasized how a small nation of Cambodia who underwent numerous trials would become a prosperous nation. He implanted in the minds of the young people that the nation has no other hope but the young people themselves. In the second session, Mr. Zhu Xing Zhe, Youth Special Envoy to Cambodia, gave a lecture on the Universal Principle. Gradually injecting the principle, he derive slides from the Divine Principle which explains about the dual characteristics of all beings and the rest of the creation. This undeniable truth, that everything were created in pairs catch the attention of the participants. It was followed by a strong emphasis that human beings must keep their purity before marriage where he had a chance to talk about the cause and effect of the fall to the young participants. The first day lecture ended with Mr. Chamroeun Sophal, National Leader of Cambodia, giving a lecture on the 3 Great blessing stressing that it is in the family where we can experience the 4 great realms of hearts, and thus the basis on achieving an ideal family–is keeping purity.
“The participants from my center were really excited to meet the Muslim brothers and sisters in Kampot”, said Tim Samol, Center leader of Battambang Province. They carried on their longing hearts to see brothers and sisters whom they’ll be meeting for the first time. On the evening of the first day, the participants liberated their longing hearts by getting to know each other more through a chain conversation which lasted with more open hearts and brighter smiles. While they are having their conversation they have lots of stories to share as if there is no tomorrow. For them, no one is a stranger. Time could not be enough to listen to each other’s stories. The spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood just naturally reign over and brightened up the atmosphere on that evening.
On the second Day, Mr. Sophal, talks about “The Attributes of True Love” followed by the Cause and Resolution of Conflicts presented by Mr. Zhu Xing Zhe. In the afternoon, spear-headed by the former Director of International University, in Kampot, Mr. Sok Kriech, the participants leave an important legacy to nature, through mangrove planting activity. “This mangrove planting activity is one of the meaningful activity in the assembly because it is something that we can substantially do to provide habitat for the aquatic life and other endangered species on that forest; prevent air pollution and encourage others to preserve Mother Earth” said Mr. Sok Kriech. Also, on that same day, the participants showcase their talents in acting on two concepts– Unity between mind body and the importance of keeping purity. Everybody can’t help but laugh out loud clap as every scene of the performances makes sense, while they express what they have learned from the lectures. They were not just testifying how amaze they were about True Parents teaching about true love but the last day, as participants are preparing for departure, they just realize that they don’t want to leave the place where brotherhood and sisterhood began. In an interview with some participants, they leave a promising message of determination that they would continue to propagate what they have learned from the workshop and encourage others to join with more workshops.
On the third day, more than 300 students from nearby high schools and universities filled the Kampot Provincial Hall, to attend the closing ceremony. The ceremony began with the singing of Cambodian National Anthem and an opening remarks by Ms. Muy Viroth, the representative of the office of the governor. His Excellency, Ouk Damry, came as the guest speaker, escorted by other government officials. The keynote speaker, Mr. Hajime Saito delivered a powerful Pure Love lecture, re-iterating that the basic unit in building a prosperous nation is an ideal family. Expanding to the provincial level, he likened H.E Ouk Damry, as the father of all residents in Kampot. “If the all government officials treat the people as their children and the people treat them as their parents, then how nice!”, he said. He also addresses the primary reason of the decline of the past civilization and the secret to resolve sexual immorality—keeping purity. His message draws applauses from the crowd after he explained the logic why conjugal love is exclusive to husband and wife only and therefore cannot be shared to others. In the middle of his message everybody stood up and recited a Pure Love Pledge were headed by Mr. Van Saksam and Ms. Anny La.
For the closing remarks, H. E. Ouk Damry, in behalf of the provincial governor, delivered a speech expressing his deep respect and honor to True Parents and testified how the UPF brought positive impacts to their society. They are looking forward to work together with UPF in providing leadership and moral education for the youth. He also awarded the certificates as Youth Ambassador for Peace to three (3) young people from Philippines and two universities in Cambodia.
This month onwards, we are expecting more assemblies to be conducted in order to expand the UPF foundation in all of the 25 provinces of Cambodia. We are hoping that through these non- stop education strategy we can open the path to all people in Cambodia to attend True Parents and eventually restore this nation by 2020.