Youth Leadership Capacity Building

Khmer Education Buddhist Center is a non-profit and non-partisan organization in Cambodia. The main goal of this organization focuses on Youth Leadership Capacity Building. We believe that if we are planning for future generation, we have to grow leaders.

In this journal, I would like to search some paradigm shifts from leadership perspective to supplement Youth Leadership Capacity Building idea.

Leadership means "the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members" (House, R. J. 2004: page 15). In this concept, the ability of individual to impact society or community is in need for sustainable development. Leadership doesn’t imply that it is politically oriented; actually it is a productive instrument for individual to develop the society. Individuals have to take accountability of their society as the whole; and in order to achieve this they need to develop their leadership. Social betterment comes from individual’s awareness that cares and improves social and natural environment. Improved social environment means everybody has adequate four necessities of living such as cloth, food, shelter and medicine, have fundamental rights of expression, basic education, belief and social movement. Good social environment also includes social justice, security, stability, peace, equity and democracy etc. Improved natural environment means eco-system; forest, wild lives, air and water are being concerned and protected. Good natural environment also includes clean cities and villages, having accessible playing ground yards and public gardens etc that all these have attracted modern urbanization.

Youths who are recognized as the younger descendants, the future adults or the seed of humanity should be instructed to be aware of these both environments. To achieve this value, all youths have to get education on leadership or participate in Youth Leadership Capacity Building. Leadership can change the social bad to social good, social poverty to social welfare, and social gap to social equity etc. Leadership is not politically oriented or political activity as someone has misunderstood. Leadership here certainly focuses on social good by social participation.

Here, the crucial methodologies to achieve Youth Leadership Capacity Building through learning of self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, and relationship-management.

Self-awareness comes from self-exploring to accept individual’s strength and weakness, to explore self-potential and self-enlightenment which can affect well in themselves and others. Self-awareness can be cultivated by meditation which is the important tool for everybody to release themselves from stresses and murky mind. When mind is controlled by meditation; it will be gradually clear, sufficient, subtle, proactive and applicable. As mind is peaceful, mindful and conscious; it implies that self-awareness is enriched and empowered.
Self-management is the result from self-awareness extending to carry out more responsibilities of the self. This will be improved more through the alertness of shame and draining in doing bad deeds. This self-management also comes from the practice of humility, compassion and loving-kindness by observing five ethical principles: spreading compassion by avoiding killing or destroying living lives, conducting right livelihood by avoiding from stealing or cheating, enhancing family harmony by avoiding sexual misconduct or love-dishonesty, enriching trust by avoiding from false, harsh, backbiting and useless speech, cultivating mindfulness and life’s value by avoiding from addicting to drugs or intoxication.
Social-awareness comes from the practice of social volunteering, participating or social charity. Charity here inspires youths to communicate with people new productive messages, to share and help people physically, mentally and financially; and train to reduce self-centered, strong self-pride, self-interest, self-indulgence, self-ego and self-attachment.
Relationship-management is the capacity of making a better environment in social diversity which has been tightly interwoven. Invididuals can extend their knowledge boundary through effective interaction between child and parent, student and teacher, friend and friend, follower and spiritual teacher, citizenship and national law. It is original interdependent as the social mould and relativity.

The practicing of self-awareness, self-management, and social-awareness can lead to effective relationship-management that is the higher achievement, the prestige of Leadership Capacity Building.

Through the various projects and activities of Youth Education Buddhist Center can ensure the betterment of Youth Leadership Capacity Building. Below is our present interim works:
Dhammacarika Youth Camp Project has been opening in schools and public gatherings.
Dhammacarika Ordination Youth Camp Project has been opening in the temples to give them space to practice strictly around 10 to 15 days in one place.
Youth Ceremony offers them space to join ceremonies and pay gratitude to their ancestors as well as Cambodian past heroes or heroines.
Voice for Youth Radio provides them new updated information relating world view, globalization, transnational culture and technology especially the applied Dhamma teachings.
Games and Sports for Youth inspires them to get away from associating with gangsters, addicting drugs and make quarrels; and finding justice by learning from fair competition of athletic games.
Youth Volunteerism recruits them to do some fieldwork useful for society as a whole such as cleaning public schools or parks, managing ceremonies or other necessary public needs and events.