China pledges $100 mn to Cuba, discusses new debt terms: min...
- November 27, 2022 8:56 AM
Eco-Friendly Packaging For SMEs
- April 28, 2022 9:32 AM
China blasts US over 'hysterical' balloon claim
- February 18, 2023 9:00 PM
PHNOM PENH — Chek Yusa is pushing the boundary by pursuing a bachelor's in agriculture as a woman to prove that all women can choose to do what they love and can contribute to the development of Cambodia, including in the agriculture sector, which is still perceived as a male-dominated field.
Chek Yusa is a third-year student from the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, majoring in agribusiness. Her studies focus on the processing of agricultural products into semi-finished or finished products, cultivation, storage of processed products, and food safety.
To perfect her skills and learn good practices in other countries, she decided to engage in an 11-month internship at a vegetable farm in Israel.
The 22-year-old student comes from Banteay Meanchey province, a region traditionally focused on agriculture. Such a background motivated her to become a person who could support the growth of agribusiness in her village and throughout Cambodia.
Chek Yusa had opportunity to apply for an 11-month internship in Israel, under the Agrostudy program in cooperation with the Royal University of Agriculture. Photo provided by Chek Yusa
She decided to pursue her bachelor's degree in agroindustry after graduating from high school. However, it took her some time to persuade her parents to let her do what she felt she was meant to do.
At first, her parents didn’t want her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in such a field as women don’t fit in, she was told. They wanted her to study banking or education instead and were concerned that she would have difficulty finding work or would return to her hometown to become a farmer.
But Yusa didn’t want to let her gender identity influence the way she studies or what she wants to do for a living.
“Whether they are male or female, everyone has the option to pursue their academic goals following gender equality,” said Chek Yusa.
“Being a woman doesn't influence how we make decisions,” she added.
Yusa’s commitment helps her to study what she loves. She studies hard so that her parents don’t have to be worried about her future.
This hard work gave her the opportunity to apply for an 11-month internship in Israel, under the Agrostudies program in cooperation with the Royal University of Agriculture. She’s learning new techniques that she will bring back to Cambodia.
“I have high expectations that all my knowledge will be put to use to contribute to the development of the agriculture sector of our country, whether it’s small or large,” said Chek Yusa.
She wants to show her parents that a woman could go beyond domestic institutions, and why not as far as Israel, on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea.
Her internship, which focuses on cultivation and agricultural technology, will come to an end in two months. Photo provided by Chek Yusa
“I wanted to go to Israel since I stepped into the school in the first year. I gradually gathered information to go there and came very well prepared for it,” she said.
Being selected for the internship was no easy task. The young student asked for feedback from senior students, gathered precise information about the selection process, and worked hard on her English, as all exams and interviews for the internship were carried out in English.
Being well-prepared gave her confidence for the recruitment process, where she stood out from the crowd, receiving good grades on every exam.
“Every application must be precise because each step demands a high score that is crucial for the competition. Even one point can fail us, and only a small number of female candidates are chosen,” she said.
Her internship, which focuses on cultivation and agricultural technology, will come to an end in two months.
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Te Chhaysinh for Cambodianess.