YOUTH IN TRANSITION
When coming of age, many of our resident children decide to attend University or trade school in Phnom Penh. Having lived in a sheltered community such as Wat Opot, the adjustment to big city life can be scary and challenging. For this reason the Youth in Transition program was created.
Presently the program is run by Mr. Sina Khin, a Watopotian with a degree in Law, and overseen by Wayne Dale Matthysse. Monthly meetings are scheduled, usually at a soup kitchen, where a majority of the students and graduates attend. The purpose of the gatherings is not only to enjoy a good meal together but to share and encourage each other as well. Individual counselling and job placement is also provided by Mr. Khin when needed.
Youth in Transition (YIT) has 19 University or trade school students in the program. All tuition and school fees are covered by Wat Opot and each student is provided with a monthly stipend, which covers some of their living cost, however, intentionally not all of their needs are met so the students must work at least part time to cover additional expenses.
In 2016 YIT had 5 University graduates, one in nursing, two in law, and one in civil engineering and one in midwifery.
In 2017 YIT had 2 graduates from the Royal University of Arts (Art and Architectural Design) and 1 from Limkoving International University (Architectural Design).
The 2018 YIT program consists of:
- Three university students at Build Bright University (Management, Architecture and Accounting), one at University of Law and Economic (Law) and one at Royal University of Fine Arts (Art)
- Eight students attend Mith Somlanh (5 in Cooking, one in Hair Cutting, and two in Appliance Repair)
- One student attends Komoso (Hair styling)
- One student attends Kate Korpi Salon (Hair Cut and Color and makeup)
- Five students attend the Polytechnic Institute in Takeo City (two in Computer Design, two in English Literature, and one in Accounting)
Not all of our YIT students came from Wat Opot. Included in the above students, are 7 impoverished and/or vulnerable youth who were referred to us by school counselors or organization heads who asked us to give these youth a chance to better themselves and subsequently their families.
Former Watopotians include a professional singer who appears on television from time to time, others are working in Phnom Penh and several are married with children.
Most stay in touch with the Wat Opot Community and from time to time stop by to share their life with the newer members who have taken their place.