A good year

Happy new year to our loyal readers! Here's what we wrote about this week...

Julija Veljkovic
January 3, 2020
A good year

This week, as we ushered in a new decade, we revisited some of our most striking photography and stories published in 2019, as well as visited an innovative community of rice farmers in Battambang to learn about their sustainable agricultural collective. We also spoke with the female staff of Filipino news outlet Rappler, who are working amidst a machismo atmosphere cultivated by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

For Battambang rice farmer Roeum Socheat, volunteering for VSO Cambodia has been as rewarding as it’s been challenging. From adopting the role of trainer for farmers in the Raingkesei Agricultural Community, to helping repair relationships in the agricultural working chains, Socheat has been a vital mentor, helping his community sustain improved agricultural practices and boosting their income. Could this model be rolled out across the Kingdom’s small-scale farming communities? 

President Rodrigo Duterte is known for his vitriolic attacks on women and the press, with prominent media outlet Rappler and its female-led editorial team a particular target of his ire. We visited the Rappler office in Manila to hear first hand from three female team members what life is like working in Duterte’s Philippines.

In our fifth Future Forum collaborative piece looking at the Kingdom in 2040, we explored Cambodia’s future in work and automation. With technology set to revolutionise economies across Southeast Asia at lightning speed in the coming decades, will Cambodia adapt and prosper? 

“From my perspective, if we adopt tech, then we will be able to move forward faster,” said Leewood Phu. “But if we don’t adopt the latest technology, we will be left behind the bandwagon – the entire country. And if we’re left behind, we’ll see the economic gap widen and social instability grow as a result of that.”

As 2019 wrapped up, we returned to the most striking images and stories published in 2019 from across the region by Southeast Asia Globe.

In a Top Read from 2007, we looked at how the presence of pornography in Cambodian society was far more overt than it is today. At that time, pornography was easily accessible via explicit material openly sold on street corners and cafes offering public screenings. What’s more, Cambodian children were able to access pornography with relative ease in these public places.

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