Bringing coaching to life in Cambodia

Please meet Socheat, a valuable member of the MOE Community bringing coaching to life in Cambodia… let us hand you over to Socheat to tell her story, in her own words.

Socheat’s story 

I worked in a non-profit organization responsible for an Engineering Education program for 2.5 years. The program focused on delivering professional and critical thinking skills to high school and university students in Cambodia. 

In 2019, the organization shifted its direction, and my program was phased out. Some of the students who had attended my professional skills training came to me and expressed they wanted this program to continue because they could really feel its impact on themselves at work and in daily life. 

We agreed to join hands to establish a group called Alumni for Soft-skills Development (ASD) in 2020. The aim of the group is to be a locally led collective building on critical thinking and life skills for Cambodians to lead successful, meaningful lives. 

I was appointed to be a leader and run a workshop with engineering university and high school students using a Human Centered Approach. Communities are enabled to collaboratively find appropriate solutions for the issues they face. Through this workshop, participants built skills such as communication, teamwork, listening skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills helped engineering students to prepare for their employment and become role models as women in STEM inspiring other high school students and helping to end gender inequality in the sector. 

MOE coaching skills

To lead this volunteer group, my vision is to enable a safe environment and collaborative atmosphere for the team members. If the team members feel safe, they will be encouraged to express and share their observations and thoughts. This is important to quickly identify and solve any problems or challenges. Psychological safety is vital for an early-stage team like ASD.

As a young leader, it is crucial to motivate and be a role model to work toward a collective goal, in particular volunteering work while maintaining members’ well-being. This is when coaching skills are key. I am applying coaching skills I learned from MOE foundation with my team to empower them to reach their life and ASD goals. I also want to enhance my mission and create a platform for people to access coaching and leadership support more easily to improve the lives of individuals and give back to my community in Cambodia. Back in 2021, I was the only non-UK based participant on the MOE course and called into the training at night due to the time zone difference.

I’ve known coaching since 2016 through being coached. In 2017, I created a volunteer platform called Female Coaching Group, which aimed to strengthen women’s leadership, confidence and decision making, through coaching and mentoring.

Throughout that year, I coordinated my coach in Australia to coach two women who were middle leaders and I also learned coaching skills myself. The two women shared positive feedback with me.  For example, one said she had become aware of what she wanted and was more assertive about that at home, whereas in the past she just nodded her head to what her aunt wanted her to do.

Thanks to the coaching, she knew how to express her needs and feelings in a respectful way to her aunt, and her aunt was grateful for that. She also learned to say “No” to her manager and colleagues when she needed to, and this increased her productivity and happiness; in the past she always said “Yes” to everything people ask her to do. This had a very significant impact on her, and I felt really happy for her. 

Now, I am more connected with coaching in my daily life than ever. To lead ASD, it is a huge challenge for me, in particular is fundraising, but I am on a mission to bring ASD alive because of the commitment and dedication of the team. 

Thank you, Socheat, for sharing your story, all at MOE wish you the greatest success with ASD!

Connect with Socheat:

Socheat’s LinkedIn profile

Facebook page of alumni for Soft-skills Development (ASD)


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