Tag Archives: cambodia

The Power and Promise of Online Learning

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This week my friend and fellow peace and nonviolence educator, Joshua Cooper, had an article we wrote together posted on the USIP website. The article describes how Joshua integrated the use of USIP’s online, self-paced course, Civil Resistance and the Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict (which I helped design), into his work with indigenous Cambodian activists living along the border of Cambodia and Vietnam AND with students in his intro political science class at the University of Hawaii.

Over the past eight months, USIP’s Academy has launched 8 self-paced, online courses, registering more than 3,000 people in more than 134 countries. The work, however, is not solely a numbers game. Peacebuilders, activists and educators working in conflict zones must be able to take the knowledge, skills and perspectives that USIP offers online and adapt them for their own specific needs in the field.  A case of young Khmer activists in Vietnam and Cambodia and another involving students in Hawaii interested in peacemaking illustrate the need.

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Nonviolent Action Workshops in Cambodia

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For the past ten days my colleague, Althea and I were in Phnom Penh where we facilitated two workshops on nonviolent civil resistance. We were invited by a diaspora based group called Khmer Unity whose mission is advocating for democracy, human rights, and territorial sovereignty/integrity in Cambodia.  They network and collaborate with other nongovernmental organizations both domestically and internationally for the betterment of Cambodia.

This was an amazing experience for a number of reasons. First, this was my first time in Cambodia so I was constantly soaking up the history, culture, and environment while I was there. Second, the process of designing and facilitating a workshop on nonviolent action for learners whose mother tongue is  Khmer – a language very different from English – posed some challenges that helped me and Althea think in new ways about how to talk and teach about the topic. And third, it was an opportunity that brought me into contact with so many amazing people who are organizing around a myriad of issues.

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