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Happy Khmer New Year!

Youth Learning Center staff and intern welcome students to the party

On March 31, Mission Dove Cambodia hosted a Khmer New Year party for 80 neighborhood youth, most of whom attend or have attended our Youth Learning Center.


The former Youth Learning Center director Virak (center) joined the party too

Khmer New Year is the biggest holiday of the year for Cambodians, a little bit like Cambodian Christmas. Officially, the holiday is 3 days, April 14-16, but Cambodians will joke that it’s a 3-day holiday that lasts for 3 weeks, sort of like the Christmas season in Western countries.


To celebrate the holiday, Mission Dove staff, interns, teachers, and students gathered together on a Sunday afternoon for snacks and fellowship, traditional Khmer dancing, and traditional games which are played only during Khmer New Year.


One of the traditional games is a little like Duck, Duck, Goose

Many people will travel to their family’s village for the holiday, but unfortunately, for many the holiday can also be a hard time. For those living in homes with alcohol abuse and domestic violence, spending extra time at home isn’t an attractive option. This is the case for many of our students, and we wanted to provide a safe space for them to enjoy Cambodian cultural traditions.


Additionally, Mission Dove currently has 5 international interns/volunteers who are working with the Youth Learning Center for 6 months, and the students wanted to share their cultural traditions with these international guests.

Cross-cultural fellowship

Prantosh, an intern from Bangladesh with the Mennonite Central Committee, commented, “I really liked the games, and people were enjoying it so much. The students were so active, and the dancing was new for me. This event is important for us to respect the culture.”


Youth Learning Center student Pheareak, age 19, agreed. “This year was so special. We decorated the whole center even better than last year, and we had so many people—young people and older people, Cambodian teachers and international teachers. We had such a good time together!”

Who's going to make the first move? Students play a traditional game called "Monkeys fight for the branch"

Thank you for supporting Mission Dove Cambodia’s Youth Learning Center. You are providing safe places for at-risk teens to celebrate the goodness and beauty of Cambodian culture!


To make a donation to continue to support this work, please give online through our US partner, Mission Dispatch. 


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