History of YRDP
The YRDP was formally initiated in October 1992. In 1998 this program was legally registered with the Ministry of the Interior as a local non-governmental youth organization. The official NGO registration number issued 12th October, 1999 is Nº 891. YRDP is not affiliated with any political party or religion and bases its work on the values of empowerment, development, active non-violence, solidarity, gender equity, impartiality and transparency.
The founder, Ms. Myriam Frys-Denis, from Belgium worked in Cambodia as a nurse educator in 1988. She realized that Cambodian nurses needed training in critical thinking skills. She worked with a few Cambodian students to create a program to develop student’s capacity to analyze and reflect on their own and their country’s situation and to act for social change.
YRDP’s philosophy largely derived from the theory of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire (1921-1997). The program began with the understanding that education for empowerment must go beyond the acquisition of knowledge and operate from the premise that people not only have the ability to know reality abut also the capacity for critical reflection and action.
Since 1992, about 40,000 students (42% are female) have participated in YRDP activities. Many are now working with different institutes, including private companies, civil society organizations, and government departments, as well as running their own businesses.
To strengthen Cambodian youth by developing their social conscience and enabling them to take responsibility for their own future and the future of their family, society and country
YRDP envisions a just, peaceful and democratic society where youth are constructively playing a role as leaders in the development that is equitable and sustainable.
Youth are committed and active citizens who take concrete initiative that sensitize other people for promoting peaceful, justice and democratic community development.