Led   by

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Dr Carl Grundy-Warr

Team Leader

National University of Singapore

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Mark Chong Yan Sheng

Coordinator

National University of Singapore

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Sophanna Ly

Coordinator

Ministry of Environment, Cambodia

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Kheang Ratana

Main Coordinator

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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Dr Hak Danet

Coordinator

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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Anjana Ramkumar

Coordinator

National University of Singapore

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Hiromi Inagaki-Wagner

Coordinator

National University of Singapore

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Sai

Coordinator

Cambodia

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Mindy Ong

Coordinator

ActXplorer, Singapore

Participants    of   2018

Mouse over to find out what our participants have to say about their experiences!

I love to interact with people living in different environments with diverse cultural backgrounds. Listening to their stories enables me to cultivate new perspectives in my own life. The Field Investigations" in Cambodia that I participated in has deepened my thought about life, through an understanding of various obstacles that the local people face and an appreciation of all the opportunities and amenities provided for me back in Singapore.

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National University of Singapore

Xie Yuchen

Brindabella Neo

National University of Singapore

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 I want to work towards changing today's consumption habits for myself and others. Through the experience of living with locals in Cambodia, I have learnt how life can be led simply without compromising the quality of life. There are so many things to be concerned with, other than material consumptions. The Field Investigations have given me the opportunity to experience things outside of the classroom and inculcated a sense of empathy, to really learn things humbly. 

Yee Shen Hao

National University of Singapore

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Field Investigation allowed me to witness the threats of anthropogenic changes to the people living along the Mekong River and the Tonle Sap Lake. With little help from the government, the villagers have constructed huge water tanks to store rainwater for their daily needs. Such ingenuity to take ownership of the problems have made me appreciate the good infrastructure we take for granted in Singapore and also inspired me to think out of the box for ideas for improvements.

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I love to travel and to know the world. Field Investigation has reminded me that the roads less travelled are usually the ones that show us the most. It has also taught me the importance of employing a geographical lens of cultural relativism in experiencing a new culture. I have realised that, to understand a thing, it is essential to experience it, and that many valuable experiences can be gained outside of classrooms.

National University of Singapore

Chen Yuhong

Daniel Tan

National University of Singapore

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 I am passionate about meeting different groups of people. I have realised that learning geography allows me to explore how different people in the world are so diverse but share the same humanity. Field Investigation, offered by the Department of Geography, has opened my eyes to the everyday life that unfolds in floating villages of Cambodia -- joys, difficulties and aspirations that the villagers experience.

I’m a geographer with a deep passion for cultural and environmental conservation. I believe that the only way to fully understand a place is to live and do as local communities do, and I’m ever grateful that this trip has provided the very opportunity. It taught me respect, humility and empathy. Living and studying about its floating communities and physical environment (flooded forests!) with our Cambodian buddies was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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National University of Singapore

Claudia Gee

Eddie Lim

National University of Singapore

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I feel strongly against the stereotype towards indigenous people, who are more often than not, ingenious, and I believe it is their book that we can take a leaf from. They have taught me many things and the most important of all is 'heart'. A humble heart to learn, a willing heart to connect, an empathetic heart to understand is the key to many problems. I am glad to be able to sustain connections across borders and space, and I hope to do research back at Chnok Tru one day.

Farizan

National University of Singapore

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I have interests in education, urban and development geographies. I believe it is important for the voice of the people to be heard in order to create real improvements in their lives. Field Investigation has allowed me to observe the impact and importance of education and the challenges that many face in obtaining it in Cambodia, giving me a fresh perspective on the lives of people across different backgrounds that are evidently a result of larger structures present in their lives.

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In the future, I hope to work in the field of integrating indigenous knowledge with disaster risk management to maybe create a more holistic approach. This field trip has provided me a wonderful opportunity to learn firsthand about people whose lives are closely intertwined with nature. It has helped me gain a more nuanced understanding of how they view and interact with nature and how their relationship with nature may not always remain the same.

National University of Singapore

Hema Chandramohan

Farzana

National University of Singapore

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Field Investigation has provided me with an opportunity to create a meaningful interaction with local people in Cambodia and to gain a broader understanding of the country and the locals. Although our homestay in floating villages in Chhnok Tru was brief, I have gained a lot from the experience of living on water. Water is the element of change, and the villagers live in an environment that is constantly in flux. Just like water, they are capable of adapting to many things.

I have a keen interest in learning about the world. Field Investigation in Cambodia has allowed me to immerse in new cultures and practices. Having lived on land all my life, the first field site - the floating village of Chhnok Tru - was quite an enjoyable and eye opening experience for me.

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National University of Singapore

Gerald Tan

Teoh Jun Yi

National University of Singapore

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I am interested in learning how social phenomena play out in spaces around us and shape gender relations. As an aspiring educator, I’m also passionate about empowering the lives of children and young people. Sharing endearing moments with the youths of Chhnok Tru has further enhanced my interest in teaching the future generation. The most important lesson I have gained from this trip is: learning with an open heart, without any fear and trepidation!

Liew Jing Yee

National University of Singapore

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 I have strong interests in learning about the world through political geography. I also hope to understand how ever-intensifying globalization today shapes the ways of seeing the world politics and living a life at the individual level. Through interactions with local people and students in Cambodia, I have gained new perspectives about Southeast Asian politics. I am certain that these perspectives will continue to configure the way I understand the world.

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During our field work and homestays in Chhnok Tru and Preah Rumkel, we learnt many fascinating things from the locals: how villagers have adapted to living on water with ingenuity, how village life is just as dynamic and conflict-prone as city life. In the future, I hope that political transparency would be enhanced in Cambodia, and that communications among villagers in Chhnok Tru and Preah Rumkel would be made for experience sharing.

National University of Singapore

Leong Kah Heng

Ong Ching Hui

National University of Singapore

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 I like learning new things in general, but I think that learning is not enough. What is more important, I belive, is to act on what I’ve learnt and share it with others. I aspire to live a ‘good life’: not in a sense of accumulating (excessive) wealth and comfort, but rather in a moral (philosophical) sense.

I am interested in learning about the ways in which people and the natural environment interact. The Field Investigations module has allowed me to experience life in a community that has a unique relationship with their surroundings. It has given me the opportunity to learn how people live in harmony in nature, while being highly reliant on and adapted to the ever changing physical conditions around them.

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National University of Singapore

Xu Shi Ying

Vong Somavortey

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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I like to learn about innovations which tackle environmental challenges relating to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene). Field Investigation has enabled me to learn practical skills in planning, formulating questionnaires, time management for effective group work. Seeing the waste issues faced in Chhnok Tru village has fuelled my desire to work in waste management and provide effective solutions, especially to remote areas.

Sem Ratha

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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In Chnok Tru, I have noticed that most families use polluted lake water without a proper treatment and that most of their children had dropped out of school in order to work in Thailand. I hope that I will be able to help improve their lives by empowering them, I want to contribute to raising the awareness of proper hygiene and sanitation as well as promoting the importance of education. I am also glad to have made unforgettable memories with my friends!

Pangara Chor

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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As water supply is still a pressing issue in Cambodia, my hope is that I will be able to contribute to building a reliable water supply system as well as providing safe drinking water to people in the remote regions. I am glad that I have got to learn how the NUS students work in the field, they conducted the field investigations efficiently and successfully! I was also amazed about how friendly the Singaporean students were. I’m glad I was part of it to the very end.

Chhunna En

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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Water has become one of the pressing issues in Cambodia that affect lives, economies, and the environment. I am very glad that Field Investigation has provided me with an opportunity to talk to local people and learn more about their lives and relationship with water. Furthermore, I enjoyed working with the NUS students, they were friendly and helpful, worked responsibly, loved to share knowledge and adapted themselves well to the obstacles.

So Bunheng

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

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I have a strong passion to learn more about the livelihoods of the Cambodian people and how those living on floating houses manage to survive. Through the experience of the filed investigations, I have come to appreciate more about what I have learned at school. At the same time, I have gained real-life skills that school doesn't provide. Finally, fishing with villagers is one of the greatest memories from this trip!

Koun Kunnlakanna

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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In future, I want to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste in Cambodia by producing plastics that are environmentally-friendly. I have got to observe and learn a lot through the experience of Field Investigation in Chhnok Tru and Preah Rumkel. I have also noticed poor hygiene and insufficient waste management, especially in Chhnok Tru, and  I hope that one day I can help them to solve this problem.

Chhay Vuchleng

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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I like plants and I hope to reduce plastic waste and water pollution. I am very happy to have participated in Field Investigation, where I have learned a lot, including the way people live, their livelihoods and culture, hygiene, sanitation and waste management. I am now more aware that the livelihood of people in rural villages such as Chhnok Tru differs from the one of those who live in cites. The lack of sanitation in the former can cause health problems.

Mech Sreytoch

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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Field Investigation has increased my knowledge and experience of the  lifestyles. of other people. In Chhnok Tru, I have learnt about the way of life of the Cham people, including their desire to move to stay on land. In Stung Treng, I have got to visit the RAMSAR site, unfortunately, the biodiversity there is declining partly due to severe land erosion. Interacting with my team and translating between Khmer and English has also helped to improve my communication skills.

Phearun Din

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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The trip has encouraged me to think about various ideas and be open to new topics. In addition, I have come to understand the correlation between the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River. It was surprising to see that the water level of the river reduced while water while that of the lake increased. I had studied this in class but did not believe until I actually saw it. Such experiences help me a lot in real life and I hope that FI will continue for many generations of students to come.

Sot Ny

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

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I am very interested in hygiene control for the people in Chhnok Tru. Field Investigation was a great opportunity for me to understand their livelihoods. There are many low-income families living in the community, and if they understand how hygiene can improve their health, they will not need to spend much of their income on healthcare. I hope that I will be able to contribute to raising their awareness of this issue in the future.