Publication Date: 10th January 2022

Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

Despite growing up in Phnom Penh, a city that sits on the junction site of Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers, there was little that Nary knew about rivers. However, this all changes when she began her journey with Young Eco Ambassador (YEA) from March, 2018.

“I think it is part of youth responsibility to care for and protect the environment,” said Nov Soknary, 18, one of the member of Young Eco Ambassador – Mekong Generation.

Her time with YEA was not just for environment. She received trainings that endorsed the growth of her love for nature, earth leadership, self-development, and documentation through photography and videography. Numerous field trips to provinces left her fazed with Mother Nature’s beauty.

“When I got to see the Mekong dolphins for the first time, I was so fascinated,” said Nary.

“I have never seen anything like it,” she exclaimed.  

Young Eco Ambassador 2019

This particular experience inspired Nary to initiate her current project, Project Sculpture. Project Sculpture is one of the ten projects initiated by youth ambassadors in Young Eco Ambassador’s second generation.

Like other developing countries, Cambodia struggles with clean water and waste management and disposal. UNICEF found that 6.3 million out of 14.9 million Cambodians lack access to clean water. On top of that polluted rivers are still acting as main source of daily water outside the cities.

Currently a freshman majoring in Graphic Design at the Royal University of Fine Arts, Nary is enthusiastic in projecting art to promote environmental issues in Cambodia. Aiming to provide a wake-up call to waste pollution in the Mekong river, she along with two other co-coordinators, Reaksa and Visal, and several volunteers, designed an environmental sculpture to raise awareness about this issues.

Woven from wires and multicolored trash collected from rivers bank, the sculpture depicted a woman that represents the ‘Mother Mekong,’ and the waste that polluted her.  The sculpture itself also highlight the resources that Mekong river brings such as natural resources, wildlife, waterfall, and the map of Mekong river in Cambodia.

Young Eco Ambasaador 2019

“The project is to promote the Mekong river, and raise awareness about the environmental issues within it,” Nary said, “It is also to remind people about irresponsible water usage.”

Upon numerous displays in public, this artistic project has garnered fairly positive response. This has motivated Nary to implement more environmental projects using artworks. She believes that Project Sculpture would serve as a good reminder for people to care about the Mekong and other rivers, and encourage them to put more thinking in their lifestyle. 

“I hope that whenever people look at the sculpture they will think about the waste that they scattered,”

“After all, the improperly disposed waste polluted the rivers, and negatively affected the environment,” she added.

“A Cry for Mother Mekong”
Written Year: 2019
Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador

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