Romam Nuth, 22, of Lam village, Ratanakiri province, is an active Facebook page administrator for the media program, “My Community, My Natural Resources.”
Nuth received training as a Facebook page administrator by Media for Education and Development in Action (MEDIA One) in July 2014. He was very pleased to be trained as a Facebook page administrator because it provided him with a powerful platform to share information and issues about his local IP community with the wider public. Nuth is a strong believer that Facebook is one of the best mediums to exercise freedom of expression and encourage active participation from Cambodia’s youth. By exchanging ideas and spreading knowledge, Nuth is confident that others will become aware of the challenges facing his community.
Romam Nuth discusses the importance of Facebook for his community
“Through [My Community, My Natural Resources] Facebook page, I can bring our community stories to the world. I hope when our stories are spread widely outside the community, the solutions to our challenges will be found. Through Facebook, information is shared quickly and easily. In addition, Cambodian youth do not need to be afraid about their safety when voicing opinions because Facebook allows us to protect our identities. In the future, I think Facebook will continue to become more and more popular. It is a valuable tool for sharing and discussing pressing social issues.”
In addition, Nuth emphasized that Facebook was an especially valuable way to raise awareness and reduce environmental destruction.
Facebook administrators receiving training by MEDIA One in Ratanakiri province
“In my community, there are a lot of problems facing our land and forests. Through radio and Facebook, the problems have been allowed to spread and information sharing has been improved. And, I have also observed that many more young people in my village are starting to have Facebook accounts. This allows them to access and share information faster. In the past, only a few people outside of my community knew about the environmental destruction in my community. The people in my community wanted to tell others, but did not know how to share our community’s stories. Now with radio and especially Facebook we can share information quickly and anyone with a Facebook account can see the information regardless of where they are living. This is the good sign and I believe that if our problems are shared with more people—solutions can be found. Moreover, if illegal companies come and want to destroy our forests, they may now think twice before carrying out their plans. Through Facebook, news of illegal activities can be spread quickly and I hope that this will discourage them.”
As a Facebook page administrator, Nuth was willing to risk potential conflict with the local authorities to collect and share information on the illegal logging and land abuse that continues to persist in his community. In addition, he also collected information on the illegal migration of ethnic peoples from Vietnam into Ratanakiri. Nuth was not hesitant to post about sensitive topics and was extremely dedicated to his work. He often travelled long distances to gather stories and relied on his own transportation and materials. In the future, Nuth hopes to continue his work and to receive more training from MEDIA One.
“I hope that our Facebook page keeps going because it is important for our community. If we don’t have a place to share our challenges, then the information we have is useless. I want to share my community’s story with the world. I hope I receive more training on Facebook and news writing because I am passionate about my role and want to fulfill my duties to the best of my ability.