CIVICUS Cambodia

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Speak Truth To Power

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights


CIVICUS Cambodia is the partner of the Speak Truth to Power project (a program of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, DC).  Taking cue from the Italians, Speak Truth To Power is translated as Courage Without Borders into the Khmer language.

Speak Truth to Power (“STTP”) is a multi-faceted global initiative that uses the successes and experiences of selected human rights defenders from around the globe as educational materials.

The goals of the Speak Truth to Power project are three-fold and began with a book of the same name by Kerry Kennedy. The book portrays the stories of over fifty courageous human rights defenders fighting for various crucial human rights issues from female genital mutilation to freedom of religion and reconciliation and justice. The book is accompanied by a photo exhibition designed by Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Eddie Adams.

In 2000, the play Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark, written Ariel Dorfman, was adapted from the book and has been performed all over the world by world-famous actors as well as schoolchildren, local heroes, college students, and even prisoners. The Phnom Penh Players recently performed the play in Cambodia, produced by CIVICUS Cambodia.

The most crucial part of the Speak Truth to Power project is the human rights educational curriculum, which has already become integral to classrooms in locations throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. The curriculum includes an introduction to and history of international human rights through the tales of the Speak Truth to Power defenders and the play. These stories engage students and adults alike in discussion about their own local heroes who fight for equality and justice everyday. It is a tool kit for change, inspiring students to make a difference in their classrooms, communities, and countries, connecting them to youngsters just like them who have stood up for others’ rights.

CIVICUS Cambodia collaborates closely with the RFK Center on the Speak Truth to Power project to continue educating Cambodians through workshops, public forums, and cultural exhibitions. CIVICUS Cambodia hopes that soon the STTP materials will be incorporated into the official educational curriculum of the Ministry of Education.


Kerry Kennedy in Cambodia to Launch Speak Truth To Power

Kerry Kennedy, CIVICUS Cambodia staff, Feb. 2011

Read more. . .

1.  The Book - STTP (Courage Without Borders) Series in KI Media (the most popular blogsite on/about Cambodia with an average of 15,000 visitors per day worldwide, and at 30-35,000 visitors/day during special events (e.g. Koh Pich Bridge stampede).

- Introduction to Series (13 March 2011)

- Introduction by Kerry Kennedy to her book Speak Truth To Power and Khmer translation (March 14, 18)

- Juliana Dogbadzi (Ghana) "Sex Slavery" (March 17)

- Asma Jahangir & Hina Jilani (Pakistan) “Human Rights Strategies”

- Marian Wright Edelman (USA) "Children's Defense Fund"

Read more . . .

2.  The Play - The Phnom Penh Players

Read more . . .

3.  The Photo Exhibition

-  Launching event at Pannasastra University of Cambodia, 23 - 25 Feb. 2011

-  Meta House Audio-visual Center (March - August 2011)

-  Bophana Audio-Visual Center (September 2011 - January 2012)

Read more. . .

4.  The Educational Curriculum

-  Pannasastra University of Cambodia

-  Cambodian Independent Teachers' Association

-  Cambodian Human Rights Committee of Royal Government of Cambodia, headed by H.E. Om Yentieng

-  Don Bosco Technical Training Center

Read more. . .






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* We welcome all other educational institutions in the dissemination of these high quality materials.  Please contact us.

** The STTP/Courage Without Borders project in Cambodia is fully funded by The Charitable Foundation (Australia).

***  All the materials are further disseminated via press releases/public announcements which cover all the news outlet (nationally and internally), Ms. Theary Seng's personal website which receives an average of 400 unique visitors per day (averaging 10,000/month), Ms. Theary Seng's Facebook which counts 2,700 "friends" (as of May 2011), KI-Media which has 15-30,000 visitors per day (not including its mirror websites), etc.

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