New Intern for Winter 2018

Served in the Phnom Penh, Cambodia Mission from Dec 2016 – June 2018.
“After coming home from my mission, I was eager to stay involved in preserving the Cambodian culture and language. I was so excited to hear about the Oral History Foundation and the steps they were taking forward to bring life and love to the world from my favorite people. Every time I read the words of the interviews that my friends and I are translating, I feel such a strong connection to these people and their stories. I feel the Love that our Heavenly Father has for his children. I feel so honored to think that I will have the opportunity to help preserve such an important part of history, and help build lasting relationships in Cambodia, as an intern for this upcoming winter semester. I am thankful that the words of such a strong generation of Cambodian survivors will not go unheard. The elderly have such wisdom and such love to share with all of us. Their stories are so rich with struggle and emotion. They help us to more fully appreciate and understand the meaning of life here on earth. I am filled with happiness to know that these stories will live on to help teach and protect the rising generation of Cambodia. We can do so much, if we work together to build bridges of open communication and tear down barriers of doubt. I love Cambodia; and I know, you will too!”

New Intern in Cambodia

This is Theary Leng! She is from Kampong Cham, Cambodia. She served an LDS  mission in

the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and will be studying Master of Public Administration at Brigham Young University in the Fall. She has been working for several months as the project Khmer language editor  and is serving in Cambodia this summer term as an intern and assistant to the project. She notes: “I love listening and learning about peoples’ lives and stories. That’s why I am working for Cambodian Oral History.”

Two Years of Histories in Cambodia

January 2018 marked the second anniversary of the Cambodian Oral History Project. We are gratified to report some of the new achievements made possible by all those who have contributed in so many ways–as peer leaders, project assistants, volunteers, transcribers, translators, and as interns. Thanks especially to those willing to share their stories. In addition to the support of the BYU Humanities Center a BYU Mentoring Environment Grant (MEG), we have received a generous financial support from several anonymous donors.

We are set to surpass 1000 interviews early this year, but we have just begun! With the continued support of benefactors in and out of the University, we are poised for an even more productive two more years as we add more resources to the northern provinces, including near Battambang and Siem Reap. We also are reaching out to Cambodian refugee/immigrant communities in the U.S.

Benchmarks and accomplishments (since formal project launch in January 2016)

  • 800+ audio interviews in Cambodia
  • 25 video interviews in Cambodia
  • 3 US refugee video interviews
  • 6 student interns (5 BYU Cambodia RMs and 1 other RM)
  • Approximately 150 local Cambodian peer leaders
  • A local Cambodian project assistant
  • ~50 volunteers (BYU and outside)
  • Creation of a Youtube channel
  • Creation and development of project website
  • Launch of Facebook Page
  • Outreach to and involvement with BYU faculty and students interested in personal histories (e.g., folklore, family history, anthropology, and History)
  • Coordination with LDS Family History missionaries
  • Linking with Family Search

Current Project Foci and Aims

  • Continue with interview collection (2018 interview goal of reaching at least 1500 interviews)
  • Expand work of transcriptions and translations
  • Increase number of video interviews
  • Tagging for topics and search functions
  • Revamp of website to include search function
  • Adding a second intern in Northern Cambodia
  • Hiring of two more local Cambodia assistants to service the outlying provinces
  • More cooperation with US refugee/immigrant communities (SLC, Oakland, and Long Beach, CA)
  • Video and photo documentation of the projects

*Dana Scott Bourgerie is the director of Cambodia Oral History Project.