go to Top

Nobody Needs Your Saving

Nobody Needs Your Saving

Michaela Lynn Yeuhk Mahn Forte's Story 
Faculty of Arts 

“I believe power and influence are crucial catalysts to create worldwide changes. Therefore, I chose to volunteer with the United Nations(UN), likely the most powerful and influential non-governmental organization (NGO) in the world.”

As a youth task force coordinator, Michaela was tasked by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to coordinate different Cambodian NGOs and UN institutions to organize youth development programmes with the themes of sexual reproductive health and rights, employment and education across the country. While Michaela received praises and gratitude from her colleagues and service recipients, she realized that nobody actually needs her ‘saving’. Her self-perception as a fighter for equality, a hero of Egalitarianism under the name of the UN, at the end of the day, is just a self-drawn portrait. 

Photo of Michaela
"She had once perceived developing countries as a community too weak to help themselves."

While Michaela recognizes her privilege, she had once perceived developing countries as a community too weak to help themselves.  However, her experience in performing liaison duties between local youth representatives and UN institutions on one hand, and the Cambodian government on the other hand, made her realize that the future of Cambodia lied with its people, particularly the youth.  She herself, even the UN, are only ancillaries in the grand scheme of Cambodia development.

Furthermore, limited funding and formalities in the UN created different limitations for Michaela. But instead of being thwarted, Michaela chalked up the experience: “I major in Comparative Literature and have learned a lot of theories... However, theories often come with specific social contexts... I want to be proven wrong.  Only through authentic awakenings can we gain clarity and change. ”

Written by:
Cliff Tse
Year 3, Faculty of Arts
March 2018 

Nobody Needs Your Saving