For more than three years, The Heinrich Böll Foundation has been supporting the development of the Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA). Both organisations are sharing an office since CIYA was registered as an independent organisation in September 2008. CIYA is the first association of indigenous youth on the national level. CIYA works to achieve its vision of strong and prosperous indigenous people that are able to protect indigenous cultures and tradition, as well as their lands and natural resources.
Developing the CIYA into a strong organisation has not been easy. All members are volunteering for the association next to their jobs and studies. There is also little funding to support activities. The CIYA is now trying to build and strengthen the organisation’s work by seeking the support from the Board of Directors and external advisors. So far, CIYA members found it challenging to implement their strategic 3 year plan due to limited capacity and changing priorities of donor organisations. The main activities of the organisation are to promote and raise awareness of indigenous people's rights at local, national, international levels through training and document dissemination. Part of the work is also to strengthen the understanding of CIYA members on the protection of land and natural resources, so that they in turn encourage female and male, young and old indigenous community members to protect their lands and promote indigenous customs and culture.