Politikoffee was founded in July 2011. We are young enthusiastic and tech-savvy Khmer youth who deeply care about Cambodia.
We love discussing socioeconomic, political developments and democratization in our country and the region. We are eager to learn, to test ideas, to challenge and be challenged. We speak our mind.
We believe in fostering a culture of dialogue to help make Cambodia better.
We encourage dialogue that values thinking critically and debating respectfully, as a stepping stone to our personal development and society’s.
With this in mind, Politikoffee creates platforms for youth debate and discussion on political and other important issues.
Since 2011, we have been organizing weekly discussions on political and current affairs. This unique youth-led debate platform has attracted experts on a wide range of topics, and hundreds of participants. Our name, “Politik and Koffee” is inspired by our Saturday gatherings – drinking coffee and talking politics (and many more topics).
In 2016, we created “Politikoffee Media”. Through the website – and any other future digital media platforms – we want to expand the culture of dialogue to many more young people like us in the country. Politikoffee Media’s purpose is to make credible information more widely accessible and relevant to our peers, while supporting Politikoffee’s wider work. Our media work rests on principles of credibility, collaboration and creativity.
Politikoffee was created by Ou Ritthy in 2011, who gathered like-minded students for afternoon discussions on politics and current affairs. The platform was created to discuss topics other than entertainment and more popular subjects with youths, while exchanging beer mugs for coffee cups.
In 2013, Ou Ritthy was joined by three of the most active members – Cheng Channy, Lack Vannak and Ly Malin – to officially “co-found” Politikoffee. The same year, Politikoffee received support from the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) who provided a space (Sithi Hub), a small grant to launch a website and provide mentoring for a Young Analysts program, as well as other necessary assistance to organize the weekly discussions.
Since 2014, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has provided support organizing our forums, which take place at their Phnom Penh office. Each event attracts on average 40 participants and up to 80, from a group of over 400 regular attendees (updated April 2016).
In 2015, Ritthy met Chhem-Kieth Vanaka. Together with the Politikoffee team, we dreamt of an online platform to make information more accessible and relevant for young Cambodians. With a one-year grant and support from the International Republican Institute (IRI), we launched the Politikoffee Media website in April 2016.
We are proud to enjoy full independence over our content.
Though our main focus is on politics and current affairs, our members are curious and interested in a range of topics. We love to socialize and have fun. The only difference with most of our peers might be our unique Saturday debating hobby!
We always love to hear from like-minded young people and anyone else passionate about helping Cambodia grow. Come meet us at our weekly forum (check our Facebook page for the next event), online via your platform of choice (Instragram, Twitter, Flickr) or find out how you can help by clicking here . We look forward to meeting you!
The Politikoffee Team
Curious to know who we are? Stay tuned. We will share more about our team shortly.