Alumni (Web)In 1995, the Cambodia Youth Commission was founded under the Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia by Brian Maher, Uon Seila and Harry Zuberbuhler to train Cambodian young people in discipleship and leadership.   The Youth Commission organized Cambodia's first national interdenominational youth camp, set up a youth training program for emerging church leaders in Phnom Penh, organized provincial seminars, and sexual and environmental awareness seminars. Pastor Uon Seila became the Youth Commission Director in 2006 with Brian taking the role of Advisor. 

In 2005, the Youth Commission began to minister more directly to local communities when Alongsiders, a mentoring program for vulnerable children, came under its wing. A drop-in center was set up in 2008 as a safe place for teens; it offered English, computer, and music classes as well as a leadership club. A sports ministry for churches was launched.

In 2011, the EFC accepted a petition by the Youth Commission Director and staff to leave the EFC as the scope of ministry of the Youth Commission programs had grown beyond the vision of EFC. They founded a local NGO called Develop Our Village Economy (DOVE). DOVE continues with much of its same ministry and has expanded the work done in Phnom Penh to three satellites operating in Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, and Kampong Chhnang. 

Bophal Mentoring ONYXStudent (640x 587)The focus of DOVE is the ONYX Program, an "in-service," year-long training program for emerging church leaders across denominational lines which utilizes peer mentoring, field work, and classroom work. ONYX imparts knowledge and skills but focuses on changing attitudes and habits to transform and heal emerging leaders by providing safe and constructive forums. The program builds unity among emerging Christian leaders as youth from various churches and denominations build relationships of trust with each other. DOVE developed new curriculum in 2014 using methodology that includes more self-discovery and participation. There has been a marked increase in effectiveness now in terms of change and transformation compared with 20 years ago.

Topics covered during the year are Personal Spiritual Formation, Leadership Timeline (Focused Living), Leadership, Peace and Justice Issues, Men's Issues/Women's Issues, Five Love Languages, Forgiveness, World View, Missional church, and Khmer Church History. The topics are covered in 4-5 week blocks followed by fieldwork that relates to the block. Homework includes interviews, research papers, reflection papers, peer group meetings, and a final research project.

The ONYX program has both a beginning and year-end retreat. The opening year retreat is a challenging adventure camp to push students out of their comfort zones so they bond and can walk together for the coming year. The year-end retreat helps students solidify what they have learned.

DOVE Vision: DOVE wants to see emotionally and spiritually healthy emerging leaders bring encouragement and empowerment to the churches and communities. 

DOVE Mission Statement: DOVE fosters leadership development of young people by creating safe forums encouraging transparency and using participatory learning methods, dialogue, self-discovery with field work, mentoring and classroom work. 

Contact Info:
Director:          Mr. Uon Seila
Advisor:          Brian Maher