Meet three young women from Asia leading change in tech and livelihoods

Our community is filled with women changemakers and leaders that are always ready to challenge the norm and take action to make change happen. That’s why we call them Rising Stars. On International Youth Day, we highlight some of these youth leaders and the initiatives they’ve taken within their own communities that are slowly changing the face of leadership across the region.


Socheat Nhip

Organizational Lead for Alumni for Soft Skills Development (ASD) 


Socheat is a community leader, who is deeply committed to the cause of Cambodia’s human capital development and sustainability. She is an organizational lead for Alumni for Soft Skills Development (ASD). She builds on strategies grounded in human-centred design and offers critical thinking and life-skills training to help young people transition successfully into their professional roles.

Alumni for Soft Skills Development (ASD)

Alumni for Soft Skills Development (ASD) is a locally-led collective that aims to build critical thinking and life skills for Cambodians to lead self-sustaining and meaningful lives. The organisation works collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of and empower Cambodians to discover their authentic selves through active learning. The ASD facilitates different soft-skills trainings to engineering students at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia and Kompong Speu Institute of Technology to prepare them for employability. ASD is a 2022 grant recipient of OakTree organization to implement its impact circle workshop. The workshop is an open opportunity for high school and university students to learn and practice problem-solving skills, soft skills such as teamwork, listening skills, communication, technical skills, and the value of community service. 

Socheat says, “What inspires me to found this group with five other individuals is because I am working in creative personal and career development. I design and implement tailored coaching and facilitation programs to support people seeking to develop tangible and lasting skills and mindsets that take them closer to what they seek to achieve. With curiosity about people and what motivates and hinders them, it is my desire to see them develop and flourish.”

Alumni for Soft-skills Development (ASD) team did an exercise to build a team manifesto during a retreat in early 2022.




Support Socheat and the Alumni for Soft Skills Development (ASD) on:


Sokhong Huan

Project Coordinator for Sisters of Code


Sokhong works as a Project Coordinator for Sisters of Code, a non-profit training program focused on empowering women in the technology industry. In addition, she is a Rising Star at Wedu and is passionate about working in education and promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Sisters of Code

Sisters of Code is a non-profit educational program—the first female coding club in Cambodia—that supports girls and women in Cambodia to gain confidence and skills and get into better educational and employment opportunities in the tech industry. It was founded by IT Academy STEP Cambodia. They believe that technology should not be a privilege but an equal opportunity that should not be discriminated against by gender. 

Currently, it is an issue in Cambodia, as tech is male-dominated and women feel unwelcomed. Sisters of Code activities are focused on changing this situation.

Since the program was first established in 2019, they have opened 15 clubs in Cambodia and navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic by creating educational content in Khmer and running learning groups online. “We are proud to have a partnership with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in Cambodia, which endorses our activities and support from the Ministry of Telecommunications and Post in Cambodia,” Sokhang says.

Sisters of Code has received 4 international awards: 

  • SOLVE MIT Award in the Learning for Women and Girls category, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Equals in Tech Award in the Skills category
  • Best Educational program in South East Asia for Women, from the World Bank
  • Best Training Initiative from Women in IT Aisa



Support Sokhong and the Sister of Code on:


Nirisha Manandhar

Campaign Lead for Safer-I


As an AI engineer by profession and leading a digital rights campaign side-by-side, Nirisha is passionate about building machines that could someday take over her work and making them inclusive enough for rational decision-making. Intrigued by the power of storytelling while interacting with people, she prefers a good balance of vicarious living and experiencing my interests first-hand.


The Safer-I campaign initiated by 5 fellow alumnae at Women Leaders in Technology (WLiT) Nepal, is devoted to creating a safe, accessible and inclusive digital space for everyone. They do so by conducting hands-on workshops on building inclusive products for tech enthusiasts, internet safety for school students and digital hygiene for the general public. We also explore the emerging field of ethical technology and design knowledge resources around it. The ‘I’ in ‘Safer-I’ stands for Internet, Information, Inclusivity and Individuality.

So far, they have trained 100+ students in Internet Safety, more than 200 participants in our digital hygiene workshop and 50+ participants in our inclusive tech sessions. “As girls who initially started out in tech without much understanding of how it works and now as working women in tech, it comes as responsibility for us to initiate discussions and even take measurable actions to craft tech that belongs to everyone, as it should be, regardless of anyone’s identity, level of access or gender,” Nirisha says.

(Left to right) Sonika Baniya, Suvechhaya Shrestha, Nirisha Manandhar, Aayesha Shrestha, Samyoga Bhattarai

Nirisha and Safer-I are open to collaborations. Reach them at:


At Wedu, we celebrate and nurture the unique and transformative leadership journeys of Rising Stars like Socheat, Sokhong, and Nirisha. Through mentorship, you too can support changemakers from Asia. Apply today at and join our upcoming mentorship cycle in October!

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