Group Leaders

Laos - Mr. Sou Thor
 
Hello. My name is Sou Thor. I am from Laos, I am Laos group leader in this year.
I was an AICAT student last year and now have returned to be the group leader for the Lao students. When I was an Aicat student I had learned many things from the first day I arrived until the to the last day of my studies!  I gained a lot of experience and also a lot of valuable knowledge - both in Agriculture but also as a person. I met many teachers who taught and shared their knowledge on how to improve and developed agricultural systems. It was a very great time in my life.

 AICAT  is a very important place for many students because it is a unique place to learn about modern agriculture and irrigation system.

As I am a group leader of Laos, my main duty is to help my students and help AICAT. I am very proud to be a part of AICAT and to lead all my students. I am here to help or discuss with my student's any problems they may have and to make them understand everything they experience during the time at AICAT.  I remember, A few years ago,  my group leader  - he was very nice because he helped to translate any lessons, solve problems between student and farmer and many others.  He was a great example of how a group leader should be and I will try to be like him and find a new way to improve both myself and the students time in the Arava
Kenya: Mr Kenneth Chepkwony Kiplang?at
 
I am Kenneth from Kenya. Before joining AICAT in the year 2016, I graduated from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology in Kenya, earning a bachelor’s degree in Animal Health, Production and Processing.
I lived and worked in Kibbutz Lotan for 11months, after which I partnered with 2 other AICAT graduates to establish Kenarava Group Ltd. – an agribusiness consulting company in Kenya with a focus on community development. I returned to the Arava in July 2018 to serve as AICAT group leader for the 3rd internship cohort comprising 116 Kenyan students.
In my eyes
The AICAT experience is a mind opener. African youths and particularly Kenyan youths are always brimming with great ideas. It is until they become exposed to places like the Arava that their potential becomes fully activated. In context, the agribusiness space of developing countries is plagued by gaps within critical sectors that affect national food security. Exposure to the theoretical and practical aspects of Arava agriculture accords program participants with skills and information that can be tailored to drive sustainable agribusiness development back in their countries.
As a group leader
I see myself as a mentor and guide to my students. I use my personal experience to influence the students to develop a genuine sense of concern towards national, continental and global issues surrounding the food & water crisis. Back in 2015 when I first joined AICAT, I was “just that kid from Kenya” – had never travelled before or even boarded an aeroplane. My experience in AICAT changed my perspective for good. I now see agriculture as, not only a way of life, but a potent tool of international diplomacy – the key to a better WORLD.
Thailand- Ms. Supang Lamphutha
 
Supang , from  Amnatcharoen,  has studied Horticulture in Rajamangala  University of Technology Tawan-OK.
She came to AICAT as a student at 2009, lived and worked in Moshav Hatzeva, and  became a group leader at 2015.
 
In Supang's eyes:
  • The main benefit that students get from their AICAT experience is the chance to become independent people, without the close support of the family, in a different country, foreign language and new people. The student gain confidence and understanding of how to run their lives and keep a budget, how to deal with various situation and  how to work, live and study with different people, from different backgrounds and cultures. Those people many times become good friends for life.
  • As a group leader, she looks after the student, helps them with their personal and academic issues.  Supang encourages them to learn as much as possible, and not to be afraid of mistakes or problems, since they  can learn and better themselves through them.
 
Indonesia - Ms. Angela Rettob
 

Angela, from Ambon, Maluku isa group leader for both Indonesia and East Timor. She has studied Agriculture Cultivation, especially Soil Science in Pattimura University, Ambon
Angela came to AICAT as a student at 2015, lived and worked in Moshav Zofar and became a group leader in 2016.
 
In her eyes:

The main benefit that students get from their AICAT experience is the understanding of how to make agriculture alive and sustainable. They study about agriculture in a desert environment, and they understand that they can do agriculture anywhere they want. Students learn how to transfer a challenge viewed as a problem to an opportunity for success. Every opportunity is an experience that trains students to learn more, to work hard, about discipline, responsibility and focus. Students gain great knowledge and values for life.
 
As a group leader, she embraced all students, make them her friends friends. She dedicate time and help them as much as she can. She also assists them to communicate with the farmers, lecturers and AICAT staff. She encourages and motivate them to survive in all conditions and situations.  Always remind them to never stop dreaming. Keep the spirit, because nothing is impossible as long as they are willing to fight to achieve it. Dream, Believe and Make it happend! This is her motto. 

Vietnam - Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung
 
Trung comes from the Daklak province which is in the high land – central Vietnam. The province is famous for coffee, which is one of the most important product for export.  During the last five years I attended Saigon University for bachelor degree of Languages (English and Chinese)

In his eyes - Being a leader, telling them what to do and try to get over safe zone and personal limit is not enough.He also visits them at their farms, in order to deeply understand the jobs and by doing that he can sympathize and suggest them how to communicate and solve problem with farmers immediately rather than keep it inside and explode.
Nepal - Mr. Ravi Raj Puri
 
Ravi is from Chhatredeurali,Dhading, married, father of one. Ravi studied agriculture and education faculties at Tribhuwan University. He arrived to the Arava on 2014, lived in Moshav Zofar and worked at a pepper farm.

In his eyes;
The main benifit that student get from AICAT experience is the ability to think; What to do? How to do? Next,they learn a lot from the methods and technologies applied in Arava on different farming structures.
As a group leader, he found himself acting as a strong bridge between AICAT staff and students, and as a motivator and facilitatorof students.
Vietnam - Ms. Nguyen Thi Yen
 
Ms. Nguyen Thi Yen comes from Bac Can City, Viet Nam
She has studied Forestry in Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry and came to AICAT as a studen in 2013, worked and lived in Moshap Idan. From February 2015-February 2016 Yen took part in an exchange programe about Horticulture in Rockwell Farms, North Carolina, USA. Yen became a group leader in August 2016.

In her eyes: the main benefit the students get from their AICAT experience is their internship experoience. It is a great opportunity for students: an independent living, study by doing is the best way to get experiences, the cultural exchange,  changing the way of thinking, getting multiple new ideas....

As a leader she always tries her best to be supportive, advising students to always look for new ideas in  new environments, encourage them to learn all the good and new things as much as they can when they are in Israel.
Vietnam - Ms. Huyen Thanh
 
Huyen, from Hanoi, has studied Biotechnology in Vietnam National University of Agriculture.
She became an AICAT group leader in 2016.

In Her eyes, the main benefit that students get from their AICAT experience is the opportunity to broaden their horizon, by the opportunity given of living and training in a new land. Facing with changes and challenges, they learn not give up and find the way to adapt and make it better. A lots of dreams start growing and become their new targets to achieve after they finish that memorable year.

As a group leader, she always tries to support her students in their personal and academic issues. She care about their feeling, their problems and wants to create the best memories for them during the short period in Israel.

AICAT brings her the chance to reinforce her knowledge, to train herself in managing a big group of people and to work with all her friendly colleagues. When she return to her home she believes that what she has learned will become her special property that she can apply her  future career
Cambodia - Mr. Sarem Yuos
 
Sarem Yuos, from the Kingdom of Cambodia, graduated from the Mean Chey University in Cambodia. After his graduation  he received an agricultural research positions in Singapore & Australia, funded by Christian NGos (Non-government Organization). He also held a lecturer position at a private university in the Phnom Penh Capital City for two years. 
He graduated from the AICAT diploma program in 2015 and became a group leader in 2016.
 
In his eyes, research is one of the most important aspects of AICAT experience, and he guides his students according to five principles: 1) Certainty – to know what agriculture is and the importance of research. 2) Honesty – being able to maximize their abilities and know their weaknesses, and learn to appreciate the struggle. 3) Priority – what to prioritize first based on importance should be completed first. 4) Quality – based on specialty, added value, good achievements in research and being enthusiastic of others. 5) Continuity – learn to collaborate with other students, researchers, workers, farmers, partners lecturers and local communities.
 
But the most important issue of all in Sarem's eyes for success is to base all agricultural activities in Cambodia on research and on the economic use of water.