Many young Cambodians have the potential to pursue an academic path but lack a familial support system that can support them by covering tuition and other additional fees.
Coming from a poor family in rural Kampot, Srey Oun was well aware that she couldn’t approach her parents or older siblings for financial support. Nonetheless, she was determined to not only be the first member of her family to graduate high school, but also the first one to enroll in a university.
In order to do that, Srey Oun took out a loan to pay the tuition fees. After graduating from International University in 2020 and obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, she started working as a teacher for a trade school in Kep, while being contractually obligated to repay increments of her loan every month.
However, when the global pandemic hit, Srey Oun’s salary was cut drastically, leaving her barely able to provide for herself, let alone financially support her parents or meet her contractual obligations.
In order to prevent the ambitious student from getting into legal trouble and more debt, Thomlang – Cambodian Youth Support stepped in and covered her remaining loan, ultimately financing most of her Bachelor’s degree respectively.
Read her story in her own words below:
My name is Srey Oun and I am 23 years old. I am from Kampot province in Cambodia.
Two years ago, I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at International University. I was very happy to be able to study at university. However, because my family could not support me, I borrowed a lot of money from the bank. My family is really poor because my father and my mother are old and sick and they cannot work a lot. I have a sister and a brother, but both of them already have their own families and cannot take care of me. This is the reason why i had nobody to support me.
After finishing university, I started slowly paying back parts of my salary every month. But then after COVID19 came, I didn’t get paid a full salary and I couldn’t follow my obligations to repay my loan.
This was the reason why I asked this NGO for help. I am very thankful that you have continued to support me through the repayment of most of my loan.
I think about my future a lot. This is the reason why I always wanted to continue studying. Last year, this NGO also helped me to enroll for a Master’s degree in Business Management. I am now in my second year and I will finish my MAster’s degree soon. Studying is important to me because I want to develop my knowledge and abilities for my future. Then I know that I will have a good job that will allow me to provide for myself and my family.
So, once again, I would like to thank you from the botom of my heart for supporting my education with a Master’s degree. I am so happy that I can study and I will always try to study a lot to be a great student!
Thank you very much!
With lots of love,
Last December, when schools reopened in Cambodia, Srey Oun was invited to return to International University in Phnom Penh to officially receive her Bachelor’s degree and partake in a small graduation ceremony. The happiness on her face speaks volumes about her excitement to accomplish so much, despite having had to overcome so many obstacles in her life.
We are looking forward to celebrating her Master’s degree graduation later this year!