According to USAID, 77 percent of rural Cambodian households rely on agriculture, fisheries, and forestry for their livelihoods. These families are extremely vulnerable to climate change-induced changes in weather patterns, and 45 percent of Cambodians live in moderate or severe food insecurity.
Somnang’s family is one of those families. Having grown up in a remote village in northern Cambodia, her parents worked hard to ensure that she could attend school. However, the family struggles to make ends meet every single month. Supporting the now 18-year-old high school graduate through university is out of question, as the family still has to repay a loan that was taken out years ago in order to cover a medical emergency. However, Somnang dreams of becoming a teacher, and her school grades have proven, that she is more than capable of juggling the daily struggles of life in poverty and fulfilling school obligations.
Read her story in her own words below!
Dear donors of Cambodian Youth Support,
How are you all doing? I’m very excited that you will support me through university. My name is Somnang and I am 18 years old. I have two younger siblings. My family lives in Tek Chum village in the Oddar Meanchey Province. Both of my parents are farmers. They earn some money by planting rice and vegetables. But sadly, right now my family is very poor because my mother had an accident several years ago and broke her leg. It cost a lot of money to pay for her treatment, so my parents had to take out a loan from the bank. They still owe a lot of money and have to pay back every month. Therefore, they cannot afford to cover for my life after I graduate high school.
Luckily, because of my good grades in high school, I got a 100% scholarship for 4 years from the Preak Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University in Battambang. So I don’t have to pay for studying at university, but I still need help to cover my rent and to buy a moto so that I can drive to school.
The major that I chose is educational administration because I want to work as a teacher in the future.
I would like to thank you so much for your kind support. I could not do this without your help. I wish you good luck and a lot of happiness with your families.
Thanks to Somnang’s stellar high school results, she was rewarded with a scholarship and was thereby exempted from tuition fees. Thomlang – Cambodian Youth Support supports Somnang through the coverage of her rented room and provided the new student with room equipment, such as a mattress, bedding, and kitchen supplies. On top of that, we supported her with the purchase of a moto to ensure, that she can commute to and from school safely and can run daily errands.
We hope that removing these obstacles will enable Somnang to excel in university and, ultimately, realize her dream of becoming a dedicated teacher who will certainly have a long-lasting positive impact on many Cambodian students’ lives in the future.
Support Cambodian girls through education by donating to CYS today!