Age: 20
From: Kampong Speu Orphanage Center
Major: Accounting
School: Build Bright University

I grew up in a very poor family. I’ve lived with my mother in the Kompong Speu Orphanage Center since I was very young. My mother and I don’t own a house. She was born with a disability in both of her legs; she can’t work to support us. My father left us when I was small. It’s been hard, living without my father. Growing up, I saw other children who had a father, and I felt so jealous. From grades K-12, I got to school on a bicycle and sometimes on foot. I finished my high school in 2014. Now, I am continuing my education in the university with the support of Global Children. This organization gives me hope for a better life. If not for Global Children, I don’t know what I’d have done after graduating high school. I would have been so lost. Coming to university for the first time, I was overwhelmed by all the new faces. But in time, I’ve learned confidence. I’ve gained a lot of new experiences. My life has changed completely since I left the Orphanage Center: I’ve learned English, basic computer skills, literature and social responsibility. I now feel hopeful that I have a good future in store.

I’m lucky to have learned of Global Children. I first encountered them when they helped support a program for traditional dance in the Kampong Speu Orphanage Center, where I lived. At the time, a man named Som Savann, a manager of the organization, told me that the organization provided university scholarships to students who met the criteria.

I was so excited when I heard the news. But then, I realized that going to school meant leaving my mother alone at the orphanage. My mother is always in my heart. I wanted to drop out of school and find a job so that I could make money and take care of her. Now, I’m studying hard for my college degree. I want to get a good job so that I can help my mother and have a better life. I will work hard and save up, and one day I will open my own business. This motivates me to study and to keep working until I make my dream a reality. My mother and I —we only have each other. She told me once that she’s never visited the beach in Kompong Som. I’ve always wanted so badly to take her there. One day, when I have a car, we will.