Noy is a 14 years old girl leaving in KMR’s centre. She was referred to us 2 years ago. Indeed, her parents are leaving in a really isolated rural area where there are few opportunities to go to school. The family is really poor and lives from agriculture and hunting. She’s talking about the changes she experimented since she arrived in Komar Rikreay’s centre.
“When I arrived in KMR, I could not speak to others because I was to shy and missing my family. So I preferred to stay alone. The first time I had to go to school, I was really frightened because I heard that teachers were really mean. So, after a few weeks, I was asked to join a group where we can do role plays, fun activities, drawings and where we can express what we feel in front of other people. Step by step, I felt more relax and I could play and laugh with other children. My care takers were happy because my school results improved. I was so proud to present my school notebook to them!
Now, I also have really good friends in the centre. I am helping to care young children and I learn music. The teacher says I am a good student. Last time, my parents came to visit me with my younger brother and sister. I played music for them and they were really happy. I want to continue to study and go to school. Maybe if I am good enough, I will be able to teach to children in my village.”
Tuon is a 18 years old boy. His mother is divorced and went to live to Poipet in order to find a job and help her family to survive. With her 3 children, she went to beg for money in Thailand. There, Tuon was caught by the Thai police which referred him to KMR through Poipet Transit Centre in 2006. He wants to talk about how the skills he learnt changed his life.
“When I was caught by the Police in Thailand, it was really hard because I did not know where to go. But after I arrived in Komar Rikreay, I felt more secured. They explained me that I could study and that they will help my family to improve its situation. I made rapidly some good friends in KMR. But I could not come back to live with my mother because she was still poor. It made me sad but it also gave me the will to become independent and help my family. So I left the centre in order to live in a group home with villagers. And then I decided to start learning motor repair vocational skills.
One day, KMR told me that they could support me to open my own business if I wanted to. So I went to visite several locations in Siem Reap province, where my aunt is living, and finally found a place to open my shop. I was so happy to become autonomous. My motor repair shop is now opened and I have first customers who are coming. I am a friendly owner and so they are coming back. For the moment, I am saving money and then I want to welcome mi siblings and send them to school. If I am patient and if I work hard, I know that I will manage to help my family and we will all be happy again.”
Chantrea, a 14 years old girl, is studying in grade 8 and lives in Tuol Ta Ek village with one of her two siblings and her mother, near the Railway station. It’s a slum where people are living in terrible conditions and where families are at risk to be expelled. Her oldest brother, 23 years old, left some months ago to work in Thailand. Chantrea is a really smart student but after her brother left, she begun to feel guilty about not being more present at home to help her parents. Indeed, for Khmer families, daughters’ responsibilities at home are sometimes more important than studies.
“My mother sells rice soup, cake, and Khmer noodle in front of our house in the village. My mother is really committed to care my other siblings and I and she always follow our studies and help us doing our homeworks. She always encourages me to carry on and become someone important in the community while sharing knowledge on health, security at school… My father is a construction worker and moved to another province for work. We don’t see him very often so my mother has to do everything at home. I want to help her more and sometimes I think it would be easier for her if I could find a job.
My family was selected by Komar Rikreay to receive school subsidies. I had a new uniform and materials as well as my younger brothers. I was so happy with my new clothes! Then, KMR asked my mother to follow a skill training about micro-enterprise management. Now, her business improved and we can earn more money for the family expenses. My mother has less pressure and she smiles again. I feel that now I really have to study well. After high school, I want to go to university and become a doctor for young children. I hope KMR will help me so I can get a chance to fulfill my dreams.”