As I am also one of their volunteering members of Soroptimist International of Phnom Penh (SIPP) so after the training of Breast Cancer Awareness organized by SIPP finished, I had a chance to talk to Sokunthea, at her age of 20, Thea is in grade 12 at Wath Koh High School, Phnom Penh Cambodia sponsored by SIPP for supporting her full cost of extra spending on her study to achieve her dream. She is the oldest sister among of 1 sister and 1 brother who are still in primary and secondary school at hometown, Svay Rieng province – one of rural provinces of Cambodia.
She told me she came to Phnom Penh city last year in order to find a job to work to support her parents and siblings – she added beside study she is now also working as a housemaid where she can earn 80,000 Riel which is around 20$ per month. She said it is really discouraged me sometime I think about the struggling way to go but my mother told me not to give up study because only Education could bring me brighter if I didn’t want to be a prostitute or robber.
Sokunthea is a hard-working girl, she gets up at 4.00am to finish her housemaid tasks before she runs to school at 6.50am. At 11.00am, after leaving from school she must be rush to the market to buy foods and cook for the house owner and until in the evening after cooking for house owner, she rushes to the school to study English at 6.30-7.30pm.
She told me she is getting used too with the busiest life; she is able to do many tasks without tiring, she kept telling me she wanted to be a good role model of young generation to try with the obstacles to get higher future though she was born in a poor family. Note that, her study is very excellent that all teachers always admire her and hope she will have a bright future, anyways she told me she is really upset when most of her teachers and friends ignore and careless with her.
Every month she sends little money to her parents. Her farther cannot work because he has had tuberculosis many years now and her mother has a small business –selling vegetable at the market at hometown in Svay Reang province. She said she just wanted to earn much more money for curing her farther because she is really sad and hurt when she sees her father is sick like this.
With the sad face but hopeful, she said every moment of live is struggling to survive, I know it is not yet finished with the way to get success so only thing I wish to get is higher Education and be able to use English fluently – in this point, I wish I could enroll to the university.
This article I am writing for 10x10 blog, http://10x10act.org/2011/06/sokunthea%E2%80%99s-life-of-hope/