In central Cambodia, Chem, age 22, spent his childhood days looking after his family’s cows and working in their rice field. He did not have time to attend school. Chem’s province is one of the country’s most impoverished areas, and the majority of residents depend on rice farming for income. Because of the economic state, young people in the province are often forced to travel to larger cities in search of jobs and education, while those that stay often go without either.
Now, with the help of Rise Against Hunger partner Salesian Missions, Chem has the opportunity to receive the education he has always wanted within his own province. Chem shared, “Now I have enough time to study; I have three hot meals, and enough and more to eat. It has changed my life as I feel very healthy and strong. In a way, the Rise Against Hunger meals helped my family as well, because I don’t depend on my family for my daily meals or my study. ”
Chem shared, “In the future I want to be a very good skilled technician and have good job so that I can help my family to come out of poverty.”
Rise Against Hunger also provided water filters and soap to Salesian Missions, which were distributed to Chem’s family.
“At home my family used to drink water directly from the stream, but now they use the water filter for a safe drinking water,” Chem said. “It is very important to have a safe drinking water, but we could not afford to buy or install a filter in our house because it is costly.”
Mr. Gnim Ra, assistant headmaster of Chem’s school, shared, “Chem is one of our first-year students who comes from a very poor family. They couldn’t send him for higher study until we brought him to our school, and like his family, there are so many in his village who can’t send their children to school. He is a lucky one to be with us. I see he has changed a lot; he looks very healthy and energetic. He is doing very well in his studies, and he is very eager to learn and knows how to use his time well. Rise Against Hunger has given us an opportunity to help so many children and poor young people to continue their studies by providing good meals.”
He added, “Cambodia has been listed as fast growing country, but still there are so many poor and young people who need the assistance to finish their studies. It will be a long way until the Cambodians can stand on their own.”
Fr. Eugune Xalxo, the school’s rector, said, “It is so impressive to see the change in Chem and his family. He is very active and is doing very well in his studies. He also likes to participate in other activities at the school. Rise Against Hunger has given us an opportunity to continue our efforts to help many more children and young people who, due to poverty, can’t complete their schooling.”
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