With a feet-on-the-ground presence, PeopleStories has been working closely with various schools in rural Cambodia since 2017 and this year we have our first group of scholarship students progressing from secondary school to high school. Such a fantastic milestone to be celebrated!
With this incredible milestone, we took an opportunity to catch up with two of our PeopleStories Scholars who have just graduated from Grade 9 from Chea Smonn Secondary school. They are now getting ready to progress to Grade 10 at a new school, Bakong High School, in November 2019.
First, we spoke with BunSao who is a 16 year old young man. Both of BunSao’s parents are farmers. He also has 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Having 8 children in the family, life hasn’t been as easy for him nor his siblings. In fact, some of his siblings had to quit school and start working at a very young age in order to bring home some extra income.
So you want to be an engineer? Why?
I just think Cambodia needs a lot of engineers. We need many new buildings and construction works to improve our country. If I’m an engineer, I can help my family a lot. Plus, I will be very strong! [laughs]
How has the PeopleStories Scholarship impacted your life?
I have two other sisters in my family and my father is a fisherman. My family is very poor and that’s why my older sister had to quit school to find a job at a very young age. She works as a cashier at a guest house. If I didn’t get the scholarship from PeopleStories, I’d most probably have to find a job to support myself going to school. That would have been very hard, but I have no choice. I’d still do it because I love school so much. [pauses] But I’m thinking, maybe if I had to work and go to school at the same time, I probably wouldn’t have won the Highest Performing Student Award.
Interviewed by: Teacher Song at Chea Smonn Secondary School
Translated by: PeopleStories Team
To break the cycle of poverty by advancing education for underprivileged students, families and communities in need.