Somaly is from Pursat Province. She came to PIO when she was 10 years old. Shehas 4 sisters and 5 brothers. Several years ago, her mother’s health deteriorated and the family needed to seek treatment in Phnom Penh. In desperate need of money for treatment, her father was forced to sell the family’s home. After treatment, with nowhere else to live and no skills to survive in the city, they rented a home near the Phnom Penh garbage dump and picked through the garbage to support themselves and their 10 children.
Somaly met with Phymean in 2003 and really wanted to attend school while continuing to help her parents. When she met Phymean, Somaly only had limited schooling and was unable to read or write. PIO was able to support the family with 100kgs of rice monthly and offered the children to study free of charge at PIO. Six of Somaly’s siblings began studying at PIO. These include Nita and Pov, Grade 1, Sreykong, Grade 2, Seda, Grade 3, who also trains in Apsara Dancing at PIO. Her brother, Rambo, 17, is studying computers in addition to grade 5-6 classes.
Unfortunately, Somaly’s mother died in April 2007. Her father was left to take care of his 10 children alone by scavenging garbage, earning on average $2.00 a day. Without PIO’s support these children face an uncertain future and can fall prey to human trafficking. PIO is committed to support people like Somaly and her family who understand the value of education and need support to lift themselves out of poverty. Through PIO efforts, a donor was found who sponsored Somaly and two of her sisters.
At PIO, Somaly started in Grade 4 and also studied at the PIO beauty school part-time. She studied Khmer literacy, Math, Social Study, English Language. Somaly is a hard working student and quickly learned to read and write in Khmer, speak some English as well as calculate numbers and solve problems in math. Since studying, she has also taken a keen interest in drawing. Her pictures are bright and lively and PIO is able to supports her interest by providing sketch paper, paints and pencils which are donated by various supporters.
In 2014 Somaly works at PIO. She assists the children at the Shelter. Her talent as an artist is in evidence all around the school with many walls displaying her murals.
PIO relies on your help to assist families like Somaly’s. Please consider making a donation or sponsoring a child today.