Many of you have asked about some of the students at PIO and their background. Below is a story of an exceptional student at PIO and the ways that PIO helps the local community.
Somaly was born 1993 and is from the remote area of Pursat Province. She has 10 siblings, 4 sisters and 5 brothers. She is the fourth child in the family. Several years ago, her mother’s health deteriorated and the family needed to seek treatment in Phnom Penh. Her father was forced to sell the family’s home to treat her mother’s disease. After treatment, her mother’s disease was better than before and they rented a home located at the Phnom Penh garbage dump.
Everyday, her parents picked the garbage to support themselves and their 10 children. Somaly also helps her parents and looks after her younger sisters.
Somaly met with Phymean in 2003, she really wanted to attend school at the same time to help her parents. Now, she attends grade 4 and is studying at the PIO beauty school part-time. She studies Khmer literacy, Math, Social Study, English Language. Somaly is a hard studying student and now she can read, write Khmer and 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 fully supports her interest by providing sketch paper, paints and pencils which are donated by various supporters of PIO.
Unfortunately, her mother fell ill again and died in April 2007. She was sad and full of tears when her mother died. Her father needed to take care of his 10 children alone by scavenging garbage, earning on average USD2.00 a day. PIO supported the family with 100kgs of rice monthly and offered the opportunity for the children to study free of charge in PIO school. At this point 6 of the children study at PIO. Her sister, Seda studies grade 3 in the morning and has training in Apsara Dancing in the afternoon. Her brother, Sok Rambo, 17, is studying computers in the morning and has classes in the afternoon. The others are Sreykong who is in grade 2, while Nita and Pov are in grade 1.
PIO will continue to support Somaly and her family.
Somaly wants to be a painter and a beauty salon shop owner in the future. PIO fully supports her in her future goals.