From the rice fields to the classroom, a story of transformation

In the southern Cambodian province of Prey Veng, 13-year-old Pea Srey Pin's office has been empty for most of the school week, as the girl has recently chosen to fish rather than attend classes.
Determined to ensure that students reach their full potential, volunteer teacher Chea Sathun became concerned that seventh-grader Srey Pin was falling behind her peers. Meeting her outside one day, Srey Pin explained to her teacher that she simply could not afford to come to school anymore. Her parents and siblings had moved to Siem Reap to find work and she was now living on her own. "I have no choice but to go fishing in the rice fields to earn some money to pay for my education," she says.

The Cambodian Consortium for Out-of-School Children

In the context of the Cambodian Consortium for Out-of-School ChildrenAction Education, in partnership with Educate A Child, a global programme of Education Above All, is working to identify children like Srey Pin who are at risk of dropping out of school and to put in place solutions to keep them in the education system.
In Kampong Prasat commune, Prey Veng province, we are working with a local partner, Youth Star Cambodia, to raise awareness of the value of education, tutoring and educational activities that help students stay in school and not fall behind.

The Youth Star programme sends volunteers into communities to provide tutoring and educational activities using mobile libraries and learning through play.

A transformation

The volunteer Sathun described Srey Pin as being very keen to learn and making efforts in her studies. However, according to her teacher, she was struggling in maths and begging him to let her drop out. Determined to ensure that she acquired numerical skills, Sathun explained the value of mathematics to her future and convinced her to keep trying. " Although the days passed, I never stopped explaining, encouraging and convincing her to go back to class, and I even had the idea to buy her some books, hoping that this would help her "he explained. " Surprisingly, she finally decided to return to my class of her own free will ."
After months of effort in teaching this class, success began to be felt, Sathun revealed. Srey Pin came to me excitedly, exclaiming, 'I'm so happy to be teaching this class. Teacher, teacher! Finally, I can do calculations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Now I've done it! ."

Today, Srey Pin continues to focus on her studies and even helps Sathun run a mobile library in the community. " She also took my place as a teacher to teach small children to write and read stories for them "he said. As a volunteer, seeing Sathun's journey is a source of great joy for him. " JI couldn't be more excited to see a girl being able to defy the odds and get this far today "he said. " Srey Pin has gone from a girl who didn't like calculus at all to a girl who wants it, from a student who was often absent from class to a student who comes to study regularly, and she has really become a role model in the community ."



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