Soursdey (hello)! We are Sattya, Norain, Srey Pov, Sophea, Srey Nak, Bunthing, Sing and Sopheanea. We are a team of 8 young Cambodians (and our English coach, Jaime) running the Angkor Wat Half Marathon on behalf of Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF). 7 of us come from poor families who couldn’t afford to send us to school. We faced a future of working as children, possibly scavenging the streets of Phnom Penh, and never having meaningful jobs or fulfilling our potential. A life of poverty and struggle, like the ones our parents live, was all we had to look forward to.

Instead, CCF gave us a chance at an education by supporting us and our families, giving us food, schooling and support so that we are now developing into young leaders. We are all now working in exciting jobs or studying at university – and we want to give something back, by raising the money to educate the next generation of poor Cambodians.

CCF is widely recognised as one of the world’s best education NGOs and has won numerous accolades, including 100% score for financial responsibility and transparency by Charity Navigator (just 1% have ever scored this).

And because of our generous sponsors Starbucks (thank you Starbucks!) who are paying for our registration, our transport, our food, our training and even our running shoes, you know that every cent, penny or riel you donate will go directly to CCF and educating impoverished young children.

7 of us had never even run 5 kilometres before we began training, and had certainly never taken part in a half marathon. We were nervous when we began training, and all found the first run very hard. Now we are halfway through our training programme and very excited about the idea of running in our beautiful national treasure of Angkor Wat. Despite having to get up at 5am many mornings to run before the Cambodian heat became unbearable, and despite the downpours of rainy season, we have stuck to our training programme and believe that with one month to go we can really do this. We recently completed our first 13km run!

All of us hope to complete the full 21km, except for Srey Pov and Sophea, who will be running the 10km. We are grateful for even the smallest bit of support.

Awkun Ch’ran (thank you very much)!!!

 

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