When Nouy Naphay finishes a day at school as a CCF student, her work is far from over. In the evening, the teenager can be found passing on her knowledge to peers and younger pupils in a makeshift classroom she has set up in her community

Using a battered old whiteboard fixed to the side of a corrugated iron-clad house, Naphay, 15, spends her spare time doing informal teaching to those who need a little extra help with schooling.

The inspiring schoolgirl knows what it’s like to be in their shoes. She used to be just like them.
Born in the poor province of Takeo, around 84 km from Phnom Penh, the third daughter among five siblings, life was extremely challenging for Naphay and her family with never enough money or food on the table.

Their struggles continued after moving to Phnom Penh where the parents worked as rubbish scavengers, earning a tiny income that did not even cover basic daily expenses.
When Naphay’s mother moved back to her hometown, the grandmother took her place scavenging on the streets to scrape a few dollars a day for the children, none of whom went to school.

Naphay’s fortunes changed when CCF saw her plight and she was accepted into our full education program. Her mother returned and the reunited family were moved together into one of our World Housing houses, finally having a safe, clean and stable shelter to call home.

Naphay is embracing the opportunity to make up for all those lost years of schooling and loves learning, excelling in mathematics, chemistry and the Khmer language, and has her sights set on a career in medicine.

In the meantime, the resourceful young leader is eager to give back with the impromptu community teaching sessions, utilising the skills that she has learnt at CCF to give others the chances that she has had. Naphay can also be found volunteering at the food program, helping to distribute hundreds of meals to families and children in the community.

Naphay’s journey highlights the transformative power of education and reinforces our belief that educating one child has the potential to lift an entire family out of poverty. In the future, Naphay hopes to be able to support her family and community.

Changing lives for the better, as her life was transformed, is all the motivation she needs.

Kate Ginn/CCF

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