Our grannies, mums and dads received diplomas from our literacy program. Many had never been to school or had the chance to study before.
Holding her framed diploma tight in her hands, Chheang Yoeurn could not stop smiling, her eyes shining with pride.
At the age of 63, Chheang Yoeurn is learning to read and write.
One of the CCF grannies, Yoeurn only went to school until the age of six when she was growing up in a province outside Phnom Penh.
“I had to stop because my family could not afford to send me,” she recounted.
She never expected to have the chance to return to education but thanks to CCF’s literacy program, which provides evening adult classes for those who missed out, she stepped back in the classroom for the first time in more than 50 years.
This week, Yoeurn graduated from the second level literacy and received her diploma at a graduation ceremony along with other CCF grannies, and mums and dads who passed their classes.
“I am very thankful to Scott (Neeson) and CCF for helping me to do this,” said Yoeurn, who has one son and one grandson.
“I want to carry on learning.”
Six months ago, Am Channy, 48, could not write a single letter or read. She was never able to read to her three children – one is in CCF’s program and attending school – or help with their homework.
Now she has discovered a love of studying and graduated from her first literacy class.
“I am so excited to receive my diploma,” said Channy, wearing her black graduate gown trimmed with blue silk and cap.
More than 57 adult learners were recognised for their achievements, many experiencing the thrill of graduating for the first time in their lives.
Being able to read and write at this stage in their lives has opened up a whole new world; and a chance of getting better jobs and creating a better life for their families for the mums and dads among them.
Nob Sameit had more reason to feel proud on the night than most. Her teenage daughter was one of the event MCs and watched as her mother walked up the stage to receive her first ever diploma.
“I am very happy,” said Sameit. “I never had a chance to learn. It was very hard at first to go back to school and make the commitment to do it but I enjoyed it. I have already registered for the next course.”
By Kate Ginn/CCF
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