Transformation Tuesday: Srey Pov

“I found this photograph recently. It was the first photo ever taken of my family – we dressed up and went to the pagoda to get it. I was about 8, I’m the one with short hair. But though we look happy, we weren’t really. My father was always away from home trying to earn money because we didn’t make enough from fishing. There was a lot of fighting. I really wanted to go to school, but it didn’t seem possible. We didn’t have money and my parents didn’t want me to go, didn’t see the point.

“I had to leave when I was 13 and found work in Phnom Penh. The hours were long, and I barely made enough money to survive. I became sick and malnourished, and eventually moved to Steung Meanchey to live with my Uncle. He believed in my dream to get an education, so with his help I talked to Scott Neeson and was accepted into CCF. At 16, I entered the fifth grade – it was a dream come true.

“That seems like a long time ago now. I’m 24, and life couldn’t be more different. I do karate and athletics. I’ve run a half marathon. I’m a film and photography intern with CCF, and next year I hope to move to Australia to find a job in the film industry. There are lots of photos of me now but they really are happy ones!”


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