Jul 1st, 2016 07/01/16 | Community Stories

Spotlight on... Teacher Rith

“If you want to reduce the cycle of poverty, education is the main way to do it,” - Teacher Rith. For the second part of our “Spotlight” series we want to introduce you to Teacher Rith, one of the many unsung heroes on our staff team. He works on the front line in CCF’s classrooms every day, having given up an easier and more prestigious job because of his drive to make a difference. He is so dedicated he regularly gives up his free time to help struggling students. teacherrith3 For four years, Rith has poured his considerable passion and energy into teaching students who live in the heart of Phnom Penh’s former garbage dump community. He has become more than a teacher to his students - he is also a mentor, a parental figure and a friend. “Before, I used to work at a private school. I came to CCF to help underprivileged children. They have less support from their family, they don’t have the chance to go to private English school.” says Teacher Rith. “That’s the main reason that I changed from working at a private school to an NGO. At first, it was a hard change. The classroom environment was very challenging and the learning was different.” Sitting in his classroom, Rith describes the issues facing his students on a daily basis, all of which inspire him to be a better, more caring teacher: domestic violence, parents addicted to drugs and alcohol, and children having to work as scavengers to help their struggling families survive. “I make sure that I show my students that I care about them. If I care about them, they know they can approach me if they have any problems. They trust me,” he says. teacherrithphoto1 Rith also spends his lunch breaks teaching extra classes to students who have fallen behind in school and cannot read or write in Khmer. “I noticed that some students in my class are poor in terms of their mother tongue, so I teach them basic Khmer alphabet during lunch time. Two or three students in my class are not able to read Khmer and they are 13 years old, so they need a lot of support,” says Rith. Rith believes that education and teachers must play a significant role in developing countries like Cambodia. “Education is very important in our society,” he argues. “We need to have very good education so students will have good skills. In ten years, I hope that they will have good jobs and good knowledge as well.” The work of Cambodian Children’s Fund wouldn’t be possible without people like Rith, who work hard, day in and day out, to create better opportunities for the children of Steung Meanchey and their families. We are proud to call you one of our teachers, Rith. Watch the video below:
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