Life is about to change dramatically for Visal, Thida and Phanny.
The three students are the latest from Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) to be offered scholarships to the prestigious International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP), making a total of 22 CCF scholars at the school.
This life-changing opportunity is a reward for all their hard work with CCF.
Visal, Phanny and Thyda were chosen after an intensive selection process with students from CCF and other NGOS in Cambodia.
I hope that they will have a bright future and become good leaders for their society and country.
Living in one of the most impoverished areas in the country and region, all three have overcome obstacles to just attend school.
They will begin their educational journey with ISPP with a concentrated curriculum to prepare them for the next level of their study - and the next exciting chapter of their lives.
Sokchannin Kram, CCF’s Education Manager, said: “We are very proud of our three new ISPP scholars, and all our students who took part in the selection process. It is a huge opportunity for them.”
Forging successful partnerships to give students opportunities to fulfill their potential academically and personally is fundamental to CCF.
ISPP began a relationship with CCF to launch the ISPP Cambodian Scholarship Program in 2018, offering students a seven-year full scholarship studying an international baccalaureate curriculum.
Sorn Sem, ISPP Social Worker, who works closely with each of the scholarship students, said: “It is a pleasure and honor to be involved in this meaningful program, which gives me the opportunity to support CCF children to study at one of the best international schools.
“I hope that they will have a bright future and become good leaders for their society and country.”
Meet our super scholars:
Visal, 11, had never attended school before joining CCF with his parents barely earning enough to feed the family. Scraping a living in Phnom Penh, his mother worked hard in a garment factory while his father toiled long hours laboring on construction sites.
The family’s fortunes changed when Visal was accepted into CCF’s Education Program. His parents were delighted their son would finally get his chance to go into a classroom for the first time.
Now in Grade 5, Visal really enjoys school. His favourite subjects are Khmer and English. His dream is to be a doctor as he would love to cure his parents whenever they are unwell.
Life has improved for his mum and dad too. They earn a steady income - enough to afford a rental room for the family - and have new jobs - his father working for a garbage collection company and his mother sorting recyclable materials.
It was Thida’s mother who approached CCF and asked for an opportunity for her daughter to get an education. Her husband’s income as a moto-taxi driver was insufficient to cover school for Thida and her three siblings.
Unable to earn enough to feed the children, Thida’s father moved to Thailand to find work but wasn’t able to send any money home to support the family and eventually returned to Cambodia.
Joining CCF meant Thida had the chance to go to school and reduced the pressure on her struggling parents.
Thida, now 11, now lives in a safe CCF World Housing community with her grandparents, who can provide the stability she needs. Her ambition is to be a cook.
Phanny, 11, lives with his mother, younger brother and grandmother in one of CCF World Housing homes.
Phanny’s parents, after marriage, moved to Phnom Penh and lived in an impoverished community in Steung Meanchey. Life was hard. His mother worked as a factory worker, while his father was a motorbike washer.
When her husband left the family, the family’s burden fell onto Phanny’s mum, who could only earn a very little income with her new job as a construction worker. Phanny never had a chance to attend school. Fortunately, his mother heard about CCF through some neighbors and asked for support.
Phanny was accepted as a CCF student in 2017. Later on, his family also received a CCF World Housing home and his mum found a job as a housemaid. Phanny wants to be a policeman in the future.