The first time Pisey (name changed to protect identity) stepped foot in a classroom he was 8 years old. He had never held a pencil, read a book, learnt to speak a word in the national language Khmer, or even written his own name. He had to resit the first grade twice because he didn’t speak the same language as the government teacher, and his parents struggled to help with his schooling as they are both illiterate themselves. Since he was 5 years old he has worked on soybean plantations, preparing the soil and collecting plants for his family’s pig to eat. After carrying out these tasks, most days Pisey was too tired to make the difficult 3 hour walk to school. 

When UWS built his village a school in 2014, they trained teachers from the Krun Tribe who spoke the same language as Pisey, brought lots of books and games for the children to use, and gave him the support he needed to pass his Grade 1 exam. Although Pisey still works on the farm before school every day, now he has reached Grade 4 and dreams of going to university to become a doctor for his village.

To help other students like Pisey, donate today.