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Houn: My name is Ra Houn. I am 16 years old and I am a 9 grade student.

Mey: Hello Houn. Can you tell me about your past life before you coming to Mekhala House?

Houn: I lived with my family in the village – we were poor but happy. My mother sent me to school and in her free time, she always taught me. I loved studying so much.
However, when my mother was pregnant she fell through the floor of our house because our house was old and the wood was broken. As a result of the injuries she and her baby died. My father was very sad and disappointed so he decided to run away to Phnom Penh. I was 6 years old at the time.

Afterwards, my half-sister, who I lived with, did not like to talk to me. I felt very lonely. I cried and cried because no one was near me. I then went to live with my aunt and uncle at their house in Baray village. However, I was not sent to school and I was forced to look after my uncle’s buffalo. Sometime he didn’t let me eat or sleep in their house. I did not know why. I lived like this for two years.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause I was so young and I missed my grandma I ran to meet her at Prey Kandieng. However, she could not look after me so I decided to ask my Aunt who lives near my grandma to live with her. She was ok with this and although my uncle did not get angry with me or say anything, he still did not really want me to live with them because he did not want the responsibility of looking after me because they too were poor.

However, my aunt loves me so she sent me to school again – which made me happy. I went to school in the morning and I would look after buffalo in the afternoon. I was not doing well at school because no one taught me at home and I did not go to school regularly. This was because I needed to do the house work.

One day, when I was 10 years old there was an organization came to provide gifts to the students who have no parents. I was on the list. A man named Thy saw me and he felt pity for me – so then he contacted FDCC and one of the staff contacted the village chief and after that I came to live at Mekhala House.

Mey: How did you feel when you came to live in Mekhala House?

Houn: I felt very happy. I was sent to school and provided with a lot of skills such as life skills, English, computing, health and hygiene….and I have enough food to eat and a good place to stay. It is a very warm place for me. Now I can read, write, speak and listen in English. It is a wonderful thing for me that I never thought I could have.

Mey: Can you compare the education in your village and in Prey Veng?

Houn: From my experience education in the town is better than education in the village because I have much more study materials and enough time to go to school. I have time to relax and I have time to do my homework.

Mey: Can you tell me about the meaning of a good education?

Houn: Yes, I can. For my point of view, a good education means good processing of teaching and learning to achieve good results and have good morals in society.

Mey: What do you want to become in the future?

Houn: I want to become an accountant and to work in a company. I would like it very much because I can sit in the office, wear good clothes and do interesting work. However, my Aunt would like me to be a nurse as she tells me that it is a good job and meaningful to her family.
At the end, I would like to say a deep thank you to all the donors and supporters who sponsor and support me and my sisters at Mekhala House. Without your support I do not have this day. Thank you for all your kindness, your love, and your support. I wish you to be healthy, strong, happy, lucky and successful. Please continue to support me and sisters at Mekhala House. I strongly hope that I will reach my goals.

You can sponsor a girls education, like Houn, and help empower her to a bright future.