At age 14, Sophorn stands at the head of her classroom in Cambodia and teaches other children school subjects. She is a patient teacher, because she once struggled in school.
Not long ago, Sophorn avoided getting an education. She had learning difficulties and a mindset inspired by the Khmer proverb: “Girls cannot go beyond the kitchen.”
Sophorn and her parents believed this limitation. So Sophorn went to school once a month, if that. She spent her time cooking, cleaning and carrying water for farming. She often looked dirty and tired, as her parents didn’t have enough food to feed her and her brother.
“I did not go to school regularly, as I was asked to do housework,” Sophorn said. “I did not even want to go when I had time, because I felt ashamed in front of my classmates, because I did so poorly in class.”
Food for the Hungry staff started working in Sophorn’s community. They made house visits and talked to parents about how education could help their children overcome poverty.
Then FH staff set up a children’s club, which took place after school. In this club, children learned God’s truth and love for them. They also learned English, Khmer, math, personal hygiene and morals for good behavior.
Sophorn started to attend the club and got caught up on her education. Then she started going to school five times a week. Her parents supported her in getting her education.
Soon, Sophorn started to do really well in school. And then she got selected to be a volunteer teacher to other students. She now helps other students learn concepts and subjects, so they can improve in school.
“When I joined the children’s club, I learned more,” said Sophorn. “I can catch everything my teachers teaches me at school. That’s what makes me go to school regularly.”
Sophorn’s education has improved and so has her health. Her parents joined a savings group, where they and other community members pool a small amount of money each week. After a time, her parents took a loan from the savings group to buy chickens and seeds for growing vegetables.
They are paying back the loan by breeding the chickens and selling eggs. But they also use the chicken eggs to provide protein for their children. With a variety of vegetables and eggs to eat, Sophorn is getting the nutrition she needs to stay focused on her studies.
This is just one example of how your gifts are helping to change the lives of children all around the world. You can watch a child like Sophorn develop and overcome challenges through child sponsorship. Find a child today and start watching that child’s life change for the better.