Eight-year-old *Clay began studying in the preschool program at Human and Hope Association in 2015. Her father is a builder who would work far away from home to support Clay’s family. Her mother, a housewife, would often collect rattan to make baskets that she could sell for a few cents each.
It was a challenge to keep her in the program; not only was Clay younger than the other students, she was also a lot smaller having been born prematurely. Clay would cry every day when her mother brought her to school and would often refuse to go to class.
With persistence from her teacher and dedication from her mother who wasn’t afforded an education herself, Clay’s behaviour eventually started to change. She would respect the teacher in class, brush her teeth at school (even though she had never done so in her four years on earth) and made friends. Although her learning was slow, it eventually improved, and Clay graduated from preschool in 2017 and made the transition to public school. Clay graduated from grade one at public school in 2018. Her grades are good, and she still attends Human and Hope Association daily for Khmer language classes, English phonics and to read in the library.
*name has been changed for child protection purposes
Savin stopped studying at school in grade five to take care of her ill mother. She went on to have five sons, but without an education, she was limited to growing vegetables to earn an income. She has always relied on her husband, who earns an inconsistent income as a tuk-tuk driver.
Savin was always interested in learning sewing, so she reached out to a friend for help. Her friend was happy to teach her, however after a couple of weeks she fell seriously ill and was unable to help Savin anymore. Savin didn’t let this stop her, and she started asking her neighbours if they knew about any free sewing classes. As luck would have it, one of Savin’s neighbours had recently graduated from the sewing program at Human and Hope Association, and speaking positively about it, encouraged Savin to join.
Savin came immediately to register for the program and thrived in class. She took out a sewing machine microfinance loan so she could practice her lessons at home, and began to earn an income fixing clothes for her neighbours.With her willingness and commitment to learn, Savin completed the sewing class in January 2019, armed with a full set of sewing and life skill lessons. Savin has now achieved her dream of opening a sewing shop at home, and for the first time in her life, is earning a stable income.
Vanny is a construction worker whose daughter studies at Human and Hope Association through the scholarship program.
After conducting a home visit, the staff witnessed the extreme poverty Vanny and her family were living in, and their fight for survival. With a strong commitment and willingness to learn, Vanny made the decision to take a day off from her job every Sunday so she could join our family farm program. Her husband supported Vanny in her learning journey, and moved their bamboo house to another part of their land so she had enough soil to create her own farm and apply her learnings on how to grow chemical-free vegetables.
With ongoing support from HHA’s team, Vanny’s farm has thrived, and she uses the vegetables she grows to improve the nutrition of her family and to earn an income. Vanny has now been able to leave her exhausting job, thanks to her new business selling vegetables and making pancakes.
The husband of a sewing graduate, San has lived in poverty his whole life. He spends his days collecting recyclable materials that he then sells for a small amount of money. The father of three children, he feels a lot of pressure to provide for his family. San often committed domestic violence against his wife and children, which was amplified when he drank alcohol.
When San’s wife, Chenda, studied in HHA’s sewing program, he was invited to join their domestic violence workshop. The workshop was a turning point for San. He became aware of how harmful his actions were, and from that day on made positive steps to change his behaviour.
He has reduced his consumption of alcohol, has dramatically reduced his violent outbursts, and respects his family a lot more.
“My husband has changed a lot after attending the workshop. We are now living more happier than before.” – Chenda, San’s wife