When I was young most village homes were made of palm thatch like the one in the back. And most were on stilts as the land floods in the wet season.
The reason my mother and father went to Thailand to search for work was there was no work for them around our village. Because of the family situation, they decide to leave my brother and I with our grandmother. We lived with our grandmother for 2 years before it too hard for her and we come to ODA to have an education. We lived in a very remote village in Kampong Chhnang Province and our father really wanted us to be educated and then grow into good persons. He knew living in a remote village had no way to educate us and he wanted us to live somewhere that we could become educated. He heard about ODA and asked Mr Leng if we could come there for a time while they went to Thailand trying to find work.
Mr Leng taught us all art and around our school classes we sold them in the Temples to tourists. He is a very good art teacher and we all learnt well.
At ODA my brother and I were so happy to attend school and learn many skills with Mr Leng and his wife and become part of the ODA family. ODA was very different then and Mr Leng and us older students painted and sold our art in the temples around our school classes. Most days we sold enough to buy rice to feed the younger kids at ODA and ourselves. With Mr Leng we also had to try to sell more to buy school uniforms and books so all of us could attend. Mr Leng is a qualified art teacher and he taught all the kids to paint in our free time. We loved this very much and were happy sitting around painting and talking together as siblings. Like in a family everyone helps in any way they can, and these skills helped us to help Mr Leng to make us all be able to have food and get educated. ODA changed me a lot and now I am educated, with a Degree in IT and know how to be working hard, be kind to others, and share my skills with so many lucky students in the free ODA village schools.
It was such a proud day for me to graduate from university, when I was young in my village, I never dreamt that I could do that.
After I graduated from grade 12 I have no idea who I am what? What am I going to do next? What can I do? What I am good at? Etc.. University taught me more than I expected. It helped me to know what I am going for in the future. I started thinking of IT education, as so important to me and everyone around the world. And I have learned so much more … What most surprised me is my IT skill. I am able to teach students at the ODA village schools and help ODA with my IT skills that I am so happy and giving something back to ODA because it is ODA that brings me up to where I am today.