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The power to inspire others

Sat 25 Jul 2015 | Poor and Remote | Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (COCD)


Ten-year-old Samphors is an orphan from Trapaing Tasek village in the province of Kampot, Cambodia. His father left the country to work as a fruit picker in Thailand a few years ago, and his mother, who worked as a housemaid in Malaysia, died when Samphors was only six.


Samphors was terrified of going to school. Without a caring family to encourage him, he lived a painful existence:  “I did not go to school because I was scared of the teachers. Other students beat me. I didn’t have a backpack to go to school.”


In January 2015, Samphors received a scholarship package from the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children (CCOSC) led by Aide et Action (AEA) and implemented by the Cambodian Organization for Children and Development (COCD) which works with poor and remote children in Kampot. He was not only provided with a backpack but also books, pens, pencils, a pencil sharpener, a ruler, an eraser, a box of dry-erase markers, a whiteboard, a pair of shoes and a belt. Due to his situation, he also qualified to receive a financial contribution of 12,000 riel per month (about 3 USD).


As a result of the support, Samphors is currently in first grade at Baniev Primary School in Chhouk district of Kampot. “Presently, he attends school regularly,” explains Sarin Tey, COCD programme officer. “He is a good student, if we compare him with other children in his class. He has good results.”


Believe in children


In addition to this material and financial support, Samphors is monitored by the project team to ensure he continues to succeed at school. AEA project officer Minh Lim explains: “We need to pay special attention to Samphors. We have addressed a main barrier to his education, related to poverty. Now we must encourage him and show that we trust him. It is crucial for this boy who lives without his parents.”


Support and encouragement from adults and role models are invaluable to his development of skills. Their expectations and trust foster self-confidence and ambition. Parents, family members, friends, teachers and others who believe in children inspire their success. “Relationships with caring adults with high expectations lead to lifelong success. Samphors needs to go to school to meet mentors and role models,” added Minh Lim.


Today, Samphors is happy to go to school. He says with confidence: “I want to study to become a teacher. I can achieve this by attending school regularly.” As Sarin Tey has witnessed, Samphors has changed substantially since he enrolled. “He used to be shy and scared. Now he speaks to his teachers and classmates. He has lots of friends at school and he gladly takes the floor.” As Minh Lim concluded, “Each of us has the power to inspire others to achieve success.”