10-year-old Sreypov is the second youngest out of seven children to be born into a poor farming family. They live 106km from the main capital of Phnom Penh and their main source of income is from working as labourers growing rice.
To earn enough money for the family’s basic needs, her parents leave Sreypov and her siblings behind for days at a time, travelling across the province to buy peanuts to cook and sell. Each trip brings in about S$14. But that is not enough.
Sreypov’s mother, Sok Nat, 42, says, “Because we don’t have enough income, my two older sons stopped schooling and went to Thailand to find a job.” Child labourers face many dangers, often working for exploitative owners or under hazardous conditions. The lack of education also means that they are forever stuck in low skilled jobs with meagre pay.
Thankfully, through World Vision’s help, Sreypov’s family was identified as one of the most vulnerable in the community. They received training on how to raise chickens and materials like chicken nets and materials to make a coop. They also learned how to make hammocks, which they sell for S$5.50 each around their village.
“Now I have enough food and I can go to school,” says Sreypov. “I want to be a teacher in Khmer literacy. I will study hard to get outstanding student in my class every month,” commits Sreypov. Her mother has also been empowered to be an active member in their community, giving back by volunteering at development projects to lift the community out of poverty in the long term.