By Sal Chamroeun
In 2011, I began to study English with the support of the Ponheary Ly Foundation. In July, I had an exam for my English class. After this I got a certificate from the PLF and I have traveled to Kulen Mountain with foreigner in PLF. After this time, maybe a few months later, my friends come to see me and ask, “Do you want to study a computer?”.
“Yes I do, I want to learn it very much,” I answered.
Then we were waiting one day to meet Ponheary Ly or Lori to permit me to study computer or not. At that time, I was so afraid of Ponheary because I had never talked to her, but my mind told me, “You must be brave if you want to study computer, if you want to know technology.” It encouraged me to tell teacher Ponheary about what I needed. Fortunately for us, teacher Ponheary said that, she would help us to go to study computer at the PLF Office, but we needed permission from teacher Sotheara Ly. Also, if Sotheara said ok, we could study there. We were very happy when we heard this, although we didn’t talk to teacher Sotheara Ly.
Three days later, we were meeting with Sotheara at Seven Candle Guest House in Siem Reap. It’s great that she gave us a chance and told us on Sunday morning we could come to study. We studied only one day a week and 4 hours a day on Sunday morning. Then we came back, and I was very happy because I had never studied computers before. For me it was interesting, and I was so happy. This feeling was powerful and, hopeful. On Sunday came a new feeling, it was the feeling of being afraid that I would not be able to complete the class successfully. This feeling made me want to study hard, take care of my lessons and do anything to improve from day to day.
Studying took a long time, maybe 14 months for me to complete only one section: Microsoft Office Word. But, I got a certificate from Ponheary Ly Foundation successfully. I was so proud. After this section I continued to study Excel. At this time I graduated high school. However, when many students like me who come from the countryside finish high school, some of us continue to university and some find a job to help their family. For me I didn’t have the money to study at university, so I needed to find a job to help my family. However, I couldn’t find one. I don’t know why.
A fantastic day for me again was when teacher Ponheary Ly contacted me and asked me, “Do you want to have a job?”
“Yes, I really want,” I replied.
A few days later I came to study computers as usual and then teacher Ponheary and Lori interviewed me. But, I did not know for what job. My feeling was happy, scared; afraid, but excited. These feelings mixed together.
Lori and Ponheary gave me work as a Microsoft Office computer teacher at Tchey School. The first day that I taught I was shy and I didn’t know which words to say to my students. I made many mistakes. But I had a lot of encouragement from my teacher Sotheara, my bosses Ponheary Ly, Mr. Rany and the principal of Tchey School. I made less mistakes with time. Now I feel so happy when I see my students study hard and know they are going to become smart students.