By Travis Thompson
It’s been a dream for years, and now PLF has opened a place for our high school boy students who are living away from their village (and their families) and who are literally homeless and without support. They come to the city from isolated villages whose schools stop at grade 9, in pursuit of a high school diploma. They are often in Siem Reap without adequate food or shelter or any extended family or friends. These challenges give them the least chance of finishing school but often an extraordinary level of grit. We are all feeling a very high level of satisfaction seeing them get a chance at something of an “ordinary life”.
The house is a traditional Cambodian two-story home. Since the beginning of 2014, PLF and the Ly family have been working non-stop to make small repairs, paint and prepare rooms for the initial two Angkor High School students to move in. As soon as all the bedroom and kitchen furnishings were set up, the boys made themselves at home in their new digs. Also living in the house is Knar School graduate and computer teacher, Chamroeun who the Foundation chose because he’s such a successful role-model, someone who will inspire and support PLF students to reach their fullest potential.
Previously, these initial boys’ house students were living on their own or with friends in whatever spaces they could find in Siem Reap. Although they received a small food allowance from PLF for living expenses during that time, they’ll be getting a more well-rounded support system now with food cooked daily in their own kitchen and teacher Chamroeun living with them. Most important is that they are now safe from life on the street and can truly focus on their studies for the first time in some years.
The PLF boys’ house in Siem Reap will be a growing project as more students who are on their own come into the system, students who have core needs that the house can fulfill. So often we hear of funding for projects like this for girls and PLF has a relationship with an urban girls dorm where girls can be placed. But, the truth is that there are so many boys who are on their own, boys who persist in the face of the world’s biggest challenges, but who are in danger of dropping out of school because of a lack of stable sources of food and shelter. We appreciate so much PLF supporter Andrew Tuck seeing this need and helping us meet it.
Stay tuned for updates~!