A few months ago we asked our University students if they were interested in sharing their story on our website, and here is the story that Bunpha wanted to share!

My name is Bunpha. I was born in 1998. My hometown is in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in a small village at countryside. I have 4 sisters and 4 brothers, they are not graduated from high school. My family is doing farming to have food to eat. Since the day I left home to school, that was encouraged by my parents. I went to school without knowing what school is? I felt uncomfortable to go to school and wondered why they sent me to school, because I got nothing to eat. But later, I know! Because education is important for life. It makes life better than uneducated.

I started primary school at Chey primary school in 2004.  In grade 4 I was selected as a PLF student. I felt very happy, because I got supplies for studying with many tools such as books pens pencils shoes clothes and a bag that very useful at school and I also have chance to study English and computer. I was happy to see many students got supplies too. I was not thought that someone will give me those tools, because my parents no need to buy me the materials anymore, it is also helpful to the economic in my family too.

In 2010, I started secondary school. My friends and I also got a new supply, a bicycle. My secondary school is about 4 kilometers from my house. I got a new experience in study life. I met more new students teachers and subjects. My family proud of me to see I passed the primary school. In 2012, I studied Media program with PLF and it was the first time that I touched camera to take photos or make videos. In Media class, I felt in beautiful life, I learnt a lot from teachers and social media and I also had chance to go to hotel to join Film festival with teachers and media classmates. It was a great event for me, I met many special people and my our media students also show them the videos and photos we did and it was a chance to let them know us.

In 2013, I started high school. It was also the year that I got a PLF scholarship to study extra class at high school to improve my knowledge. It was very special and important to me, because I got more time to study exercises with teachers and ask them about the points that I did not understand.

Bunpha pictured during a practicum as a part of his Electrical Engineering degree

In 2016, I graduated high school and continued to university. After graduated from high school I interested in electricity and want to work at Electrical Engineering. I am looking for university to study the major I chose and I am really lucky to get scholarship again is for 4 years at university with bachelor degree. I started to move to Phnom Penh city to study at university.

When I first left from my home to Phnom Penh it was the first time that I live far from home. I am not scared to travel alone, but my parents worried about my safety and living. It is not easy to live in a place that I never knew, but before I come to Phnom Penh I had known seniors also PLF students and when I come to Phnom Penh they help me to find the living room and guide me to visit some Universities and Institutes. I now study Engineering at the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC). 

 Scholarship is really important for me. My family is a farmer’s family, but we do not have too much field to do farming, 90% of those field is my parent rent from owner so when we harvest we have to give 40% of yield to the owners. My family can not support for my studying, but I want a better future. I want to leave from poverty. I can not give up, I have to continue my ambition to achieve my goal. Scholarship can help my ambition so it is really important for me. And now, I get a scholarship as I wanted. Not many Cambodian people get this chance, even my brothers and sister, so it becomes special and more important for me about scholarship. When I get the scholarship I can study the major that I wanted and after my graduation, I can support my family and especially I can help to develop my society. 

Bunpha sharing his story to parents and students at Romchek Primary school as a part of our Mentorship Program