Samnang – Purchasing Controller, Food Projects Co-ordinator & Student Counsellor (wearer of many hats!)
“I started at PLF in 2020. Before that I worked for another NGO as a Social Worker, and other experience in hospitality. So my job is a mix of these skills. I love working for PLF, we have friendly working family members who really support each other.
For my memories of school, I remember we didn’t have books until Grade 4. In Grade 1 to 3 at that time only the teacher had a course book, no one in the village had notebooks. We just learn through the wood board that we write on. And I remember my father made that board for us with a hole on each side so we could carry them to school around our neck. Every morning I had a 1cm of chalk that my father split it and each of us kids gone one piece. I also remember there were 120 kids in one class at Grade 1 with one teacher, because only one school for three villages. The school was old and damaged from the war with big holes in the roof. In rainy season the classroom flooded. I was 10 years old when they accept me to Grade 1. I tried 3 times before that but they accept according to size and I was not tall enough. So I was late to start because I was small, because most families at that time eat only 2 meals a day. And after learning 2 Khmer letters we can pass to Grade 2.
Now when I see the students PLF is helping with materials, and good teaching skills, it remind me that it is way far more support that they have everything to help them study at school.
Samnang is a crucial part of supplies distribution at Opening Day every new school year
Even though my parents encouraged me, for high school it was not possible in my village. I had to go to be a pagoda boy, where I joined my older brother who was already a monk. This was good because I had my food and accommodation, and I could also work part time in a restaurant to save some money, so I could reach my goal of university. I stayed at the pagoda all the way during my English degree. Otherwise I could not finish my education. My parents were very proud that I could go through to university, and same time I keep my promise to my mum that I become a monk during those years.
As student counsellor, Samnang regularly takes part in mentorship and life skills workshops
Samnang co-ordinates food relief projects, undertaking family assessments and collecting school scores
For me, I always knew I wanted to study, because education is the key of life to understand the world with critical thinking and for making positive decisions. And now in my work I can support young people to grow up with higher education and enjoy life in the future.
One last thing to add – remember just one smile can influence everybody around you. Enjoy the day!”
You can meet more of our amazing team and read their stories on the People of PLF page!
Want to walk alongside PLF and our students in their journeys, but not sure how?
For as little as $10 a month, you could contribute to the ongoing education of our students. $120 goes a long way in Cambodia: that’s 5 village children on the road to education, with access to school and clean drinking water for half a year. Or a million other things, all of which coalesce into the tools needed for life to change for the better!
Have some questions?
Email us for a chat at [email protected]