Ravuth, Teacher & Field Operations Support, SLC
“I first joined PLF when I was in Grade 4. I lived at Romchek village, and at that time PLF only worked with Koh Ker school. I heard from my friend’s mother who told us that an organization from Siem Reap came to help Koh Ker students to study. I was really interested, so I went with my friend to enroll. PLF thought we were from Koh Ker and we were afraid they might chuck us out so we didn’t say anything! We just really wanted to study. It was 7 km from our village, and all the way was deep, deep forest. I had an old bicycle and sometimes it would break and I would have to leave it in the forest and carry on walking. Sometimes during rainy season we walk through very deep water and have to carry my books above my head so they don’t get wet. But I was very determined! I really wanted to go to school.
Ravuth’s graduation photo from Grade 6
After Grade 6, I went to PLF’s new dorm in Srayang for middle school. At first it was a little bit difficult because we all missed home and some kids would cry at night. But I never felt like quitting, I knew it was the right place to be to continue study.
While I was at the dorm I also started teaching computers. PLF brought me to Siem Reap during the long school holiday and first I learned computers myself and then how to teach them. So I could go back to Srayang and teach MS Office to the other dorm students. I also started doing some teaching at Romchek primary, helping the kids with math & Khmer. So I was young when I started learning how to teach. I got used to it quickly, and realized I really loved teaching.
Ravuth teaching at the first computer lab at Srayang Dorm
In Grade 10 I came to Siem Reap for the boys’ dorm, and I loved that so much. It was so different to be in the city, and by then I was used to being away from home. I was waiting a lot for that. Even though I got lost a lot at first in the city! The first time I rode to the Old Market and I couldn’t find the way back so I just rode round and round it, and pretend I knew where I was going! Then in Grade 12, I became dorm daddy and helped the new students that came through. I spent time a lot with them at the beginning and help them so they could get more confidence, and then manage more by themselves.
I chose to study IT at university because I already knew I was so interested in computers. When I was a small kid, my grandfather, who was a primary school principal, had an old typewriter and that was the first time I became so curious about, what is this thing, this keyboard. So I used to play with that, and then when I was older I started to see on TV also about computers. It looked so fun and interesting and different.
While I was still at university, I worked part-time in the PLF office, but I realized quickly that I preferred teaching and helping the students. So I started at KVLC and have been there now for 3 years, teaching Khmer, science and chess – I love all of these subjects, but I especially like science, because I like to analyze something and experience something new. With science we can understand how things work, and the world around us.
Ravuth’s classes at KVLC – always fun & engaging
Now that I have finished my degree, I am really excited to be moving back to my hometown to work at the Learning Center in Srayang! I will work full-time to teach English, science and chess, as well as support operations with the field directors at the primary schools. I am so happy! And I am especially excited to take science class to the SLC students for the first time, because I see how excited the KVLC students get with this subject already. I am so happy!
First day at Srayang Learning Center! Assisting with distributions on Opening Day
PLF helped me so much – as a student, and now always still develop me as a teacher. With teacher training courses and exchanges, I know a lot about how to manage my students and help them to get better and better knowledge. To give back the education to the students that I got because of PLF – that is the best thing. I think I can help them to grow and learn like I have. Because I think if no PLF, there is no me right now. Maybe I am at Thailand, working in construction. That’s why PLF says School is the Answer and it is so true.
Ravuth getting to know his new students at Srayang on Opening Day
The biggest thing I want to bring to Srayang is to help the rural students know the world a bit more and to help them grow. Because now I studied, lived and worked in Siem Reap, I have more to share, and can help the students to study and know the world. This is great for the kids but also for the community in Srayang. The power of knowledge can help them grow, and prevent them from quitting school. Because why do you want to quit the school, to become a farmer? Not that farmer is bad, but we have another choice. We have only one life, and it is important that they know they have a choice what they become.
Education change me, change my life, education changes your ability, the way you think. And the way you think is the way that you become. So education is the way that you can prepare yourself for your future.”
We are SO THRILLED to have Ravuth come full circle and return to teach in Srayang. He couldn’t be a better role model for the students there, having trod exactly the same path as them. We can’t wait to see the ripple effects his presence will bring to the center, his students, and his community!
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!
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