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“I’m thrilled to be a better reader!”

For many children in Cambodia, their sixth birthday signifies the exciting day that they get to go to school. But 13-year-old Sobine didn’t start school until the age of 10. Despite a late start to his education, Sobine is determined to finish high school.

“My family was very poor, and I had no idea how I would be able to send Sobine to school. We live in poverty and there was a lot of violence in our home,” said Sobine’s mother, Sophors.

When Sobine and his mother moved in with their stepfather, a construction worker, he was enrolled in the nearest primary school. But he struggled to keep up with reading and writing.

“I couldn’t read very well in the second grade. Since I’m older than my classmates, they could read but I couldn’t, and this stressed me out. I didn’t like myself because I couldn’t achieve as much as the others.”

ChildFund Cambodia’s ‘Easy to Learn’ program makes sure that every child can access a quality education. The program runs activities that give teachers the skills to support children who are falling behind in literacy and numeracy. It also renovates libraries and provides tablets that have a digital library of age-appropriate books.

The goal of the project is to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of primary school children and to develop a peer tutoring program so children can help their peers who may be falling behind.

The project provides school uniforms and other school supplies like bags, books, and pencils to other children in need, so that they can complete a primary school education. As a mother, Sophors is delighted that programs like this have been able to contribute to her son’s education.

“I am really pleased that he has been able to move his study further. Even though I am limited in what I can provide, I want all my children to be literate so they can have rewarding careers in the future. I don’t want them to be as impoverished as I am,” she said.

“I’m so happy that I can read better now. My teachers and classmates gave me a lot of support. They helped me to memorise the alphabet and symbols. I also enjoy using the apps and reading toolkits to help me learn the letters,” said Sobine. “When I grow up, I don’t want to work in a restaurant like my older brother. I want to work in an office building.”

Learn more about how ChildFund Cambodia is working with local communities and partners to make sure that children living with hearing impairment and other disabilities can access an education and have a chance at a brighter future.

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