Srey Nith knows all about hard work and sacrifice. She has seen her parents model these things, giving their best to create better opportunities for their three daughters.
Srey Nith also knows about struggle and failure, as her parents took out loans to finance their small rice farming operation, only to experience disappointment and defeat when things did not work out as planned.
Because of the resulting financial struggle, her parents made the difficult decision to send their daughters to live in a Christian church dormitory in their home province of Prey Veng, while the parents left to go find work in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, which is 3-4 hours by car to the northwest from their home.
Even though she went through her high school years as a so-called “left-behind” child without her parents by her side, Srey Nith has grown into a very responsible and capable student. She ranked number 8 of 60 total students in Grade 12, and the pastor at her local church described her as a diligent student and a faithful helper in their church community. She learned discipline and helped to teach the younger children at the dorm.
During this time, Srey Nith worried about what would happen after high school graduation. She was very capable and motivated to continue her education in university, but as she considered her family’s situation, she realized her parents would not be able to support her at all. Every month, they needed to spend carefully so they could save enough to pay back the loan payments to the bank.
Srey Nith’s commitment was strong, though. She told herself that no matter what happened, she would move to the city to enroll in university, and even if she had to go without food or a place to sleep, she would be ready to tolerate anything to make her dream happen. At the same time, she shared all these burdens with her brothers and sisters at church, and they prayed with Srey Nith about God’s plans for her future.
By God’s grace, Srey Nith learned about the opportunity to apply for support through the CWEF University Scholarship program, which is made possible by your generous prayers and gifts. She applied for a scholarship and was accepted. In 2021, SreyNith completed her second year of classes in the Business Management degree program at her university in Phnom Penh.
Srey Nith shares:
“To see my parents living in poverty always strengthens my commitment to find a way to pay them back and do everything I can to help them when they are getting older. But I do not want to end up working in a garment factory like my mom. My dream is to hold a pen and not a needle. I want to become a businesswoman in the future.”
When she came to Phnom Penh for university, Srey Nith decided to once again live in a Christian dorm. She wants to stay close to God, do what she can to serve the church, and have a good environment for studying. Through the challenges of the COVID pandemic, including outbreaks in Cambodia and mostly online university classes throughout 2021, she has studied hard and has kept herself busy – reading more books and doing additional research for her assignments.
On behalf of the entire CWEF team, thank you! It is our privilege and joy to partner with you to create opportunities for students like Srey Nith. Her hope is strong and her future is bright, thanks to you!