“There’s no use studying. Your family will never make it out of these rice fields. But if you go study in the city, be careful not to come back pregnant.”
Ruth, a young Cambodian girl, heard these words from her neighbors more than once. They pierced her heart every time. But she is strong. “I am going to prove them wrong,” Ruth said, believing that God would provide a way.
Ruth was born on an island without enough teachers. To get a better education, her parents sent her far away to live with her grandparents and three of her uncles, who often drank too much. Through tears, Ruth still recalls nights when her intoxicated uncles did things like smash through their household door with an axe.
Ruth’s father works in farming and construction as well as selling fish, snails, and frogs. Still, resources were few. “I didn’t have books to read,” Ruth admitted, “or enough study materials for my schoolwork…”
But eventually, through your generous donations to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, Ruth received a scholarship to attend university in Phnom Penh, and her life completely changed:
“Honestly, it was just like a dream…” she said. “I could get away from the cursing voice of my uncle. It is just like freedom and peace. Now I can go to university and live in a beautiful dorm. God is so amazing.”
Ruth studies and serves God diligently. In the past, she taught free classes for children and served at her church. Today she plans to major in biological engineering and hopes to inspire her community with farming technology to raise livestock and produce healthy canned foods. In the future, she hopes these agricultural initiatives will support higher education for children in her community.
Thank you for your generous giving! You are an integral part in breaking the cycle of poverty and helping students like Ruth experience a brighter future!
Learn more about your impact through CWEF! Read Phanna’s story.
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Article written by Panhary Port Puth (Cambodia Education Programs Director) with April Chiasson (CWEF Communications Manager)