Newsletter September 2015      
A Note from Bill and Nancy
This is a special issue of the Cambodian Village Fund newsletter. We decided to devote the entire issue to an article written by Roeurn Sary, one of our Reach for the Sky girls. A few weeks ago, Sary, a 12th grader, posted a message on Facebook about her mother. We asked Sary to expand on that and tell us more about her family and her mother. She wrote such a beautiful and poignant story that we wanted to share it. Sary wrote this in English. We did only minor editing.

My Mother and Me
by Roeurn Sary

My name is Roeurn Sary. I’m 18 years old. There are five members in my family, my mother, 3 older brothers and me. My father passed away in 2008, the year I started 5th grade. After my father died, my mother had to take care of 3 sons and a daughter, and solve all the problems alone. It’s very difficult for her because she is a widow with very little money.

Sometimes I saw my mother crying alone. I felt sorry for her, but I couldn’t help her. My brothers saw this, too and decided to drop out of school and go to work in Thailand, leaving my mother and me home alone.

My mother has farmland, but can’t do all the work herself. She pays workers to plow, till, sow and harvest the rice. My mother just takes care of the dung. My mother also looks after my uncle's cow. She keeps the baby cow one year and gives my uncle the baby cow the next.

After my father died my family didn’t live together, even on holidays. We were not happy and not at peace. After a year without my father my life was as sad as possible. When 6th grade started I really wanted to quit school so I could work and help my family. But my mother and brothers encouraged me to study. I went to school every day, but I was so sad I didn’t care about school.
When I started 7th grade in 2010, teacher Vanna told me that I will have a sponsor who will support my schooling. My sponsor, the Cambodian Village Fund, bought me a bicycle, school uniform and school supplies. I was really happy because it softened the burden on my family. I began to think about my future and getting a good job so I could help my family. The Cambodian Village Fund gave me hope and opportunity and changed my life.

After 10th grade the monk, Venerable Sovechea, asked me if I would like to change schools and study in Battambang. I was really surprised that I could study at a higher quality school, but I was worried about my mother because if I study in the city my mother will be at home alone. But my mother understood and wanted me to study in the city and was happy that I had this opportunity. Venerable Sovechea also explained to me the benefits of studying in the city, so I decided to go to Battambang.

Sary and her mother in 2010
In October 2014 I moved to the Cambodian Village Fund’s rental house, where the Cambodian Village Fund’s university girls live. It was very difficult for me to be away from my mother, especially since she was home alone. I cried and really missed my mother. I went home to be with my mother on weekends. Two weeks ago I couldn’t go home to visit. My mother called and said, “My dear, please come home to be with me tonight. I really miss you.” But I couldn’t because I had classes on the weekend. My mother was sad and I hated myself.

I really love my family and I’m thankful that I was chosen to be a Cambodian Village Fund Reach for the Sky girl.

Sary and her mother, January 2015

Cambodian Village Fund--Changing Lives.
An anonymous donor will match all donations during September. Click here to donate.

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