Access to Education in Cambodia: Limchheang’s Story
Access to Education in Cambodia: Limchheang’s Story

Huot Limchheang is standout student in her fifth-grade class. Her favorite subject is math and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

None of her dreams would be possible, however, if Limchheang hadn’t received a scholarship.

In Cambodia, where Limchheang lives, costs associated with public education—such as uniforms, books, tuition, and fees for private tutors—make it very difficult for poor families to send their children to school.

Limchheang’s father works as a primary school teacher and makes very little money. Her mother pitches in by driving a taxi. Even with both of their salaries, they still can’t afford to send Limchheang or her two sisters to school. The three sisters—in addition to 105 other children from poor families—receive scholarships from SOS Children’s Villages to study at the SOS school in Battambang, a city in northwest Cambodia.

About 122,000 children study at one of 405 SOS schools around the world. The SOS school where Limchheang and her sisters study in Battambang opened in 2009 and enrolls about 460 students. SOS also runs a kindergarten in Battambang that enrolls 110 children.

The SOS school in Battambang The Headmaster of the SOS school in Battambang, Cambodia, surrounded by some of his pupils.

"Attending school is very important for everyone because in school the teachers provide me with knowledge and experiences that make it a lot easier to find a job and have a better future," Limchheang said recently.

When she’s not studying for school, Limchheang helps her mother water the vegetables in the garden and feed the chickens.

Asked about her future, 11-year-old Limchheang had this to say:

"In the future I want to be a teacher because a teacher can help educate people and develop the country. I thank SOS Children’s Villages for helping me and other children attend school like other students. If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship from SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Battambang, I might be an uneducated person in society and can’t help the children of the next generation at all."