Think for a moment: Are there teachers who changed your life? Many of us remember teachers who put us on new directions. Or maybe you can think of a teacher who came into your child’s life at exactly the right time.
Sokros, age 17, is one of myriad children in Cambodia facing a hard life of poverty. His father couldn’t work due to diabetes; as a result, Sokros, his mother, and his eight brothers and sisters often went hungry.
Sokrois only had one pair of shorts to wear to school, and he never had enough school supplies or books. To earn income, he sometimes skipped school to collect mushrooms or tree resin in the forest around his village. His grades suffered and school didn’t seem worth it. So, he decided like many in northern Cambodia to immigrate to Thailand to work.
Sokros and his mechanics instructor
Teachers helps change direction
When Food for the Hungry entered Sokros’s community two years ago, he became a sponsored child. This meant FH staff and the teachers who work with us saw his situation and offered to help. For Sokros, this was a glimmer of hope.
Even though he’d quit school, the teacher working with FH visited Sokros at home, several kilometers from town. This so impressed Sokros that when the teacher had a suggestion, Sokros was willing to listen.
Because his financial situation was so dire, instead of having Sokros start back in sixth grade, his teacher helped him enroll in a motorcycle mechanic training course. In a few months Sokros plans to finish the course and make money as a mechanic.
“Every morning at 6 a.m., I always ride my bicycle the three kilometers from home to school. I have lunch with the instructor and return home at 5 in the evening,” says Sokros.
A teacher’s encouragement matters
His instructor has offered him a place to stay in town, but Sokros says he needs to return home to fetch water and manage the family rice paddies. But unlike before, he’s highly motivated to learn. “Even when it’s raining or my bike is broken, I still go to school,” Sokros says.
His motorcycle instructor at one point helped him with some emergency cash by selling recycled bottles and providing Sokros with the $5 from the sale. “I like Sokros because he works so hard, and he’s gentle and honest,” says his teacher, Rath.
Teachers all over the world can relate to Rath’s desire to help. When FH enters communities, field staff quickly identify teachers who are willing to go the extra mile. In partnership, they can change tens of thousands of lives every year. When you sponsor a child with FH, you help us partner with teachers to make lifelong changes in children’s lives.