A supportive family of three smiling. A mother and two teenage daughters

Move from Kampong Chhnang

Imagine moving to a new city, alone, with three young children. In 2012, this is what Bopha* did. This is her story and how her young family came to Anjali House.

She left Kampong Chnang Province in 2012 to begin a new life and job in Siem Reap. She worked as a housekeeper for many years, struggling to provide for her three children. Her eldest daughter, Sonita*, started to work when she was young to help support the family as well. 

“I dream that my children have a better life than me. To be able to study and get a good job.”

Bopha, 52, is a single parent to three daughters. The youngest two, Vatey,19, and Minea, 18, are current Future Leader Program students, while the eldest child, 30, has already entered the workforce. 

The family of four lives together in rented accommodation. They have a strong and loving relationship. Whenever they can,  the family enjoys eating together when possible.  All the children contribute to the daily household chores to help their mother. 

After many years of hard work, including scrubbing laundry by hand, Bopha can no longer work as a housekeeper. Now she has her own rice fruit cake stall. Every morning, she wakes up before sunrise to start preparing her cakes for the day as well as meals for her family. 

Coming to Anjali House

Bopha heard about Anjali House from the parent of another student when she struggled to juggle looking after a young family and working to provide the best life for them. She was relieved to find not only a supplementary education for her two youngest daughters but also a support network.

Living and working as a single parent is difficult. Parents often feel isolated, overwhelmed, and stressed. At Anjali House, Bopha found a sense of belonging. She could discuss her issues with the Khmer staff, who could understand and empathize with her challenges. 

‘’Anjali House helped us solve many problems, even providing food when we had none. When we didn’t have rice, Anjali provided it.’’

Family of three, A family that received support from Anjali House

Building the Confidence that Will Impact the Future

Vatey is very pleased to have had the opportunity to study at Anjali House.‘’I was very shy when I first came to Anjali House, when people talked to me, I would not respond. I had no self-belief. After ten years of studying here, I have lots of friends. I am not scared of meeting new people!” 

Her mother reiterated this, describing how much she has seen her daughter’s confidence grow in the last ten years. The mother’s pride brought tears to her eyes. Bopha’s greatest desire to see her children succeed comes true. 

‘’I am still making great memories at Anjali House! Reading, visiting other places, and meeting the volunteers, which really helps me with my English! I like to watch YouTube to relax and to go out when the family has enough money.’’

In five years, Vatey hopes to be a Khmer teacher. She wants to share her knowledge to help develop future generations. This year will be her final year of high school before looking for a scholarship to continue her dreams. The confidence and strengths she know she has will surely guide her, and we have no doubt she can achieve her dreams.

*All names have been changed