Karona’s journey that led her to Anjali House is both full of struggles and happiness. She was living in a rural part of Cambodia with her family – mother, father and her sister. They were fishing to earn their living and they were happy as a family. Everything changed when her parents got divorced and her father remarried and abandoned Karona, her sister and mother.
Read Karona’s illustrated story below (Click on the first image).
Because of limited job opportunities in rural parts of Cambodia, Karona’s mother had a hard time finding a job. Daily survival was a challenge. The mother could not afford paying for the uniforms and stationery for the girls to go to the local school. She could not buy food and all their clothes were dirty. Without many options, her mother had to move to a bigger town – Siem Reap – where she found a job as a cleaner. The mother could not take both girls along with her. Karona, being the eldest, had to stay behind and live with some family friends for more than two years. She felt very lonely. But then, Karona’s mother found Anjali House, and the family could be together again. Karona moved to Siem Reap and was enrolled at Anjali House with her sister.
Both are now receiving a proper education, eating two nutritious meals a day and taking showers to keep themselves clean and healthy. However, soon after Karona moved back with her family , her mother lost her job. All of them were scared and were left without any money to pay the rent or buy food.. Anjali House counseled the mother and concerned with the situation, found another job for her.
Karona is happy again. She is attending the local school in the morning and in the afternoon is learning English, arts and computer science at Anjali House. She has made many of friends and has hope for her future. She wants to become a teacher.
Karona’s story is shown in an illustration that depicts her journey from thpse happy times as a family together, through the times where she had to struggle every day, and then back to being happy once again. She is only one of many students at Anjali House who are facing hardships , but have been given an opportunity to change their lives and become children again.
Story written and illustrated by Lilu Herlambang