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A happier childhood

StarKids is helping Ya Nuch grow up with greater opportunities than her older siblings.

In Cambodia’s Battambang Province, 12-year-old Ya Nuch spends her days studying, reading and playing with friends – simple pleasures her three older siblings went without.

Her parents live on a rice paddy. Their yield isn’t high and nor is the market price for rice.

“My two sons and daughter dropped out of school because I could not afford for them to attend high school …,” their mother Sokh explains. All three children stopped at grade nine.

The eldest son helped his parents sell crickets, fish and shrimp to field workers several kilometres from home, where they’d have to stay overnight. “Sometimes we were really afraid of snakes; my neighbour died because of getting snake bite,” says Sokh.

They saved for a passport and travel expenses so their eldest could do migrant work in Thailand. But he was mistreated and came home.

With StarKids’ support, World Vision started working with the community in 2013 to help improve livelihoods, education and awareness of child rights.

Ya Nuch’s family received two pigs and a dozen chickens. They now earn US$240 every three months by selling the animals’ offspring.

Sokh also attends World Vision training on parenting and school enrolment. She’s even made their yard available for a children’s club, where around 40 children come to play, read and learn about hygiene, safety and education. “Her family is a model family in the community …,” says World Vision worker Vat Kanika.

Ya Nuch’s siblings are now adults. But Ya Nuch has the opportunity to regularly attend school and make the most of her education.