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Back in school and ready to dream

Thirteen-year-old Yeat is studying hard so he can attend university. It’s his dream. But until recently, his future looked very different.

One of five children, Yeat lives in a remote rice-farming community in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. A few years ago, his parents were struggling to grow and sell enough rice from their small field to feed their children. Yeat’s elder brother and sister left school early to help support the family. Both married young. Until recently, Yeat was expected to follow in their footsteps. He had already left school at grade two.

But in 2012, everything changed. As part of a StarKids-funded World Vision project set up in his district, Yeat’s family were given tools to hope. After participating in agricultural training, Yeat’s parents started growing nutritious food to diversify their income and provide for their family. They were also supported with seeds for high-yielding vegetables. Previously, Yeat and his family only ate vegetables if they had enough money to buy them. Now, they’re growing and earning enough for their daily needs, and even saving for the future. Yeat’s family is also inspiring others in the community to grow vegetables in their home gardens.

World Vision also supported Yeat’s community with a water pump and well, so they can access clean water for drinking and watering their household crops.

“I am happy that I don’t need to go to get the water from the lake and pond […] anymore, now we have [the well],” says Yeat. “It’s more comfortable for me and my family to use, and we are safe from disease.”

After joining discussions around the value child protection and education, Yeat’s father is determined to keep his younger children in school.

“We were so sorry to let Yeat’s elder sister and brother [stop their] schooling… Now, I commit to work very hard to send my [remaining] three little children … to school so that they all can achieve their dreams”.

To help get Yeat back on track, World Vision supported him with education materials, which he is sharing with his younger brother and sister. Now back in school, he’s dreaming again.

“I used to dream to be [a] primary school teacher, but after [visits] by World Vision staff and other youths who inspire me, now I dream to graduate [from] university,” says Yeat, whose favourite subject is Khmer language.

Already, he’s studying hard to make good grades every month in class. He also reads books with his friends after school at the community children’s club.

His father couldn’t be prouder.

“I want every parent work very hard to send their children to school.”