International Day of the Girl

by | Oct 11, 2020 | Access to Education, Cambodia, Protection, Youth Empowerment

Every year on October 11th, the world celebrates International Day of the Girl. It is a day set aside in which we might take time to recognize inspiring, empowered girls who are change-makers in their communities – and to imagine a better world for girls and women and what it may take to get there. One such young woman now works at World Hope and shared her powerful story of hope and opportunity with us. 

Meet Toeurm Phem and hear in her own words how she was able to change her own world and now has the opportunity to change the world of countless others… 

“My name is Toeurm Phem, the third of four siblings. We are living in a Bunong community in Mondulkiri Province.”

After my father passed away, I lived with my mother and my siblings and helped by guarding the cows while my mother did all the farming for the family. At age 13 I had not been to school.” 

“Since my family is a Christian family, a Priest of a Church accepted me to stay in a student center in Kompong Cham Province and supported me to get education. Through the support from this church, I gained knowledge and experiences which I never had before in my life. Getting to know new friends, getting to know the school plus getting a good education. I learned a lot from the nun who is in charge in the center.”

“After I finished grade 9, I moved to Prey Veng province to start the next level for my study, I also lived with the nuns there. I learned more and gained new experiences for me as well while living with them. After I finished studying grade 12 in Prey Veng, I went on to study AA Computer-Secretarial Degree at Don Bosco Vocational Training Center for Women. After graduating there for two years, I got a job at World Hope International.”

“My job at WHI provided me with a whole new experience which helped me to develop into a strong person, patient, forgiving, adaptive, and adaptable; living in harmony with others.”

Phem showing how to cook Bunong food using a bamboo trunk. 

Phem is currently the first Bunong staff of World Hope International. She started as an Intern with World Hope in October 2019 and in January 2020, Phem was accepted as the Project Assistant to implement World Hope’s Project Konsae in Andong Kroleoung. Project Konsae is a multi-faceted program World Hope is implementing on behalf of Bunong ethnic children living along the Wildlife Conservation Area in Mondulkiri, Cambodia, in order to create improved access to quality, basic education.

She is also being trained by World Hope in finance and is now supporting our Jahoo ecotourism project in a part-time capacity as bookkeeper. Her dream? To become a Finance Manager in the future.

World Hope International works to empower girls, women, and vulnerable populations around the world. Learn more about how we support access to quality education around the world and if you are passionate about removing barriers to education facing children and adolescents like Phem, consider joining our global village through our unique child sponsorship program

You can also make a gift to The Hope Fund today, which allows us to make a difference where and when it matters. 

Volunteer surrounded by people

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