11 years ago, these four children lived on the streets, collecting trash to support themselves.
The eldest child, Vakim, was 7 years old and had never been to school. The youngest child, Leena, was just 1 year old and spent all day and night on the streets with her older siblings. Their parents were extremely poor and often couldn’t scrape together enough money to feed their family.
When CCT’s youth centre opened in 2010 the children were some of the first enrolled. At the centre they had enough to eat for the first time in their lives, they had a safe place to spend their day and had access to healthcare and hygiene facilities. Six months after they started attending the children stopped collecting trash and started public school, and for the last decade they have been attending public school and CCT’s youth centre daily.
Their parents moved to Phnom Penh in search of work so the children have been cared for by their grandma for the past 10 years. Grandma can’t work, so CCT helps with rental support and payment to cover the costs of dinner. CCT supports their education by covering the cost of the children’s school materials, uniforms, books and school fees.
After 10 years of consistent support from CCT, the children, Vakim, now 18; Yisa, now 15; Pisey, now 14 and Leena, now 12, are all excelling in school and plan to do tertiary education.