My name is Dol KimDin, and I am 32 years old. I was born in Trang Village, Me Tuek Commune, Bakan District, Pursat Province, Cambodia. I have eight members in my family, and I am the fourth child in the family. I have three brothers and three sisters. All of my sisters and brothers got married except me. I grew up in a poor family. My hometown is very far from the town, and is located in a remote area. My village is very far from the hospital, so when the villagers get sick, it’s difficult for them to see a doctor. When I was a child, I used to sleep on the boat with my oldest brother at night. Sometimes it was stormy while I was sleeping, and my oldest brother would wake me up to take a boat into the middle of the forest to get rid of risks from the storm. Sometimes, we could not sleep for the whole night and sat on the boat until the sunrise. I often felt cold as well. Usually, I slept for two or three hours each night, then I would get up at 3AM to catch fish and bring them to my mother. She then sold them so that she could buy some rice and medicine for my whole family. I went to school with my friends, but most of the time, I came to school very late because I was busy with my difficult job. After finishing the lessons, I used to harvest/cut grass in deep water to feed some buffalos in the rice fields. I spent many years working on boats. During the dry season, my parents, my siblings and I usually went on a cart pulled by our buffalo to pick morning glory to sell at market for buying rice.
In 2004, when I was 15 years old, I asked my parents if I could become a monk. Why did I want to be a monk? I had three reasons. Firstly, I wanted to study the Buddha’s teaching because when I was young, I used to listen to the monk preaching. It made me so faithful in Buddhism and my parents let me became a temple boy at the end of 2003. I ordained as a novice in 2004.
Secondly, I needed a chance to enter school like other children. At that time, I wanted to study full time. I thought only education can change my life to be better. So I decided to become a monk and stayed at Wat Trang (Trang monastery). I studied only the Dammar for six years. At the end of 2009, I moved to Battambang Province. I had the chance to study in high school and English classes at Association For Knowledge Development non-organization (AKD). I got basic knowledge of English from this school.
Thirdly, after I associated with some temple boys and listened to the Dharma, it made me want to be a monk because I really loved the monks’ life, which is well-disciplined and trained their mind. On May 10, 2019, I decided to disrobe from the monk because I wanted to change my life and want to get new experiences from my new way of life.
All of these are my own life experiences. I always encountered many problems but I never gave up. Even though I have been sick, I have been trying to help my poor children. I have known the feeling of children who live in remote areas like I did. I will educate them to make their lives better.