My name is Vutha. I was born in 1995 and am 25 years old. I am an English teacher for TASSEL an organization of Cambodia. I have been working with TASSEL for almost four years. I have only one brother. His name is Vuthy and he is 20 years old. He was a good student, often getting number one in his English class. Unfortunately, my family could not afford money to support us, so he decided to drop out when he was in ninth grade. He also used to go and work in Poi Pet for about six months to support my family. We live in Preas Srae Village, Snoeng Commune, Banan District, Battambang Province.
My family and I are farmers. When I was younger we lived happily and worked very hard in our farm almost every day. Everyone was helpful. When I was seven years old I started first grade but not until I was ten years old did I become a grade-three student. During this time I was not a good student and I would also get tortured from my teacher. In addition, I sometimes failed the exams and I repeated grade three because I did not have much time to study at home. I spent most of the time helping my parents with work, such as taking care of the cows, plowing, harvesting, catching crabs, snails, fish and so on. Also at night, I had to go into the forest to find food for my family, like shooting mice, birds, and snakes; plus I did think that education was important. Due to my father wanting me to be educated, he would teach me every night. Furthermore, he also taught me how to help my family and other people. Because of him my studies became better and better.
When I finished the ninth grade, my parents were afraid that they were going to spend a lot of money to support my learning. They decided to send me to the orphanage in Nor Rea pagoda in Battambang province about 25 kilometers from my homeland to continue. Before the public school program started, I moved and stayed there for a month and my parents would often visit me. They were so sad because there were many kids in the orphanage. I was not eating enough so they again decided to bring me back and send me to stay in Sampov pagoda which is about 10 kilometers from my house. The school was just a ten minute walk from the pagoda. I studied Khmer at Hun Sen Phom Sampov High School and English at AES School. When I was in twelve grade, I became an English teacher for AES School. After I graduated from high school, I found out about TASSEL and decided to apply. I had a chance to be part of TASSEL in 2015. At that time I was so happy because I could earn some money to support and finish my university education. I could not believe my life was better because of my parents, especially my father.
To me, the reason why I myself decided to join TASSEL was because TASSEL is an organization which has been working to serve the poor children and old people in rural areas without discriminating. I have found that the TASSEL Organization has been providing good quality English programs to the kids in the rural areas. Nowadays we are helping in five villages (1. Battambang Province, 2. Bannan District, 3. Snoeng Commune, 4. Kom Ping Pouy Village, 5. Plov Meas Commune) and we are going to start a new program in Som Lot District which is the poorest and the most horrible area. Besides teaching English to the poor kids, TASSEL has been offering some rice and medicines to the poor families and helping sick people by sending them to the hospitals in the rural areas.
I am so happy to do what I do to see people smile. I have had my own desire to help develop my own country since I was at my secondary school. Through my own experiences, I knew no English until high school. I realized that my life has been completely changed because of TASSEL. When I spent one year with TASSEL, I learned so many things and I could say that so many children improved a lot as well. In TASSEL, I felt like everyone was my family because they cared so much and I also feel like TASSEL is my second home. The actions in TASSEL are almost the same as what my father told me, that I have to be intelligent, kind, friendly, and helpful. Those traits are what I myself wanted to do when I grew up. I also want to keep on doing good things to serve other poor people through TASSEL because I know how hard and difficult it is to live.
TASSEL is the place where students go to learn English from their teachers. TASSEL does not only teach English to the kids but also loves, cares and serves them through our hearts. I feel extremely happy because of TASSEL, nowadays I receive so much love from everyone around me. Now I see what the right things that TASSEL does are. I am so thankful that I have a lot of role models in TASSEL so that can learn to change my life. Last but not least, if I had a lot of money, I would build some schools in other areas in order to help teach the poor children without charging money like what TASSEL does because I truly believe that education is the only way to change my country.