by Sela Mao, Children’s Future Communications Associate

Please meet Mr. Phat. He is our security guard here at Children’s Future. What is so special about him? He not only helps protect the children and our property, he also helps tutor and mentor the children. Mr. Phat explains that he likes to help the children because he can see that the children are excited to learn. He had a rough childhood himself and he does not want to see these children go through the same thing he experienced: “If I had had someone there to help me when I was young, I would have had more opportunities as I grew up. That is why I want to support our children at Children’s Future.”

Vichai is one of the students that receives help from Mr. Phat. He is currently in the 7th grade. He used to have poor attendance but when Mr. Phat would see him on the road, he would encourage him to come to class and help him be brave, even if he was not doing great in class. Vichai thinks that Mr. Phat is a good guy and is good at explaining math and the Khmer language. He really likes him because is not only a mentor but also a great friend. Vichai is often very shy to go ask the teachers directly for help and Mr. Phat is less frightening. All of us at Children’s Future often see Vichai sitting with Mr. Phat at the gate, looking at books and figuring out homework together.

Sometimes, it is also easier to understand Mr. Phat because he helps explain things from another perspective. Vichai said, “Mr. Phat helps me study and encourages me to come to class every day, and he also tells me why it is important to study hard to change my future.”

Mr. Phat only studied up to the 7th grade and his family was poor so he had to drop out. During hard times at school, his older brother would try to explain things but could not help so much. This is the reason why he helps explain charts and graphs, writing prompts and also mathematical methods that are hard for the students.

Mr. Phat wants to wish the sponsors and donors of Children’s Future healthy and successful lives. He does not feel bad that his future was not so bright but he does care about the next generation having better lives. As for the children, he wants to remind them that hard work is the key to a successful future, so please do not give up on yourself.

Vichai would like to deeply thank Mr. Phat for all of the help he offered him and he wishes the best for Mr. Phat. He is very thankful to have someone like Mr. Phat at Children’s Future because he understands that there are people willing to help him because they care. He is happy when he has someone to turn to other than the teachers and his friends. He will try hard in order to make everyone proud: Children’s Future, the sponsors and donors, his family, his friends and Mr. Phat also. Thank you Mr. Phat for being such a great role model to our children!