Children’s Future International is committed to long-term support during a child’s development, the most critical time in protecting their education and deciding their future. Oftentimes, in cases like Rathana’s, social workers and educators work for many years to support their wellbeing and guide them to a more hopeful future. Through continued engagement with our students and communities in Cambodia, our team is able to  change local perceptions of education from a “luxury” to a sound investment that can lead to success and a better future.

Rathana’s education almost came to an end when he failed 9th grade due to attendance issues and a learning disability. Rathana’s situation did not lend well to advancing his education, as his family lives far from school and is so deeply impoverished that he and his four siblings often hunted in nearby fields for rats to stay fed. Rathana’s situation is not uncommon. Many kids in Cambodia stop studying by the time they are in secondary school due to pressure for them to work to help provide for their struggling families.

Knowing that furthering education improves opportunities for children, Children’s Future workers provided counseling to Rathana and his family and explained the benefits of staying in school. Rathana decided to try 9th grade with a renewed commitment to studying and passed the 9th grade exams! However, Rathana’s attendance began to go down as pressure grew for him to start working as he got older. Through his involvement with Children’s Future, Rathana understood that he would have a stronger capacity to help himself, his family, and his community if he completed high school. Rathana set his own goals and made a commitment to study through 12th grade.

Now as a 12th grader, Rathana is never absent and no longer needs external motivation to keep going to school. Because Children’s Future offered support to Rathana through years of his development, he and his family came to see the value of education. He is now equipped with the knowledge and support he needs to take ownership of his education and future.