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From Buffalo Herder to Outstanding Student

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Ping who lives in Cambodia reads a school book near a window.
“When I was about nine years old, I could not go to study on time nor regularly since I had to herd buffalos,” Vakhim says. Photo: Davit Choun/World Vision
Meetings held by World Vision staff that promoted the importance of childhood education and emphasized regular school attendance finally got through to Vakhim’s parents. Photo: Davit Choun/World Vision
A premature career herding buffalos kept eleven-year-old Cambodian Ping Vakhim from thriving in school for much of his youth.

“When I was about nine years old, I could not go to study on time nor regularly since I had to herd buffalos,” Vakhim says. “Because my family is very poor and I am the only son, I looked after the buffaloes while my father and mother went to work in the rice field.”

Though he did attend school, Vakhim was unable to focus on his studies. With a younger sister to look after, Vakhim’s time was filled with work and responsibility rather than education. 


WHAT CAN YOU DO? Your sponsorship means that a family won’t be forced to worry about where their next meal comes from, or how to pay for their child’s schoolbooks. It means that a child can be a child, and not a slave. Sponsor a child and help him build a future filled with hope and success. ​​

 
 
“Seeing other children going to school made me feel so lonely here in the house because I am busy with my sister. Sometimes I was late for class and sometimes I was absent. I usually herded buffaloes two days in a week.”
 
As a result of his adult duties and chores, his schoolwork suffered.
 
“I got a poor score in class and I didn’t feel happy at all when I saw my score,” he recalls.
 
Misunderstanding
Vakhim’s parents simply did not understand the value of education and its importance to their son; when day-to-day survival is a priority, education becomes secondary.
 
“At that time, I did not know a lot about the importance of a child’s education. I just knew that he had to help me in my daily work since I was busy working in the field,” says his mother regretfully.
 
As they left for work each day, Vakhim was left with daily duties of his own—duties that undermined his efforts in school.
 
Vakhim’s reality changed dramatically when he became a sponsored child two years ago.
 
Feel the Joy of Changing a Child's Life
Your support means that a family in need won’t be forced to worry about where their next meal will come from, or how they will pay for their child’s schoolbooks. It means that a child can be a child, and not live a life filled with hard labour. Sponsor a child and help him and his community build a future that is filled with hope and success.
 
A New Outlook
Meetings held by World Vision staff that promoted the importance of childhood education and emphasized regular school attendance finally got through to Vakhim’s parents.
 
This raising of awareness among parents was an important catalyst in changing Vakhim’s future.
 
His parents decided to sell the family’s buffaloes so that Vakhim no longer had to herd them. They rented a local tractor to plow their fields instead. Planning to invest long-term in the family’s success and their children’s education, they plan to purchase a tractor of their own in the future.
 
Vakhim now has the study time he needs to thrive.
 
“I now get good scores and get praised by my teacher. I stand ranked number two in my class. I like mathematics and I am good at it too because I have enough time to study.”
 
With dreams of becoming a policeman, Vakhim is on the path to attaining his ideal career, and hopes other parents will allow their children this opportunity.
 
“I want all parents to think about their children’s education.”
​​

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