Chanra is a PEPY Empowering Youth Scholarship student from the third intake. She is currently studying Accountancy at the Vanda Institute in Siem Reap, and she’s in her second year of attending classes at the PEPY Learning Center.
Like all Scholarship students, Chanra comes from Kralanh district, approximately 60km away from Siem Reap town. Kralanh is a rural district where the large majority of the population is dependent on rice farming to earn a living. Access to education beyond secondary level is limited, meaning that many people do not receive the education necessary to pursue skilled and higher paying jobs. The district has a long tradition of illegal migration to Thailand, which is perceived as a way to make quick money in a short time. However, the route is fraught with dangers and risks, particularly with recent crackdowns on migrant workers in Thailand. Those who choose this path are sacrificing an investment in education, and a more secure future, in favor of short-term, unsustainable economic gain. This is exactly what PEPY Empowering Youth aims to counteract through our programs: Dream Class, Learning Center and Scholarship.
While she was a student at Kralanh High School, Chanra was very quiet and was not particularly confident when it came to speaking with other people, fellow students and teachers alike. In lessons, she was always reluctant to answer questions posed by her teachers, or even to ask when she didn’t understand something. Chanra preferred to complete her homework and school exercises alone, rather than discussing and working together with her classmates, as she felt it was easier, quicker and quieter to do it alone. School was a bike ride away for Chanra and her younger siblings, and she didn’t spend much time with her classmates outside of school, as none of them lived in the same village. When she achieved good grades at school, Chanra didn’t tend to celebrate it too much, preferring to keep her good news to herself.
After hearing about the PEPY Empowering Youth scholarship, Chanra decided to apply and needless to say she was successful. When she found out that she had been accepted onto the program, Chanra was really happy, but she was also worried; she didn’t know a lot about studying at university or which subject to pursue. Chanra remembers her first day at the Learning Center as being very nerve-racking, as both the environment and the people were new to her. However, after a while, she became more familiar with her new surroundings and started to settle in to her life and studies in Siem Reap. For Chanra, some of the most important lessons she has learned so far have been in Youth Empowerment classes in the Learning Center. In particular, learning about soft skills has been vital in her personal development and she has grown hugely in confidence. She has made a lot of friends and enjoys talking to them, as well as presenting in front of them as part of the Learning Center lessons.
Chanra has a lot of hopes and aspirations for the future: she hopes first of all to keep learning and improving her skills, eventually developing them within a company. Chanra says that this company may be in Cambodia or abroad. She is confident that, with her skills and the support of her family and friends, she’ll have no difficulty in finding a job in the future. PEPY Empowering Youth is also very confident that Chanra will have an exciting and successful future!