My name is Srey Noch. I was born in Banteay Meanchey Province, but my family was suffering financially so we moved to Siem Reap for more employment opportunities for my parents. When we arrived in Siem Reap, we were poor and didn’t even have rice to eat. However, my father is a very strong man, he went out to work in construction and managed to make enough money for us to buy food. When we first came to Siem Reap it was very different to how it is today, and there was a lot of forest.
My family burned the forest for a living, and we lived on government land. My father had some skills in mechanics, and he began fixing tractors for additional income. He worked hard and saved some money to buy his own. My oldest sister had to stop studying to work with my mum selling sugarcane juice. Then, when I was in grade 5, my parents moved to Pailin province to work as farmers. I stayed in Siem Reap with my older sister, and every day I had to stay home alone as she was working long hours to support us. After a few years, my parents moved back, and we were able to live as a family again.
When I studied at primary school, I worked very hard to get good grades. My effort was recognised, and every year I got some study materials from school and a letter of praise which made me feel very positive. After primary school, I studied at secondary school, but this was very difficult for me because I could not afford the school materials. For this reason, when I was in grade 8, I started working part time to support my school costs. This enabled me to enrol into university and now I am studying for my Bachelor’s Degree at Build Bright University.
I am so passionate about working at REACH because REACH is an NGO that opened in the village where I live. REACH provides education for the children in my village, and I am so proud to be a part of their school and provide education to these children.