Hello, my name Sorn Sereyvuth (Chen) and I am 38 years old. I was born in Siem Reap province and I have 5 brothers. When I was 5 years old, my father moved to Phnom Penh, and my mother raised us alone. She worked very hard to earn money to feed myself and my siblings and always encouraged us to get a good education, despite not having the opportunity herself.
When I finished secondary school, I asked my mother if I could quit and join the work force. She would not allow me to and instead, made me stay in school. I am so thankful for this as she knew that it would help me in the future. To support my studies, I helped my uncle selling eggs during my break times so that I could pay for my school supplies.
When I completed high school, I didn’t have money to enrol at university, so I got my first job working in a 5-star hotel as a waiter. However, only 5 months later, I lost my job due to the low season and lack of tourists. It was very difficult, but my mother told me to keep trying. I then changed my job and began working as a moto taxi driver. I was hoping that I could earn enough to go to university, but unfortunately, I was unable to.
In 2009, I had a very difficult year. I was so happy as I got married, but shortly after, my mother passed away from stomach cancer. I now have two wonderful children who are 5 and 11 years old and I want to make a good life for my family. However, when Covid hit, I could not earn any money as a taxi driver, so I began working on a construction site to feed my family. It was incredibly difficult and very hard work with a small income that was barely enough to support my family. Luckily, Emily invited me to join the team at REACH. I’m really happy to work with the team, and to help the local community. I love working here so much.