Hello, my name is Sert. I am 28 years old, and I live in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My mother was a single mother who brought me up alone from the time I was 7 years old. When my parents divorced, me and my mother were homeless, and we rented a small room in Siem Reap town while my mother worked as a house cleaner. We had a miserable life, but my mother never gave up and she was an incredible mother. I am so proud of her and the life she gave me, but unfortunately, she has since passed away.
When I was in grade 8, my teacher was incredibly supportive of my situation. She supported me with studying English, and I had the opportunity to study in New York International School. I thoroughly enjoyed school and made many friends. One year later, I had another great opportunity to study at Anjali House. There, they provided extra education and had programs similar to REACH. I was so happy to meet teachers from different countries and learn from them. After finishing High School, I got a scholarship from Anjali House to attend the English Program at Pananasastra University for one year. It was a good course and it helped me to improve my English. After that I went on to study at Built Bright University for 4 years. There I studied an English Program called “English International Business”. Whilst I was studying, I worked full time at Pure Dream NGO as a sports teacher, computer teacher, administration assistant, and English Teacher for one year. I enjoyed working with volunteers, and really appreciated them sharing their knowledge and culture.
After I graduated from University, I also got married. I am delighted to have a better life with my wife and my little son. This was my goal to change my life to be better. I began working at REACH as an English teacher, but after one year, I then moved into the Outreach Department to work as a social worker. I knew that being a social worker is different to working as an English teacher, but I realised that REACH needs a social worker that can work closely with families.
Being a social worker is fundamental to support the local families, our job comes from the heart, and we need to have good communication with them and be a good listener. Some families that have conflict need someone to listen to them and advise them how to solve the problem. I remembered that when I was young, my mother was a victim of domestic violence from my father, but my mother could not find someone to help her. As a result, she drank wine every day and it really affected me. Luckily after a few years, my mother joined a parents workshop at Anjali House NGO, and she was able to deal with her problems.
I know the purpose and mission of REACH is about more than just providing education to the students; we also support and work with families and I believe that I can be a good social worker to help the families that REACH is supporting.