Meet Ms. Mek Soknita
There are 7 people in Soknita’s family, and Nita is the second eldest child. Her father, Samen, is 67 years old. Samen is a mechanic and can make about US$1.00 - $2.00 per day, but sometimes he earns nothing. At the moment he cannot work at all and has been told by his doctor that he has Hepatitis B. He also had stomach problems more than a year ago and is still on medication, which costs him about $20 per month.
Soknita’s mum, Romchang, is 49 years old. She also has had stomach problems for 20 years, but does not take medication as she cannot afford it for both her husband and herself.
Romchang works very hard at the market selling vegetables from a small store she rents, and makes from US$2 - $5 a day. Most of the time, her husband Samen helps her by buying vegetable or fruit from the village and transporting it to the market. They both get up early every day and work very hard to survive with their children.
Because of the sickness and crisis facing her family, a large portion of Nita’s salary is now spent on medication for them and food for the family.
Soknita graduated Grade 12 at high school in 2009. She said she studied very hard and promised herself that she would pass her exams.
When she received the news that she had passed her exams, Soknita and her family were very excited and Soknita began to arrange to continue her education at university. But when she spoke with her parents, her mum refused to let her go, telling Soknita that she did not have enough money for her daughter to attend university.
Soknita became very depressed because she had dreamt for many years of becoming a good English teacher. Soknita was not giving up hope, and tried to speak with her mother again about going to university. Her mother apologised again, and Soknita herself knew that her mother was upset about the family’s financial problem and could not send her to continue at university.
In fact, her family could barely pay for food each day and also support her younger siblings at school. So she immediately came up with an idea of finding a job to pay her own way through university.
Fortunately Soknita found a job working for the Quality English Learning School as a children’s caretaker, and earned a small salary. She worked from 8am – 4pm, 6 days a week. After 12 months of working she saved enough money to pay for her first academic year and began university.
She loves English Literature and has studied at Build Bright University. Soknita has a strong commitment, despite the struggles in her life. She loves studying very much and has also studied Chinese at a free school.
Unfortunately, her parents’ financial situation deteriorated because of sickness and Nita was using her salary for support to her family. Soknita was forced to leave university more than 2 years ago. However, she received her academic of foundation year certificate and Soknita could continue her education whenever she had enough money.
Unfortunately she was very worried that she’d never get a chance to complete her university education because her parents are sick. Also, her 85-year-old grandmother lives with her family, and is often unwell.
Soknita applied for a job at Feeding Dreams when we opened in November 2012, and was immediately accepted as an English teacher. Now Soknita teaches English Let’s Go 2 each morning and early afternoon, and also teaches older teenage students from 4-6pm. She is an amazing teacher. Soknita has brought focus and passion to the classroom and the children really love and respect her. Feeding Dreams found Soknita a sponsor for University, so she was able to restart her university about 1 year ago.
Nita teaches all day until 6pm and then continues onto university until 9.30pm.