Meet Mr. Khuy Seng
My name is Khuy Seng, I’m 24 years old. I was born in a small village on the Tonle Sap River on a floating house at Battambang province. I’m the second child of four children, and lived on the Tonle Sap River for 18 years amidst many fishes and birds. When I was 7 years old my parents sent me to school, but before going to school I had to learn how to swim. The school was also floating so I went by boat, so everyone on the river must be able to swim well.
When I was 16 years old I usually went fishing with my father far away from our floating village. We rowed the boat, we caught fishes and eels from the river in order to make money, but we couldn’t make much because the price of fish was very cheap as most villagers were fisherman.
The school on the lake only went to Grade 9, so when I finished I had to continue my education in Battambang province which was very far from my house. Because of our poor situation, my parents sent me to live with my uncle to finish my education.
In 2008 I graduated grade 12 and returned home to help my father fish again. At that time my mum fell seriously ill, and she was sent to a hospital in Siem Reap province for treatment. My father had to sell our house and move to Siem Reap to look after my mother.
When we arrived in Siem Reap it was much different to my village on the lake. I didn’t know how to ride a bicycle because there were no vehicles in my hometown, and I could not speak English. I wanted to find a job to help my family, so I found a job as a security guard for $65 per month. I also attended a free English class in the afternoon.
After 3 years I found a new job as a Ramp loader for a private company earning $100 per month and I had to carry 1000 kilo of stones per day. I saved some for my first year of University and the rest I gave to my family. I worked during the day and went to Build Bright University in the evening.
My lovely older sister only completed grade 6. She stopped study because of poverty and to find a job to help support our family. My lovely younger sister is 17 years old and now in grade 12 at Samdach Ouv high school in Siem Reap. In her free time she helps my mum do cooking and washing.
I am still studying Bachelor Degree of Law and Social Science and am now working for Feeding Dreams Cambodia in the Community Support department. I love this job so much it trains me how to work with villagers in the poor community around us. I work in the morning and afternoon and go to University in the evening by bicycle. In the future I’d like to be a barrister or lawyer to help my people