Bin Thrat, is a 17-year-old young man who was born and raised in the Chi Kraim District which is approximately 60km’s away from the city of Siem Reap. He comes from a small family in comparison to most Cambodian households, only having one sibling and his two parents.
Both of his parents are extremely poor farmers who are childhood sweethearts, meeting in their teens in the Chi Kraim district and living their whole life in Khvav village.
His mother Jan is completely uneducated never attending school, while his father Klor did attend school he only managed to complete grade 2. Both Thrat’s parents have endured enormously difficult times throughout their lives, living through the Pol Pot regime, with his father being a soldier and his mother spent her days carrying dirt to build trenches and building dams.
After the war ended they spent their whole time as rice farmers, owning a very small plot of land from which they could just produce enough rice to feed themselves and their family. This didn’t earn them any money but they managed to sell a little where they could to put Thrat and his brother through school.
Unfortunately, these days his mother suffer ongoing stomach pain, often loses her consciousness and also has seizures. His parents remain happily married but can no longer support Thrat in their old age, this means they the family has had to look towards Thrat’s older brother Lo Vet for support.
Lo Vet is a 28-year-old receptionist who works 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, earning $80 a month. Unlike Thrat he managed to pass year 12 and is currently studying English at PUC university in Siem Reap, this has come at a financial cost of $160 per semester (a total of two months’ wages). Lo Vet also has a young family of his own with a lovely wife and a one year old daughter. Lo Vet’s wife works as a laundry lady and earns up to $2 a day, on a bad day she may not earn anything.
These days Thrat no longer lives with his parents, but now lives with his brother in a village called Phuom Bil. This village is located closer to Siem Reap but is still far enough to mean that Thrat must endure a 1.5-hour bicycle ride into the DTC every day.
Thrat moved to live with his brother afteo failing year 9 in Chi Kraim, Lo Vet allowed him to undertake year 9 again in Phuom Bil. Thrat undertook extra tutoring while repeating year 9 but this still wasn’t enough to help him excel, unfortunately he failed his year 9 exams for a second time. Despite wanting to attempt year 9 for a third time Lo Vet couldn’t afford this.
When Thrat was accepted into the DTC he was thrilled, even though he must cycle 1 hour a day he is extremely dedicated and wouldn’t have it any other way. He is extremely eager to further his education and better himself by learning English, an opportunity he has never had. His parents are also pleased he has been given this chance to further his education so that he can avoid a life similar to theirs, they somewhat feel guilty they weren’t able to provide him with this opportunity themselves.
Thrat’s parents are a driving force in his desire to be succesful, always emphasising on how important this traineeship is for his future. Thrat agrees with them and intends to take this opportunity with both hands.Bin Thrat