Making up for missed time: Chantrea’s story

Meet 14-year-old Chantrea. She lives on a farm in rural south-eastern Cambodia together with her rice farmer parents, five older siblings and grandmother. Her dream is to one day become a doctor so that she can help sick people and prevent the spreading of diseases. According to Chantrea, English proficiency will help her to fulfill her dream since most medical research and healthcare information is published in the English language. “I would have to make sure that patients take the right medicine to make them well, so it’s important that I know how to read English,” she said. 

While English is technically required to be taught as a foreign language from Grade 4, Chantrea said she didn’t start learning English until she started high school last year prior to the country going into lockdown in April. By the time schools reopened in November of last year, Chantrea had forgotten almost all of what she had learned. “I was unable to read, write or speak any English,” she said.

In January of this year, however, Chantrea’s school was chosen to benefit from Plus Education’s School Sponsorship program. Thanks to the generous support of Australian business Academic Profiles, the school was granted a non-internet dependent digital kit and inducted into our Plus English program at no cost to the school or families. Chantrea’s class has since been using the program every week.

“It has really helped me,” said Chantrea. “I know lots of English words now and I am already able to read and understand short sentences,” she continued. While Chantrea admitted she is still too shy to speak English aloud, she hopes that continued use of the Plus English program will help her to build confidence in speaking and eventually to engage in a conversation with a foreigner. “I want to be able to talk to people and treat patients from different countries,” she said. 

Chantrea dreams of becoming a doctor one day and helping sick people.

Find out more about our School Sponsorship program that equips an under-resourced school in Cambodia with Plus Education’s non-internet dependent digital school kit and helps children like Chantrea on the path towards realising their future goals and dreams.  

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Plus Education is the group operating name of registered Australian charity, The 40K Foundation Australia Ltd, and its subsidiary organisations, 40K Plus Education in India and Cambodia.

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