A few years back, there was an uncle coming to talk. He wanted to ask for advice whether he should and could send his son to study in Phnom Penh. To me, without a thought, Yes was the answer. However, it was not that easy to convince him.
His drawbacks were many. First, he is poor. Second, he was afraid that he could not fulfill his help throughout the 4 year of a bachelor degree that he would stop and waste of the money he would have invested for years. Third, perhaps he was not sure of what were his son going to be.
I said “You might need to work hard for the first year only. How come? was his next question. I continued “Your son might be able to work at his second year.” He opened his eyes with disbelief. I gave another explanation. I said “If you work hard for the first year and help your son to study at Phnom Penh, he might be able to pull and support your other children to come to study too. He might get to know well about the living and studying conditions that he can give further advice and support for your other children/his siblings. He might be able to earn some pocket money as well. Thus, they may need your money little and little.
Though my explanation not really good ones, he decided to let him come. I often heard that he worked very hard. Normally, people grow rice once per year, the uncle did it almost 3 times a year by using a more convenient water system. He also tirelessly collected organic fertilizers to apply on this rice field. As a result, his rice produced a lot more crops than other farmers. He made a very good profit.
Those years have passed. And as I said, his son now successfully attracted his younger brother to follow his foot steps. As a student, they two were awarded scholarships to study abroad. I bet their future are well prepared for them. They helped me to prove how right the decision their family had once made. They also helped protecting me from failing their father.
The good example of young people from Kravanh district are attracting many young others to come and study for higher education. That makes me so happy. However, not many young girls do have the same chance.