A letter from Kosal (London Scholarship 2017)

My Story with New Job

Hello everyone.

I haven’t shared my story for a long time. Today, I am glad to share it. As you know, I started my current job since June 2019. It’s almost one year ago! It was a huge change for my life because I changed the position from Building sector to Road construction sector. One more thing, I moved from the crowded city to a quiet town, Sisophon which is my hometown and also where [one of the] The Children of the Mekong Centre is. It was difficult for me to decide. Finally, I decided to come after I considered about my future plan. Moreover, I want new challenges and to gain new experience for my life. But I still keep my skill in the Building [sector] in shape. I work in the project of National Road Number 5 improvement from Banteay Meanchey to Battambang. There are almost 20 Cambodian engineers and 7 Japanese Managers because it is a Japanese company. I am so grateful to gain new knowledge and experience here.

In Sisophon, I know an art teacher, Mr. Samuth, who teaches painting in the education centre of Children of the Mekong. He studied Architecture when he was supported by Children of the Mekong to study in Phnom Penh. We know each other thanks to football. He has run his own construction business for a long time. And I started to get involved in it part time to make some drawings for him and go to visit his site. That’s fantastic.

Now my life is brighter because I could afford to send my brother to university. He will finish his thesis this year and start working next October. In addition, I could afford to renovate my parents’ house. It is my present for them during the coming Khmer New Year in April. We started to process it and plan to finish in the beginning of April. And then, I need to save the money to marry my girlfriend, as you know in Cambodia, the men must pay much money to offer the girl’s parent to marry their daughter. Fortunately, my girlfriend shares with me. We have been in a relationship since 2014 and we plan to marry next November. I would really like to invite all of you to join it.

My parents’ house before renovation

Recently, I created a team, called “Knhom Mean Soben” in Khmer, and “I have a dream” in English. It is the new mission for us in 2020. We focus on supporting poor children to go to school by sharing our salary and finding other financial support. But it is limited according to our capacity. We are absolutely passionate to bring our younger generations to go to school and achieve their dreams. We started to support two local students by sponsoring 12.5$ per month for daily expenses at school and some hygiene materials. And at the beginning of school we will sponsor the uniform and study materials for them. And we are looking for other sponsors to support three other students who live in Battambang. Their families are very poor. They go to school without money, shoes, and enough study material. It is a small activity, but It’s a huge starting point for us. As Children of the Mekong says, you help the children today and tomorrow they will help their country. I was supported yesterday by a lovely French lady, and today I am responding to my local children.

It looks like a long story to share, but I am definitely proud to share it with all of you. Thank you for reading this. I miss all of you and London. I dream about London occasionally. I hope we can meet up again in Cambodia or others places. And I hope to see a football game in London again. Have a beautiful day.

Kosal SOUEM, funny guy.