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A family of women, standing strong and tall

Every day since her husband’s death five years ago, Onxai has gone to the field to work so she can single-handedly support her two daughters, Bouachanh and Pheng.

“Mostly we rely on our rice and corn yields for food, income and to sell for my daughters’ schooling,” Onxai shares. “I look after my daughters alone. I have to be both mother and father and sometimes it is very difficult to fulfill those tasks.”

But thanks to you and your added support, this family’s struggles have subsided.

 Onxai and her two daughters.

Onxai and her two daughters, Bouachanh, 14 (at left), and Pheng, 12 (at right).

“My family has experienced a big change through donors’ support: my first daughter, Bouachanh got a scholarship. Of course, we all are very excited about this!” Onxai says with joy.

Already, it’s helping her succeed.

“My life is easier after getting a scholarship,” says Bouachanh. “Last month I got the second highest test scores in my class. My family and I are very proud of that.”

By giving Bouachanh the chance to attend school, and covering related costs, you’re also helping alleviate some financial burden for her mom, and free up more savings for the family.

“The scholarship is extremely useful,” adds Onxai. “She can have new school uniforms and school materials. It is very meaningful for poor families who can’t afford schooling. I think it sparks their dreams.”

And it certainly has so far, by showing the girls how education can open new worlds.

“My teachers teach me new things, share experience and knowledge and help me when I have any questions,” says Bouachanh. “My favorite subject is science, which we call ‘the world around us’ because it explains things that I see but don’t understand, like rain. Plus, it’s fun, too!”

 Onxai chops wood.

One tough mom: Onxai chops wood for the family’s fire.

Your support’s also increasing both children and parents’ understanding on the importance of education.

“Every time I participate in the meetings held by Plan International, I recognize the significance of education for girls. It motivates us,” says Onxai.

“The new school and scholarships change people’s attitude,” says Bouachanh. “It encourages children to stay in school like my friends and me.”

"I think education can change things, especially improving our lives by breaking the poverty circle that we face,” adds Pheng, already wise beyond her years.

And, after participating in programming that you make possible, Onxai’s not only been inspired to contribute for her daughters’ benefit, she’s also helping uplift others.

“My daughter and I chose to help carry baskets for the pre-primary school construction and learned dedication. It wasn’t easy for women like us, and my daughters are not of pre-primary age, but I was happy to be a part of this community development.”

 Bouachanh helps Onxai with her household tasks.

Bouachanh helps her mother at home.

With every day, Onxai’s girls are learning from their mother’s strength, compassion and initiative.

“Helping my mother and going to school are my favourite things to do,” says the youngest, Pheng. “I love my mother most, she is a very strong woman. She works hard to take care of me and my sister, especially for our schooling.”

And now, they too not only want to do well and give back to her, they want to enrich their community.

“I have a dream to be a doctor so I can save others’ lives,” says Bouachanh. “I would like to help people.”

Pheng, now following both her mother and sister’s example agrees. “In the future, I hope I can be a good teacher and support my mother. I’d also like to find some extra income for my community so that they can support their children’s schooling too.”

And thanks to you, and your generous support, this dream is already becoming possible, for this family of inspiring women, and more.

"Children and parents are excited for the new school and very happy with scholarships,” Pheng reflects.

“And so am I.”

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