“Do you remember me?” They were the words a quiet voice asked timidly as Geraldine left a restaurant in downtown Phnom Penh. “I am Salivong!” The young man replied before Geraldine had a chance to answer.
Dropping her bags to the ground, Geraldine wrapped her arms around Salivong, a former Sunrise boy, and hugged him tight. It has been eight years since Geraldine last saw Salivong.
After Salivong finished high school and left Sunrise as an 18-year-old he fell in to the wrong crowd and became involved with drugs. Salivong distanced himself from his Sunrise family. After many years battling addiction he met a woman who encouraged him to turn his life around. With love and support, Salivong worked hard to come clean and went on to marry that very lady!
Now, he is not only working as a driver in Phnom Penh and earning a good salary – he is also a husband and loving father to his five-year-old daughter and new born baby. Salivong made a promise to bring his young family to visit Mum Geraldine regularly in the future.
Unfortunately, like many developing areas, the drug culture in the city of Phnom Penh is rife – especially among younger people. Salivong has overcome his challenges and is living a happy, healthy and content life.
Sunrise works hard to educate all its children about the dangers of drugs, the challenges of living independently in the city and how to make informed decisions about their future.