Each year more than half the children in Roth’s Grade 6 class are forced to drop out of school and either care for younger siblings, or join the workforce to help support their families.
Roth is one of more than 100 children who attend Trapeang Trauk Primary School in Kampong Speu.
Kampong Speu is one of the poorest Provinces in Cambodia.
Unlike the majority of the Province’s adult population, who are largely uneducated and earn as little as $1.50 a day working in garment factories and in rice paddies, Roth dreams of becoming a maths teacher.
Despite the immense poverty, Trapeang Trauk Primary School fields one of the strongest youth soccer teams in Cambodia.
The Australia Cambodia Foundation Chairman Kevin Tutt said the student’s participation in sport was identified as being one of the key factors to maintaining school attendance.
Each day Roth and his classmates walk up to 10 kilometres to get to school. As it is normally dark by the time the children finish soccer training, they often sleep over night in makeshift beds in the school kitchen, on tables and dirty floors.
Trapeang Trauk Primary School does not have access to clean water. The children who stay overnight cook their meals and care for themselves with little sanitation or hygiene. Many of the children suffer from malnutrition and sickness.
“Trapeang Trauk Primary School is one of three schools Sunrise will partner with to help break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of living for the residents of the Kampong Speu Province’s Prambey Mum commune.
Sunrise’s first project will include renovating the school’s classrooms, bathrooms and kitchen, as well as installing a new soccer field for the children to train on.
Sunrise will also be working with the school’s staff and wider community to increase the quality of education and the overall learning experience.”