Pov Sovann is a young woman who is determined not to let poverty prevent her from getting an education. A fresher in banking and finance at International University, she also works as a waitress and dish cleaner at a street food shop.
“I am proud that I can earn money to support myself for my future,” said Sovann, who came to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap last year.
“My future is in my hands – I do not need to depend on others.”
She has to work from 1:30pm to 9pm to earn $50 a month, which she uses to support her studies and life in the city. Poverty is the main reason she must work to support her schooling.
“My father is a farmer – he does not have enough money to pay for my bachelor’s degree. I want to help myself.”
However, she is also aware that working while studying is not good for academic performance. Time is her main challenge – she sometimes has no time for research or to do assignments.
“Some homework I can deal with, but I get stuck after I get stressed from the workplace – I don’t know how to do it.”
However, she said that she has learned useful skills on the job.
“I have seen the way my boss organises her shop and staff, and manages the shop’s income.”
Furthermore, she said that no one should allow life circumstances to stop them from pursuing their goals.
“Even if you are from a rural area, you must overcome all challenges to study because it is your future.”