Success Series – Meet Khanya!
Khanya is one of the 2015 intake of PEPY Empowering Youth Scholarship students and she’s now coming to end of her first year with us. Just like her fellow Scholarship students at PEPY, Khanya is from Kralanh district, located about 60km away from Siem Reap town.
Kralanh is a rural district with limited access to education and, as a result, many families depend on subsistence rice farming to earn a living. This requires of lot of tough physical work and it is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, such as drought, which appear to become more common with each year. Furthermore, as a result of the district’s proximity to the Thai border, there is a strong tradition of illegal migration to Thailand, with people going in search of work. The prospect of earning a comparatively large amount of money in a short time can be tempting, and some people choose to sacrifice their education – and quite possibly a sustainable future – in favor of short-term, yet unsustainable, economic gain. Not only that, but illegal migration is extremely dangerous and full of risks: illegal migrant workers are often treated extremely poorly, yet they are not in a position to report it as they are working illegally and could face serious consequences. PEPY Empowering Youth works to promote the value of education in Kralanh district, thereby increasing the number of young people who gain access to skilled employment.
As a PEPY Scholarship student, Khanya now lives in Siem Reap so she can access her school and the PEPY Learning Center. When she was in grade 12 at Kralanh High School, Khanya received a scholarship from the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC). She received clothes, a bicycle, some financial support and accommodation – Khanya’s own house is 10km from the school, so it would have meant a 20km round-trip by bike every day. Khanya attended the PEPY Dream Class while she was at high school, where she learned how to identify her dreams and how to set goals. This was also how she learned about the PEPY Empowering Youth scholarship. After successfully passing the national exams in grade 12, Khanya wasn’t sure what she should do next. However, she soon received a phone call from PEPY to say that she had been awarded a scholarship and so could attend university in Siem Reap.
Khanya is really enjoying her time so far in Siem Reap and she believes it to her first step towards success. At the PEPY Empowering Youth Learning Center, Khanya studies English with our native English volunteer teachers and ICT with our ICT Officer. She also participates in Youth Empowerment classes, which focus on soft skills, such as team work, leadership and communication, as well as broader issues such as mental health and globalization. In the evenings, Khanya attends English lessons at ACE school in Siem Reap. All of these subjects will prove extremely valuable when it comes to entering the world of work next year.
As a result of her time so far as a PEPY Empowering Youth Scholarship student, Khanya has learned a lot about society and how it works. She has greatly improved her communication skills, as well as making a lot of friends. She hopes that her studies in Siem Reap and the classes at the Learning Center will put her on the path to success. We are sure that this is the case, and PEPY Empowering Youth is looking forward to seeing what Khanya will achieve in the future.