Meet Our Residents:

Dina Leangchiv

lg6My name is Dina Leangchiv(杨温錱 ). I am 19 years old as of 2022. I am from Krouch Chhmar district, Tbong Khmum province, formerly Kampong Cham province. I am the first of three children in a poor family of seven (my grandparents, parents, brother, and sister).

Of course, everyone has different experiences and each of us has our own life story. Some are born into affluent families where they are able to enjoy their childhood and have the opportunity to study outside of school hours. While others are born into poor families and have almost no education. Poverty robs them of the joys of childhood. In addition to school hours, they must work hard to earn a living and alleviate the financial burden on their families as much as possible. The following is a story from my past that I will never forget:

When I was 7 years old, in the first grade, my father was promoted to a small position away from home. During this time, I began to know what it meant to be away from my father, how it felt. My family really leang3started to struggle financially because we survived on my father’s income alone. And it’s a time when I began to hate the idea of working as a civil servant for the state. As a civil servant, with a low salary, providing for a family with many members is a very difficult thing. I also had to take care of some of the work that my father used to do (raising cows, cutting grass for the cows, etc.). I also decided to go fishing as much as I could to help support my daily life. About four years later, my former superior, who moved to my father’s office, was found to be corrupt, and he was removed and replaced. This was an opportunity for my father to apply to return to his old position and succeed. At that time, I was very happy because I was living together with my family again. On the other hand, I had wrongly expected that my family would no longer have money problems. My family was still poor because my younger siblings had already started school and I was taking higher classes. I continued to fish and started a new job, digging and transporting land for the landowner. I did this for three years.

Later, when my family’s financial situation was not as difficult as before, I reduced my work and focusedlingchiv2 on my studies. I became an outstanding student. At the end of ninth grade, my mother told me that it was too expensive for me to continue studying civil engineering. She wanted me to apply for the exam after 12th grade to work as a teacher, a paid profession from the state. I refused and tried to persuade her by showing her the good results of my studies for two years. She agreed. At the same time, my family was having a hard time financially again because my mother fell ill and was suffering from COVID-19. I worried day by day, thinking about my family, my future, school, and the spread of COVID-19. It was during this complicated time that I discovered an organization called Advanced Centre for Empowerment (ACE). A scholarship program for poor students that provides accommodation, training, leadership, etc. I got really excited. I applied to ACE and had three interviews. I got the scholarship. This reduced a lot of my worries and gave me the energy to focus on my studies to ensure good results.

ling chiv4 Yes, ACE gave me a lot more than I expected. ACE not only provides comfortable accommodation and warmth, but also creates a habit of living harmoniously. We have a talented organizational manager who is knowledgeable and readily available to provide educational advice. He organizes leadership classes for us two times per week. Another benefit that this small organization has given me is the opportunity to work as a volunteer to help the community (anarchic construction). In addition, ACE has been training poor children living in the slums to focus on math, English, Khmer, and social responsibility. To not go astray and commit immoral acts, including drug abuse. Helping to educate children really has a significant impact on society because children are the next generation that will actively participate in building society.

I hope that ACE will be able to survive forever and grow bigger to continue to help the poorer students who live in the provinces and come to study in Phnom Penh more and more. I really want to see ACE more in lieng 3Cambodia. Even though ACE is an organization run with great love and a lot of heart, I worry that one day this organization will lack the funds to sustain and eventually lead to my downfall. I do not dare imagine what will happen to many poor people like me.

Finally, I would like to thank ACE for choosing me to train as a leader and I hope to lead in the future. I solemnly promise that when I succeed, I will not forget the grace that ACE has shown me, and I will repay it in the most appropriate way.


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