My name is Suon Pitou. I am from Kampong Thom province. I am 20 years old (2021). Now I am a sophomore student at the University of Cambodia and my major is English Language and Literature. I have grown up in a family which lacks of warmth because my father and my mother got divorced. They have been divorced since I was 7. After my parents got divorced, I lived with my mother, my brother, and my sister in a rental house. When I was a child, my family changed our living place several time until 2009 when my mother bought a plot of land for building our own house to stay. We have lived there since 2010. My mother was very working hard for my family. And for my father, although we did not live with each other, we still kept in touch. And when I was studying in high school, my father had been responsible to pay for my extra class’ fees until I finished my high school successfully.
After I graduated from my high school in 2019, I went to Phnom Penh to continue my studies at the university. My brother and I lived with my aunt’s family in a rental house in Phnom Penh. It was a hard time for me, when I just moved to live in Phnom Penh, because my family did not have enough money to support me to study in the university. I thought I may have to follow my brother’s way that he works along with studying to pay for the university’s fee himself. But, shortly afterwards, things got better, because I passed a scholarship test from the University of Cambodia and I got a scholarship to study there. After I got the scholarship, I did not have to worry anymore about the university’s fee and I did not have to work along with studying to support my schooling.
Once, I was told about this accommodation scholarship called Advanced Centre for Empowerment, ACE. I decided to apply for the scholarship to stay in ACE. And the reason why I wanted to stay in ACE, at that time, was that I thought living with my aunt I would just go to school and stay at home, I would not get much experience from society. If I lived in ACE, I thought I would get a lot of experiences through social works, which I like, and I would improve my soft skills and life skills. I wanted to make myself stronger by living in a community that contains people from different sides. These points made me apply to ACE to get the scholarship. After that, I passed and I was so happy to join ACE. I am very thankful to ACE, which gave me such a good opportunity to live there and allowed me to improve myself in many aspects while living there.