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Somphor's Story

Interview with Somphor

Hello, my name is Somphor. When I was young boy, I lived with my grandfather. And I took care of my uncle’s cows. After I took the cows back to home, I ate rice. Sometimes we had rice and sometimes we did not have rice. Sometimes I worked in the fields for people to get money to pay for school. When I went to school, I did not have a bike; I rode with the other students. Sometimes, I walked to school.

After school, sometimes I walked back home. When I arrived home, sometimes food was already cooked and sometimes it wasn’t.  But when there was no food, they asked me to cook the food for them.

After dinner, it was time to go to bed and I slept with my grandfather. When my grandfather was sick and felt hot, he woke me up to fan him.  I served him with medicine and I massaged his hands and legs. In the morning, I dumped out his urine.

After that, I would get dressed and ask him for money to pay for a good school. Then he told me he did not have money. Then I would take a bike with other kids to go to school. When I went back home, I cooked food and after served grandfather with food, I took the bath and got dressed to go to school.

I don’t know when my parents died. I lived with my grandfather since I was a little boy.

I often heard about Asia’s Hope when I came to church. I heard mom and dad [Pisey and Savong} introduce themselves as directors of an Asia’s Hope orphan home. As I am an orphan child,  I asked Savong to let me live in the orphanage. So when he brought children from church to orphanage,  I followed him to the orphanage.

I asked him to let me live in the orphanage;  I told him, “Dad, please accept me to live in the orphanage. I don’t have parents.” After he completed the application,  it took about one to two weeks; I was then accepted to live in the orphanage. 

The first time I arrived at the orphanage,  I was so excited because when I was at home, I had a hard life. But at the orphanage, I have clothes to wear, have a bathroom, and have a suitable place for living and I have enough food. Unlike when I was at home; at home I lacked many things. In the orphanage, I have money and a bike to ride to school. I am thankful to the Lord for His arrangement for me to come and live in the orphanage.

Talking about dad, Savong, in my orphanage -- he is kind. He is not often angry with me. He takes good care of me. And the brothers and sisters in the orphanage, they are kind. We usually share things with each other. We love each other and never fight with each other. We are always respectful and obedient to dad.

I think my future, I will study hard to learn English to become a translator, and I want to be an Asia’s Hope orphanage director caking care of children.


Interview with Savong, orphan home director, Prek Eng 3, Cambodia

When I went to church, I met Somphor. At first, he was afraid to talk to me. He knew I was an orphanage director, so he followed me. When we reached the orphanage, he greeted me and asked me permission to live in orphanage. When I first met him, he wore an old, torn shirt.

He says, “Dad please let me to live here because I don’t have parents.” I was surprised because I had seen him riding his bike behind me. When we reached the orphanage, he asked me.

A teacher in the church told me that Somphor rarely lived at home. Most of the time, he came to stay in the church. So I began to ask Somphor about his life. He told me that he lived with grandfather. His parents were dead. He was struggling with his study, so he asked to live in the orphanage.

When he first came to the orphanage, he did not have any clothes. He had an old torn shirt. He didn’t have money to pay for a good school. He had a hard time with his studies. His behavior was not good when he spoke. When he saw his friends, he said, “Don’t do that. I am going to kick you!” But after he came and lived in the orphanage, I taught him a little at the time.

He saw our orphanage and he wanted to live here. He has good food to eat. And he had a place to sleep. His attitude has changed. He has money to pay for a good school. He has a bike to ride to school. Before, he did not have these things. He had nothing – not even food – he lacked food while he was living with his grandfather.

When Somphor came to live here, in his heart he had hope that he would have a good education. In the future, he will work as a teacher. Another wish, he wants to be a Christian leader: to build a church, to be a pastor or open an orphanage and he will be an orphanage director.  That is what he told me.

One way of taking care of children is that at night time, we walk around to check them. Some times, children have fevers. I give them good care, so they can feel warm and know that they have a father. “My second father is taking good care of me like my first father.” I mean, we have to provide them the warmth of love. When they are sick, or having problems that they are afraid to tell us, I comfort them, “My children whenever you have a problem tell me, your father, so dad can give advice.”