An interview with a GATE student, Sok Luen, and her mother, Koy Cheng.
We travelled along the raised banks of rice fields in the car until we could drive no more, then we walked the last few hundred meters to a modest, stilted wooden, traditional style Cambodian village home.
Currently we are providing Blossom Bus to 270 girls including 20 in college. Many of these girls are the first to reach high school in their villages. The following is a story about Khushboo, who is on her chosen pathway to become a doctor.
Lotus Pedals gives the gift of education to girls in deep poverty, where public transportation is often nonexistent. It also gives these girl students a feeling of mobility and confidence as they pedal with speed down rural roads with friends to and from school. The following is a success story about Pheap, a student that has benifted greately from the Lotus Pedals program.
Sima states, "My family situation was such that going from grade sixth to seventh my parents wanted me to drop out of school and I did not attend school in the 2nd semester. Being very young at that time I had to follow my parents, and although the CWCC were looking for scholarship girls, my parents did not hear about it"
In 2013, Lotus Outreach ensured that 302 young riders got to school. The program has identified 381 additional students who may qualify to receive a bicycle, and still thousands of girls across the country want to attend school, but have no means of transportation.
Advancing from such a remote and difficult starting place is full of challenges, but Sok Sreynei keeps her dreams like a spark in tinder. She says, “My dream is to be educated, because as a Phnong I don’t want people to look down on me and berate me like they did to my parents.”
Born just 9 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, 20 year-old Channa was part of an entire generation of children that grew up under an education system in crisis.
Forty miles south of New Delhi, on the outskirts of the town of Hathin in Mewat district, several brick kilns are firing up again after the four-month rest period during monsoon
Since we visited the charismatic Afsana in 2012, she has been busy inspiring other girls in her village to join the Blossom Bus and attend school, and the ripple effect of her efforts is highly evident.
“Education is everything,” says Mausmin. “It’s the only way to get employment, become independent and teach girls to think for themselves.”