Lotus Pedals: Pheap pursues an education

Pheap and her mother

Pheap and her mother

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.

Pheap, is in 12th grade at Nimith high school. Pheap lives in Reaksmey Meanchey village in Banteay Meanchey. Her father Vann Sokear, 42, is a laborer and her mother Sin Sophea, 39, is housewife. Pheap has 3 female siblings and she is the oldest. All of her siblings are in school.

Pheap’s family is very poor and doesn't own any paddy fields to cultivate rice or vegetables. Their property is just large enough for their home. Her father works locally, along the Cambodia-Thailand boarder to support Pheap'sfamily. Often her family can’t afford rice to cook. Pheap has always helped her family with household chores and has frequently quit school so that she could work as laborer to support her family.

A teacher advised Pheap to enroll back in school, so she applied to the GATE scholarship program. Pheap was selected as one of the scholarship recipients. Since 2012, when Pheap was in 9th grade, she has been receiving support from Lotus Outreach through CWCC (Cambodian Women Crisis Center). Her family has been receiving special rice support of 50kgs per month since 2012. Both the educational scholarship and the rice support have been vital to her family over the past four years.

Before getting the scholarship, Pheap found ways to catch rides with friends on their bikes. Because of that, her attendance was very irregular and she often had to miss school. To ease her commute and ensure she didn’t have to miss school due to lack of transportation, the program provided her with a Lotus Pedals bicycle. She felt very happy to receive the bike and it really helped with her attendance. When she reached 10th grade and school was 20kms away from home, Pheap was placed in the residential home near school. She rides her bike home every weekend to see her family and helps them with chores. She has been studying very hard and is one of the top ten students in her class of forty-five.

In late 2015, during a scholarship giveaway event, Pheap was given a new bike along with a pump to replace her old bike that was given since 2012. Her old bike has now been passed down to her younger sister. Pheap is very happy because now her sister can also bike to school.

Pheap is very grateful for all the support that she receives, financially and spiritually. She is committed to her studies and hopes to peruse her education as long as she can. She wishes to become a secondary school teacher specializing in Khmer literature so she can help educate younger generation to be educated like her. 

The bicycle ceremony

The bicycle ceremony

Posted on February 24, 2016 and filed under Cambodia.