My name is Sokheng and I’m 11 years old. I live with my sister and my grandmother who is the person I love the most in this world.

My parents and little brother live in Thailand, where the work in a chicken farm. I don’t get to see my father, but my mother recently came to see us and give us some money after not seeing her for two years. My 68-year-old grandmother works a lot get up at five in the morning and wash my face, brush my teeth, and get my things ready for school. I ride my bike for one hour normally or two if it is the muddy season to get to school.

Once I reach school, I have no time to have breakfast, so I eat some rice during the first break at 8 am. Sometimes during the worst months of the muddy season, I can’t make it to school because of the mud in the road and have to turn back around and go home. The route I take during the dry season is very bumpy and dusty, so I have to stop 3 or 4 times to rest and look for shade under a tree to get a break from the heat. After school, I like to study or go for a walk with my friends. I also help my grandmother clean the plants and cook and fill our water deposit.

My favourite subject at school is Khmer, which is Cambodia’s national language, and I think math is my hardest subject. I wish to continue on to secondary school, but I don’t know if I will be able to attend high school because it is 20 km away from my house I have never ridden that far before. In the future, I want to take care of my grandmother when she gets old. I met Coconut Water when their educators came to my school to teach English, painting, and hygiene.

Now I have a Coconut Water scholarship for two years. From all of the materials I receive, my favourite is the backpack because now I can carry my books more easily when I go to and from school. I don’t get as tired now, so I have more energy to study and that motivates me to not drop out. Despite being 11 and my sister being 8, we study in the same class because I wanted to wait for my sister to be in the same class as me so she is less likely to drop out of school. Now I motivate and support her to keep studying.