Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Growing up in Cambodia: Srei Thim, 14, Andong urban poor community, Phnom Penh

As told to Martina Tomassini

© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Fani Llaurado
Srey Thim, 14, sits outside her home in Andong urban poor community, Phnom Penh.

Srei Thim, aged 14, lives in Andong urban poor community. With over 3,500 people, Andong is one of the 516 urban poor communities in Phnom Penh which account for about 25% of the capital’s population – according to government sources. Typically for urban poor communities, Andong faces many challenges, including poor sanitation & hygiene and high rates of diarrhoea and malnutrition. Lack of toilets, proper drainage, garbage disposal system, as well as overcrowded shacks, are common problems. The situation is compounded by high rates of poverty and domestic violence. To help face some of these challenges, UNICEF supports the Cambodian government in promoting access to healthcare for the vulnerable people of Andong and other urban slums in Phnom Penh. As a result, the spread of diseases in the community has decreased, however a lot more remains to be done to ensure all children and mothers are healthy. 

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 25 August 2015  “My name is Srei Thim, I am 14 years old and I live in Andong with my parents and younger brother, David. Our house is made of wood and has two floors. My mum works in a garment factory in Phnom Penh and my dad is a construction worker.

I go to Kork Roka Primary School; I am in Grade 6. I like going to school a lot. My favourite subject is maths but I do not like science. At school there are two shifts: one in the morning, from 6 am to 11 am, and one in the afternoon, from 12.30 to 5.30 pm. Sometimes I go to school in the morning; sometimes in the afternoon.

© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Fani Llaurado
Srey Thim, 14, is in Grade 6. Here she depicted inside her home in Andong urban poor community, Phnom Penh. 

My breakfast consists of stir-fried pork with rice. My favourite food is stir-fried fish or meat. I don’t like eating soup.

Charya is my best friend; we are classmates. She often comes to my place after school and we go for a walk together.

When I was younger I used to play games, like skipping rope. Now I am old and don’t do that anymore but I still play with my 5-year-old brother sometimes and teach him how to read and write.
Something I don’t like is when you are having an argument at school and other children say bad things about your parents to make you angry.

What makes me happy is getting good marks in school. When I grow up I would like to work as somebody who decorates people’s homes."

© UNICEF Cambodia/2015/Fani Llaurado
Srey Thim, 14, sits outside her home in Andong urban poor community, Phnom Penh.

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