Stories from change-makers in Cambodia

Tort Tein Sav Rin
Sponsor Child in Cambodia
Sponsorship helps girls and families around the world overcome adversity — girls like Tort.
Tort was born with only one arm, but she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dreams. Growing up in Cambodia, she worked hard at everything she did. And, she had a secret weapon: her sponsor!

Now 25, Tort still has the first letter she received from her sponsor when she was just 10 years old — she keeps it safe with a special plastic cover. Because of that support, and her own determination, she became the first person in her family to graduate from high school.

Today, Tort works as a primary school teacher during the day. In the evening, she is studying at the local university to become an English teacher. She sees her work as a way to repay the kindness she has benefitted from in her own life.

“English is an important subject, it is the second language in this country,” she explains. “With my lessons, I want to give something back to my village as a thank you, because I myself received so much support through Plan International.”
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Sponsored Child in Cambodia
Tein has been living on her own since she was 8 years old.
Her parents couldn’t make enough to survive in their small Cambodian village, so they left to look for work in Thailand. When they can, they send Tein and her little brother money to buy food.

“I miss Mom and Dad more than I used to,” Tein says. “When I was little, I’d forget about them when I was playing with my friends. Today I understand how hard it is for them as migrant workers.”

Many parents in Tein’s village have had to make the same difficult choice. Cambodia’s climate is changing, making the dry season longer and hotter. The rice paddies don’t yield two harvests a year like they used to, and some fields have dried up completely.

But despite the challenges of living on her own, Tein is one of the best students in her class.

“My family’s situation encourages me to study,” she says. “I want to help my parents come back home and get by. I also want to help my community. That’s why I’m going to study to become a teacher.”
Learn more about Plan’s work in education
Sponsored Girl at School in Cambodia
Sav Rin lives in a small town in rural Cambodia.
Because she is a girl, it used to be her responsibility to collect water for her family. Every day, she had to walk to the spring at the far end of the village along a quiet and slippery road. It was the community’s only water source.

Worse, the water wasn’t clean. When it rained, the water flowed down from nearby farms into the spring, bringing along with it fertilizer and animal excrement. As a result, cases of diarrhea and vomiting were common.

Then, something changed.

“Now, I don’t need to walk to the spring to fetch water anymore, because Plan International has constructed a pump well near my home,” Sav Rin says.

Plan has also constructed latrines at her school and has provided the school with a water purifier and towels. In addition, Plan helped to educate students about using latrines, proper hand-washing and drinking of purified or treated water.

These investments in health and hygiene are especially important for girls and women, who often spend hours every day getting water for their families. With easy access to clean water, girls can spend more time focusing on what matters: growing up healthy and safe.
Learn more about Plan’s work on Maternal & Child Health

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Cambodia since 2002.

Our work in Cambodia

Sponsored Girl In Cambodia
Office & operations

Plan Cambodia’s country office is located in Phnom Penh, with program units in Ratanakiri, Siem Reap, Stung Treng and Tboung Khmum.

Technical areas

Protection, health, education, skills and work

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2022, people like you sponsor 27,907 children in Cambodia through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

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