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ISF Catch-up Student's Story

Nine-year-old Nary’s story shows it’s never too late for a child’s education and a brighter future, thanks to ISF – even in the face of life challenges.

Like so many Cambodian families, Nary’s parents decided to seek better jobs and an improved life for their family by moving to the city from a rural area, Takeo Province in Nary's case.

But city life is more expensive and, with her mother working as a cleaner at a company and father as a security guard, their income could hardly cover expenses, including school for Nary. Then her parents learned about ISF. Nary enrolled in the school’s Catch-up Programme in 2021.

It’s a lot of catching up academically with Nary studying at a Grade 2 level, but she has made great progress, which is so important for how Nary feels about herself. Grateful for a second chance at school, Nary has been working hard in class. She’s good at reading and writing.

What does she like to study? “Khmer and English are my most favorite subjects, and I’m quite good at English too. Being able to go to school is my dream come true, and I would like to see kids at my age receiving the same opportunities.”

Even the COVID-19 pandemic – a sad time for Nary by keeping her indoors all day – didn’t stop her love of learning. Nary created her own study schedule with writing, reading, math and English exercises. She communicated regularly via Facebook Messenger and Telegram group chats, staying in close touch with ISF teachers and classmates to make sure she didn’t fall behind class – and to cope with isolation.

The reopening of the ISF school was the best news for Nary. It meant getting back inside the classroom with friends and teachers, making up for lost time when she couldn’t attend school, plus excellent food and playing football – all the things that make Nary happy.

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