An eight-year-old girl has been praised after building a raft out of garbage so that she could paddle across a lake to get to school.
The girl identified only by her first name Kunthea, is from a poor family that lives in a tiny home built on lake Tonle Sap in north-west Cambodia.
The family of six’s only means of getting around is a small wooden boat that they use daily, which left Kunthea with no way of getting to school.
Her parents are both labourers, and they have two younger children who also need to be cared for while they are working to make ends meet.
Despite the financial struggles, however, they reportedly insist on sending all their children to school in hopes of securing a better future for them – and their young daughter is no exception.
The girl has just enrolled in the first grade but getting an education proved an immense challenge – one which Kunthea tried to overcome by using a makeshift raft made of trash and foam so that she could paddle 0.6 miles across the lake.
Sad images show the tear-eyed girl, dressed in a dirtied school uniform, sitting on the
pile of rubbish collected inside a green mesh bag next to her backpack.
The news soon reached the Governor of Siem Reap, Prak Sophoan, who expressed worry about the girl traversing the dangerous water stretch.
Governor Prak visited the girl and her family and promised to help make Kunthea’s daily trip to school an easier and safer one.
The Governor stated that the fishermen’s living conditions appear to also be unacceptable, and he requested that provincial authorities create an equity card for the people in Leu district to make sure they get all the benefits they are entitled to.
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