Mlis Roat (Jasmine in English) uses crayons and pencils donated by World Vision to draw a house with four colourful pillars, a brown roof, and flowers in the front.
She loves to draw picture of flowers and houses when she has free time. Born in the night, Mlis Roat is sometimes called Reatrey, which means Night in English. Reatrey takes out dozen of pens and pencils, toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap, crayons, a writing notebook, a ruler and an orange blanket from her backpack and shows to her grandmother.
“Today is the first time for me to see all these stuff. She did tell me about these but I did not have chance to see,” the grandmother says. It sounds like she is teasing Reatrey, as if the girl received all these items and hid them from her sight.
Reatrey has lived with her grandparents who are farmers since she was a baby. Her parents are working at the Cambodian-Thailand border to earn for a leaving. Reatrey has one older brother and a baby sister.
“I will keep this blanket until I grow up. I will use it when I sleep with my mother and my younger sister,” says Reatrey while she unfolds and shows it to her grandmother.
Since Reatrey has lived with her grandparents, she is considered as their younger daughter.
“My life is meaningful having her (Reatrey). Despite my sickness, I am always encouraged to go to work after seeing her smile,” says 55 years old Phan Leb, a grandmother of Reatrey.
Reatrey drags an old bag hanging on the wall and says, “This is my previous schooling bag.”
Seeing the bag, the grandmother sitting next to Reatrey says that it is an unused bag left by her uncle.
“It is a bit hard for us to buy a new backpack and school material for her,” Phan says, adding that she is so thankful for World Vision’s support on Reatrey school materials.
The old bag with broken zips that Reatrey used to carry with her shoulders can keep only a few notebooks, pens and pencils. Reatrey could not keep her reading books inside the small bag.
“I put the other big books and rulers inside another plastic bag,” she recalls, then smiles. “I can keep all school material inside my new backpack and there are three pockets thus I can keep pencils and pens at the front and books and board in the big one.”
With her endless smile having given new school materials, Reatrey share her gratitude to the sponsor who always support and encourage her to go to school.
With a dream of being a teacher, Reatrey says, “I will study hard.”
Over 1,600 children in World Vision’s Area Development Programmme receive packages of school material such as backpack, pens, pencils, rulers, crayons, notebooks, blankets, toothpaste, toothbrush, soaps, handkerchief, and shoes through the Gift-In-Kind Programme.