#Reimagine: Meet Panha, a future businessman who will help the environment.
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2020 has been a strange year. My parents lost most of their income because of COVID-19, and they were also afraid of the virus, so the whole family had to leave Phnom Penh early in the year and go to the countryside of Prey Veng. I missed school and I worried about it because education is very important to me. But at least I got to live back in the countryside. I really love nature.
I was actually born in Prey Veng but my parents moved when I was ten because it was so hard to make money farming. We lived in a poor area of Phnom Penh called Steung Meanchey and they sold potatoes. Before I came to the city I didn’t really care about school. I didn’t go a lot, I preferred to play with my friends, and help with farming. But when I arrived in Phnom Penh, I started going to school with an NGO called ISF. They had really good teachers and I started to care a lot about my education. Actually, I changed almost totally! Now school is my top priority and I even help my English teacher, Josh. So when we came back to Prey Veng this year and I realized that some local kids didn’t have good education, I set up a little school and taught them every day. I enjoyed doing it. I learnt a lot and achieved something big.
An important thing I learnt over the last six years is a good education isn’t all about knowledge, it’s also about soft skills. I am very interested in management and loved it when Singapore University visited us and explained how business works. I have decided to become a businessman in the future. I am going to study hard and try to get a place on a good management course, hopefully Singapore, and then create a retail business. I have an ambition to employ a hundred people and help Cambodia develop more.
Other than studying, I like to play football and work on computers. I really didn’t like not having a computer for most of the year. But the thing I love most is the countryside. The city is a stressful place for me. I think everything would be better if we took more care of the environment. We should use less plastic everywhere, definitely. There was a workshop in how to live plastic free so I really believe in that. Even in Prey Veng there aren’t as many trees as there used to be. I’d like to have a second business, an agriculture one, and plant more trees. I think a lot of us young Cambodians care about the environment, we’ll take care of it in the future.