A Letter From Visal
It has been such a wonderful day for me. I went to the mail translator’s office with my mother and younger sister after we received a call from one of the staff members. I was so excited to hear about the call and the wonder of it all! Now, I am so excited knowing that you are my sponsor. I didn’t even understand what a ‘sponsor’ was at all but I do today. Gary, my family and I are really grateful for your kind sponsorship. I am trying to memorize your name because it’s so important for me. To let you know me a little better, I think I will tell you about my background in detail here.
As I know only a little English I cannot write on my own yet so I need my mail translator to help me with my stories to you, and to help me read yours to me – this way we can really get to know one another.
To begin this, I would like to tell you about my life from the past till the present.
First of all, my name is Choun Visal. Visal is my given name and Choun is my family name. I am 7 years old now as I was born on 6 June, 2006. My family is made up of 4 people: my parents, one younger sister, and me, so I am the first child in the family. To feed us, my parents have been working asgarbage scavengers.Wehave been living on rented land in Steung Meanchey, a slum area in Phnom Penh, where my parents built a small shack. This land is rented by Papa Scott, from the landowner. Papa Scott then subsidizes this to the poor families just like mine and we help him with paying some fee as well.
Now I will tell you a little about my family’s past: my mother is originally from Kampong Cham province while my father is from Phnom Penh. My mother used to work as a garment factory worker when her parents passed away. As my mother became an orphan she decided to move and live with her aunt. In living with her auntie, she shared her income to help pay for the rental of the room and food. However, my mother quit the job at the factory because of her weak health as she could not handle the workload there. So later on, she decided to work as a garbage scavenger to earn a living on her own. Finally, my mother met my father who also searched for recyclable garbage at the dumpsite, and they got married after they knew each other for several months. After their marriage, and having my sister and I, my parents rented a small room and tried to earn their living together. Their tiny income was never enough to support the family so they could not provide us with good food, let alone good care and a chance to study. I was told by my mother that while she was pregnant with me, she continued hunting the recyclable garbage with my father until the month I was born. This also happened with my younger sister. Sometimes, when my parents went out to work, they would leaveme and my younger sister with our aunty to look after us. However, when I was around 4 years old my parents took me along with them to the dumpsite. They left me to sleep on a net in a small hut nearby the dumpsite because they didn’t want to put more burden on my aunty.
One of my happierdays was when Papa Scott went to the dumpsite and saw my family there. He saw me sleeping in the net and he took my picture; then he told my mother about the opportunity he could give me to study atCCF which made my mother so happy to hear. As a result of my family’s poor living conditions, Papa Scott wrote a voucher for my mother to take me to have an interview at CCFCC (CCF-Community Center). Soon after the interview with CCF staff, I was accepted on 7 October, 2011. My family was delighted to get this chance and be a part of CCF’s family. Since then I have been provided with loving care, nutritious foodand study materials. What is more, my family and I also get healthcare service from CCF’s clinic. Also, CCF is going to enroll me into the local public school, in addition to study English and computer at CCF classes, next academic year. Currently, I am one of the Satellite students because I have been moved from my previous program and now I can study English at a higher level than in the Daycare program. I enjoy learning and playing with my friends here a lotJ. In the future, I wish to be a policeman as I want to earn money to support my family and protect other people.
Here are some more photos of me for you enjoy, so I hope you like seeing them.
Many thanks for your kind sponsoring!!
These are pictures of my sister and mother.
Gary, I hope you feel you know me better after reading through my life story and if you have any questions to ask me, please feel free to let me know and I will be glad to answer you as much as I can. Anyway, I hope you don’t mind me if I ask you some questions. Where do you live? And, what is your job? Do you have pets; do you have a sister like me?
Lastly, I wish you good luck and happiness all the time.