She lived on a landfill and never went to school before the age of 11: today she is a graduate and studies at university -
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She lived on a landfill and never went…
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She lived on a landfill and never went to school before the age of 11: today she is a graduate and studies at university

October 10, 2021 • By Alison Forde

All children should go to school and enjoy childhood play and learn with their peers. Unfortunately, in many countries in the world this situation is very distant from reality. Sophy Ron, for example, a Cambodian girl who today has fulfilled her dream of graduating, tells of how she lived on a landfill as a child. Before she turned 11, Sophy had never even gone to school and had never lived in a real home. To be honest about her, she had never even played with a group of her peers. Her home was the landfill, and this was so normal for her that she didn't even notice the unpleasant smell or dirt. Fortunately for her, a chance meeting allowed her to change her life and to get to know the outside world, beyond the small and unhealthy reality that she had known until then.

Ron Sophy is an example of how far you can get while starting from the bottom. Little Sophy had never gone to school before she turned 11, yet today she is delighted to share her personal achievements with the world: she managed to earn a scholarship to complete a year of pre-university studies at Trinity College, part of University of Melbourne and has since begun a course of study at the University of Melbourne. An important milestone for any young person, but one that assumes an even more significant achievement for her, considering that she was brought up in such poverty and didn't attend elementary school.

The turning point in her life came thanks to a chance meeting with Scott Neeson, the founder of the "Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF)", who asked her if she wanted to study English. "At the time, I had no idea what English was," Sophy said.


Sophy is an example of courage and determination, which is inspiring many other young people like her to never give up. The secret is to believe in your abilities and to work hard to achieve your goals. When these elements are combined, they produce the best possibilities for success and lifting oneself out of a very difficult living situation. Today Sophy hopes to be able to return to Cambodia to start a business in her home country.

What can we say ... good luck!



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