The power of persistence: One student’s fight to educate himself and others

Growing up in a remote village of Cambodia in a country still wracked with civil war, Sarakk Rith was determined to go to school. “My father was very enthusiastic about education,” he recalls. “He didn’t get an education because of the Khmer Rouge regime, but he wanted his kids to get an education.”

It was an easy 15-minute walk to primary school, but by secondary school, Rith woke at 4 a.m. to eat and then peddle his secondhand bike 1-2 hours each way, often through rain, wrenching his bike free of the muddy road. Going to high school meant leaving home altogether to live with monks at a Buddhist temple in a city far from home. As he advanced through school, classmate after classmate dropped out […]

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