Thyda Leang is a mother of three who works hard to give her daughters the best possible future. But surviving on only $3 a day when there are five mouths to feed isn’t always easy.
Thyda spends long hours working as a grocery seller at her roadside stall and has to travel long distances to purchase new products from the markets. Thyda also has a heart condition but often sacrifices the money for her medication in favour of providing an education for her daughters.
“As a mother of three children, I need to ensure they have enough food and are educated, but it seems so hard with such a small income,” says Thyda.
Thyda, her husband and three daughters are just one of the 179 families in Ponhear Leang village, Cambodia. Like most families here, they share one room, have no bathroom, no toilet and no access to fresh water. Thyda’s husband is a rice farmer but the family’s meagre income frequently prohibits him from buying the fertiliser that would help his crops to flourish.
Thyda’seldest daughter Phalla, 14, has a dream to study finance at university but sometimes has to miss school to help her mother with her business. When Thyda is forced to travel to buy new items for her stall, Phalla must stay behind to mind the shop and ensure the family receives the income they so desperately need. This can mean that she misses out on the lessons that are crucial to her success in gaining entry to university. Thyda’s youngest daughter Rachana also has a dream to attend university and become a teacher.