From Phnom Penh to Bangladesh, the incredible destiny of Danich :

From Phnom Penh to Bangladesh, the incredible destiny of Danich

Portrait of Danich, a former PSE student

Education has always been a priority to Danich's family, despite difficult living conditions. Thanks to her good grades, she studied at a Bengali university.

Difficult living conditions but parents aware of the need for their children to study

Thach Danich is 25 years old and a 2019 graduate of PSEI Business School in Retail Business Management. She currently works at Hu & Mann Trading Co. Ltd as an assistant manager. Danich lives in Phnm Penh, in the Sen Sok community, with her parents, her grandmother, her two older brothers and her younger cousin.

Before joining PSE, her family lived in their grandmother's house in very difficult conditions. At that time, only her two parents earned an income. Her father worked in construction and had occasional jobs, and her mother sewed, which was the only stable income the family could rely on.

The ground floor of the house was often flooded during the rainy season, making it unlivable, with dirty water, lots of insects, snakes, and the risk of electric schock... So, they were forced to live on the 1st floor, which was quite small. Her family didn't have enough money to eat properly, so her two brothers often went out to catch fish, and Danich was in charge of finding vegetables that grew naturally, such as water lilies and mimosa. It was then Danich who prepared dinner for everyone, as her parents were at work and her grandmother was very old. 

Despite these very difficult conditions, Danich still thanks her parents for always having the will to take their children to school and for forcing them never to miss a day of class. In fact, it's quite rare in families like Danich's for parents to realize the importance of school, and most force their children to do odd jobs to bring home an extra income. Danich never had to do this and was able to attend public school until she passed her grade 9.

Danich, a PSE former student, at PSE

Discovering PSE and improving living conditions for Danich and her family

It was thanks to her older brother, who was studying at university at the time, that Danich was able to join the PSE programs. In 2016, her brother heard some of his classmates talking about PSE. So he looked up the address, got on his bike and went to see the PSE social team. After explaining his family's living conditions to them, a team came to take a look and found that Danich and her family were living in very difficult conditions. They took charge of Danich and her two brothers and gave her family rice every month.

Danich joined our Foundation Studies Division in 2016 for a year. She has good memories of PSE and is still in touch with her classmates. For her, PSE was not only a vocational course, but also a disciplinary and moral one.

During this year at the Foundation Studies Division, Danich was able to improve her level of English and chose between the 5 schools proposed by PSE. Her teachers were available to help her make this choice. After one year, Danich decided to continue her studies at the Business School in Retail Business Management. Grateful for the opportunity she had to study here, Danich worked hard which enabled her to come second in her year and graduate in 2019. 

An opportunity at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh

Thanks to her ranking, Danich has had the opportunity to study for a Bachelor of Arts in the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh for four years in 2019. The aim of this university is to educate the women of Asia, so that they may become the new leaders of tomorrow and transform the society in which they live.

This experience taught her a great deal, particularly in terms of opening up to others and discovering other cultures.

At first, she was nervous about the idea of going to a new country for four years, but they were three students from PSE to go there, and their teacher accompanied them to Bangladesh. It was a real challenge, and today Danich is very proud to have graduated from this university and to have overcome her fears of going into the unknown and moving away from her family.

Today, she has returned to Phnom Penh to find a job and help her family. We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experience in Bangladesh. 

Danich, PSE former student, with her class in Bangladesh where she studied a Bachelor degree

Why did you choose to study in Bangladesh ?

"I chose to study in Bangladesh because I believe that studying abroad provides me with a unique opportunity to discover the world. That in itself is a hugely rewarding experience in addition to getting a degree, and learning more about the world will shape my character and worldview and prepare me for a more globalised society."

Were you stressed when you left Cambodia ? 

"I remember that my feelings when I left Cambodia were that I felt excited and nervous, and I also missed my family and friends. But luckily, I was not alone; I went with another two PSE students, and I was comforted by my teacher Chamnan, who accompanied and traveled with us to Bangladesh."

What did you do there ?

"I studied in an access acadmy, and then after I passed this level, I went to an undergraduate program for 3 years to study for a total of four years to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts. The bachelor's program requires four years of study, but I spent only three years and eight months to complete my degree because I took more than the regular offer of courses in several semesters so I could graduate earlier than the actual program."

How was your experience ?

"My experience in Bangladesh for the first time looked like everything was new and a bit challenging for me, such as food, culture, study, living, and communication. However, since I stayed there for a long time, I could learn from others, and we all adapted to learn from each other.

Danich, PSE former student

How was your come back in Cambodia ?

"I felt so happy when I came back to Cambodia after I graduated because I really missed my family, teachers and friends. This experience changed my mindset. If I compare my knowledge in the past and now, I feel that my opinion has become more widely held, that I think more critically, that I know more about different cultural backgrounds, and that I have more opportunities for study and for work.

In the future, I would love to work at PSE to give other children the chance that I received a few years ago. I want to lift children out of poverty and give them the best education possible. Papy and Mamie are like parents and saviors to me, because without them I wouldn't be who I am today. They are like superheroes to the poor children of Cambodia. They have helped us so much over the years without ever asking for anything in return. Thank you for your support for Cambodian people, especially poor families like us, to change our life for the better!"

A success made possible thanks to sponsorship

Since the beginning of their actions in Cambodia, Christian and Marie-France des Pallières, the founders of PSE, have chosen to rely on sponsorship to ensure the sustainability of the association's programmes. The commitment we make to the children is strong: we lead them from misery to a profession!

The comprehensive care we offer the children is long-term. We commit ourselves to the end and do not leave any child by the side of the road. 

Find out more about sponsorship

A special thanks to Nieves Segovia Bonet and Fernando Alonso, from PSE Spain, who initiated and supported this initiative.