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Facing challenges with life skills: Meet Theannou from Room to Read Cambodia

January 17, 2023

Skill building Cambodia

When Theannou's parents separated, Theannou's mother took on the family's financial responsibilities. Unable to both care for Theannou and work the hours she needed to support her daughter's education, she sent Theannou to live with her grandparents. Theannou missed her parents deeply, and often struggled to find the same emotional support from her grandparents that she had received from her mother. In the years that followed, she felt burdened by challenging emotions and found she was consistently distracted from her academics. 

"I felt like I became someone who could not control their emotions," she reflects in the video below. "I started to not care about my studies, and when problems arose, I let them gradually consume me, which led to a lot of mental and emotional pressure."

Through Room to Read's Girls' Education Program, Theannou was introduced to her Room to Read Social Mobilizer, a local woman mentor, who helped Theannou and her classmates build essential life skills. These skills, which include self-confidence and self-control, communication and relationship building, decision-making and creative problem-solving, helped Theannou effectively navigate and process difficult emotions, regain focus in the classroom and set her sights on her future. 

“Once I became a Girls’ Education Program participant, I felt myself become more mature. I learned how to plan my future and be more thoughtful. I began to stand in front of a mirror and imagine who I wanted to be in the next five years. ”
Hear from Theannou directly in the video below: