Muoy You Fully Understands the Importance of Education

By Kyle Daley

Growing up in poverty in Cambodia, during the Vietnam War, Muoy You recalls living in a squatters’ shack where she turned to books and studying as a means of escape.  In the early 70’s, You won a scholarship to study in France. During her time in Europe, You’s parents and siblings were among the 2 million victims in the Pol Pot’s killing fields.

Over the next 20 years, You focused on raising a family and serving as a teacher in Africa and in the Middle East.

Now back in her native Cambodia, You established the Seametrey Children’s Village, a private initiative focused on providing the children of her homeland the same educational opportunities she was given.

In order to achieve this, You mortgaged her home, bought a small plot of land, and transformed a run-down shack into a classroom where she could inspire future generations of Cambodians.

You keeps the opportunity of a great education open to everyone — students and their families pay only what they could afford.  Cambodia, a country with a rigid class system, You treats all of her students the same, and expects her students to do the same as well. The result is a school where the sons and daughters of the wealthy elite and poor underclass have the opportunity to become the best of friends.

See an in-depth profile of Muoy You from the Christian Science Monitor, as part of its “People Making a Difference” series.

If you would like to help with educational programs in Cambodia:

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