Malis came to AusCam Freedom Project in Year 11 of high school. She comes from a poor family in the province of Cambodia, but her parents wanted a better quality of life for her so she was sent to live with her aunty and uncle in Phnom Penh.

From a young age, Malis has been passionate about her education, but it wasn’t easy living with her extended family. Throughout high school Malis was emotionally abused by her aunty and uncle. They did not understand her commitment to her studies; they said she would not graduate anyway; they pressured her to drop out of school so she could earn money for the family. 

But before that could happen, Malis was visited by a social worker she had seen at her school. That social worker was from AusCam Freedom Project. In the span of a few short weeks, Malis received a scholarship to complete her secondary education, a bicycle to get to school every day and rice support for the household. 

And she did it! 

Malis passed her exams, graduated high school, and is now one of ten members of AusCam’s Girls Leadership Committee (GLC) who provide great assistance to the organisation and act as mentors to younger girls to prevent them from dropping out of school. 

Malis has worked hard and is now a Marketing student at the National Institute of Business in Phnom Penh, living with another fellow AusCam supported student.

The road to success is always under construction but with the right environment and the right people, girls are empowered to make their own choices about where that road leads. 

Any identifying details have been removed for privacy and some wording has been slightly modified to better translate into English.

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