Former Helping Hands student, Yoeuy, is Helping Hands’ longest volunteer and is dedicated to make a difference in his village. This makes him one of Helping Hands’ true heroes and an inspiration to all. Read here his inspiring story..
Age: 22 years old
Favorite Colour: Green
Brothers and sisters: Two brothers, no sisters
Occupation: Student in high school and volunteer librarian and teacher at Helping Hands
Dream: To be a teacher and help my village
When studying at Helping Hands with Teacher Sopheap, Yoeuy loved learning the English Language and was one of the best in his class.
‘I always loved studying at Helping Hands because I wanted to learn English, and they have resources and give students everything they need for studying. I felt happy and grateful because our village has an English school.’
Yoeuy, age 20 at the time he graduated from Helping Hands, was quietly very curious about the ins and outs of how the school was run, and decided that he didn’t want to stop coming to Helping Hands.
‘One day I graduated at Helping Hands, now 1,5 years ago, and the next day I started volunteering in the library. I haven’t left since.’
Every day, Yoeuy travels to Helping Hands after school to work in our little library, keeping it clean and tidy, helping where he can around the school and enjoys spending time with the students and staff.
Living in the village with his parents and two younger brothers, Yoeuy dedicates a lot of time to his education. His parents are farmers and support him wherever they can.
‘My parents plant rice and corn, have pigs, buffaloes and chickens. They give the money that they earn from selling animals to me for my education. I’m very grateful for their support.’
Young and inspiring Yoeuy finds studying important and likes to study. His dream is to become a teacher.
‘I wanted to stay volunteering at Helping Hands because I wanted to see how Helping Hands helps the community and learn more about teaching.’
English Teacher and Project Coordinator, Nang, also saw this hidden talent and dream in quiet Yoeuy.
Having some challenges with one of his own secondary mixed abilities classes, Nang saw a good solution in splitting the class. He approached Yoeuy to take on a teaching role for the lower ability group three days a week. Yoeuy took this opportunity with both hands.
Nang says: ‘Yoeuy’s English is good and he has great potential.’
With help and support from Teacher Sopheap,Teacher Nang and Project Support Coordinator Sita, Yoeuy dove into the world of being a teacher. Yoeuy shadowed Sopheap and Nang in their classrooms, they supported him doing lesson plans and once Yoeuy started doing the first lessons, Sopheap supported him inside the classroom.
‘On the first day I had to teach I was very nervous and shy, because it was the first time. But now I really enjoy talking to the students and helping them learn English.’
Every day Yoeuy feels more confident in teaching and the students enjoy his lessons very much. Teacher Sopheap still supports Yoeuy with his lessons and Yoeuy goes to him for help and with questions. Sopheap: ‘Yoeuy was quiet and shy in the beginning, but comes with questions more and more. His teaching gets better every day.’
Yoeuy is a great role model for the students at Helping Hands, of how investing in education and being motivated to learn can help you have great opportunities in the future.
‘I don’t want young people in the village to have to work in construction. This is very dangerous and the people have poor working conditions. I wish that more students in our village become teachers in the future, like me, at Helping Hands or the government school.’
With support from Helping Hands, Yoeuy now also follows a Teacher Training for volunteer teachers in Siem Reap, as well as free English classes on the weekends. With these opportunities, Yoeuy can invest in his future and is expanding his skill base in ways he never imagined he could acquire.
Sita (Project Support Coordinator): ‘Yoeuy is turning into a confident young adult, and I see a bright future for him. He is already a great role model for the students at Helping Hands, and I hope he will apply for a scholarship and shine in a full time teaching role next to Sopheap in a few years. With his dedication to make a difference in the village, Yoeuy is a true inspiration to all. ‘
Mr. Yoeuy (on the left) and the Helping Hands staff team during our staff day at Kulen Mountain.