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MERCY Youth: Focus on Robert

LWB has provided higher education support for orphaned and impoverished students in China since 2004. When we expanded our work into Cambodia, we knew that higher education support was a program we wanted to replicate. The high dropout rates in this part of Cambodia are primarily due to economic issues. Often, students face intense pressure from parents for their child to drop out of school to earn money for the family. In addition, many rural families can’t afford the school-related expenses such as uniforms, books, and teacher fees, so their children simply can’t attend. LWB is making a real difference in this western region by providing school tuition, tutoring, and mentorship to high school students.

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Cambodia National College Exam

On Monday and Tuesday in Cambodia, graduating high school students will be taking the college entrance exam that will determine the course of their futures.  For teens from the rural countryside, graduating high school is a remarkable achievement. Intense poverty causes many to drop out at an early age in order to work full-time. Families often can’t afford the costs required for high school, as low teacher pay has led many educators to charge their own “extra fees” in order for a student to get access to the full curriculum. As if these challenges weren’t enough, hunger and chronic malnutrition are very common in the countryside and harm a child’s development, stamina, energy, and opportunities to learn.  All of these difficulties can explain why only a very small percentage of rural students ever receive a high school diploma.

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