Cambodia’s history under the Khmer Rouge was a brutal one, resulting in the deaths of almost two million people, decimating the country’s education system and throwing millions into abject poverty. After the regime was overturned, the school system in Cambodia had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, and countless people grew up illiterate. Life in the impoverished rural villages remains difficult. Many live without electricity or clean water, and a staggering 40% of children under the age of five are malnourished. Impoverished families, struggling to simply survive day by day, often felt education was a luxury they could not afford and had their children work rather than attend school.