Ka Lek is studying a Bachelor Degree of Accounting at the Chea Sim University of Kamchey Mear in Prey Veng Town. She is able to attend this institution because of the Access For All project which allows women with disabilities to move in to a “Supportive Home” in the town which is in closer proximity to higher education than the girls’ home villages. Lek’s recently received a generous scholarship from Kerrie Anson of Australia. Many other students like Lek need funding for education. University in Cambodia costs around $300 USD a year, click here to sponsor a child.
After Lek’s first year of study her family was struck by tragedy when her father died. Lek’s sister became the head of the household. She had two children and her husband soon left to remarry. Lek’s sister also died and Lek was then left to look after her sister’s two children and her mother alone. With sponsorship Lek feels like she can study and gain employment which would provide a stable and more sustainable future for her family.
Lek was born with her left leg missing below the knee and could only crawl – at the age of 17 months her father made her an artificial leg from thread spools and kapok branches – with some difficulty, Lek managed to walk with the aid of the home-made prosthesis for 5 months. At this time, Lek’s parents heard about the Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh and made the arduous and expensive trip to the city to try to get a proper prosthesis fitted.
Lek is very proud of her prosthesis and wears it all the time, she is now not hindered by her disability and can carry water, climb trees, plant rice, fish, ride bicycles, tend cattle and go to school as well help with household chores like any other Cambodian child.
Ka Lek before her prosthesis was fitted by VI in 1997
Ka Lek cooking her lunch after returning from school at the Supportive Home in Prey Veng Town