Ly Leangheng has had a difficult childhood. Abandoned by her parents shortly after they divorced when she was six, she went to live with her grandparents. While her grandparents took good care of her, they were poor and lived in a remote rural village. Leangheng awoke at 4am each morning to help her grandmother make cakes to sell before she went to school.

When her grandmother passed away from cervical cancer, things became even harder for Leangheng. She had made a promise to her grandmother to finish grade 12, but now, in grade 7, she was struggling to focus on her studies. Often without enough food, and with her brother and elderly grandfather reliant on her, Leangheng sold mangos and chillies at school to try to raise some money. Finding any money for school materials, uniforms, extra class fees, food, and health care became increasingly challenging.

Fortunately, Leangheng heard about Child’s Dream, a charitable, not-for-profit association supporting children and young adults related to health, education, leadership, sustainability, peace and justice. Leangheng applied to Child’s Dream for the opportunity of a high school scholarship – and to her delight, she was accepted.

“Knowledge is treasure, I can’t drop out of school,” she says. “I have made a promise to my grandmother. If I didn’t get support from Child’s Dream, I might not have been able to continue high school. The scholarship really changes my life for a better future.”

Child’s Dream was co-founded in 2003 by Daniel Siegfried and Marc Jenni (whose story you can). Its geographic scope includes Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Thailand. In Cambodia, Child’s Dream has built schools and boarding houses, provided scholarships to high school students and university students, run school health initiatives, provided water systems and playgrounds, and supported vocational training centres.

Re&Act – the independent charity that manages the donations raised from the Children’s Walk – established an agreement with Child’s Dream in 2020 to provide quality schooling at primary, secondary and high school level and to ensure a safe and secure learning environment in remote communities in Northern and north-western Cambodia.

By 2025, through the support of Re&Act, Child's Dream aims to build 35 weather-resistant high-quality schools (benefitting 6,000 students), establish 10 state-of-the-art computer labs (benefitting 4,000 students), and provide 350 students with scholarships.

Students like Leangheng, who is now 17 and progressing well in her studies.

“I would like to thank all the donors who support my education,” she says. “I am strongly committed to finish high school and continue looking for higher education opportunities.”

Leangheng benefitted from a scholarship from Child’s Dream, one of the many children’s initiatives in developing countries that Roche supports through Re&Act – the independent charity that manages the donations raised from the Children’s Walk.

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