Visiting Cambodia last summer, Trumbull High freshman Emily Kong was struck by the sight of children, many of them under 10 years old, working long hours to help support their families. In a country where 45% of children are forced to work every day, and only 20% of girls reach high school, those who receive even an elementary level of education can be considered the lucky ones. In a way, Emily sees in current Cambodian children what could have been for her aunt and uncle that she never met.
“My starving brother and sister passed away in my arms,” Emily recalls her father, Chenda Kong telling her. “They would have been an amazing aunt and uncle to you.”