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Knowledge is Hope & Peace is Development

Oddom’s Story: From Tuk Tuk Driver to BFT Project Manager

Oddom was born on the Northern Thai border of Cambodia in 1987. It was a typical very
poor Cambodian family. As a young boy, he stopped his education and concentrated on helping the family, ending up as a Tuk-Tuk driver in Siem Reap.  When his father died, he returned to his home region for the next three years. During this time he fell in with a bad crowd. He moved out from his family and started getting involved with drugs, He was staying with anyone he could and eating with anyone who would feed him

Finally after three years, a friend persuaded Oddom to return to Siem Reap, but his lack of English made getting work difficult. He slept in a pagoda and got free English lessons where he could. One day when he was 19 or 20, he met another old friend from his previous time in Siem Reap, Yothin Long, the son of Sedtha Long. Sedtha agreed to let Oddom move into the BFT house and to study at the BFT Centre school. 

He studied at the school for around 3 years, and worked as a BFT volunteer. His first job was as a project coordinator and, after a couple of years he moved on to manage the Nutrition and Health Development program.

He kept in touch with his family, and after a while, they too moved to Siem Reap and Oddom once again lived with his family. His mother was able to get a job and sister started classes at BFT to restart her education. 

Oddom finished his high school and now studies with Build Bright University. He has moved on to being the Project Manager at BFT coordinating all the works in all the various villages.

In 2016, Oddom was selected to travel to Sydney to attend the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award),  a 7 day residential leadership seminar for young aspiring leaders to exercise their leadership potential.

Considering where he was a few years ago, with prison or death being the likely consequence, he now has a very bright future ahead.