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To Save Money, Farmer Makes Beautiful Handmade Backpack for Son

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  • The bag was made of raffia strings, with black straps and buckle as lock.
  • The child’s teacher was so impressed by the father’s creativity that she posted pictures of the bag online.
  • Strangers extended help for the kid after the photos went viral.

Cambodia is one of those countries where a lot of people can hardly send their children to school. Parents do whatever they can just to give the gift of education to their kids.

School supplies can be expensive for the simple folk in Cambodia. In order to save precious money, an impoverished farmer created a backpack for his son.

Teacher Sophous Suon noticed the farmer’s son, five-year-old Keng, sporting a striking blue native bag.
The woven backpack was made of raffia strings. Black straps were attached to the back and buckle was secured to the front of the bag.

She couldn’t help but admire the creativity behind the blue bag, so she took pictures and posted them online.

“People said that it’s heartwarming, touching, cool and creative father, love this bag,” she said.

Suon disclosed that in their place, a school bag usually has a price tag of 3000 riels or $7. It may sound like a small amount to most people, but to those with limited means like Keng and his family, it’s cash they can spend on food and other items for survival.

The pictures went viral and soon Suon was receiving messages from strangers extending help to the kid.

“Few foreigners asked for contact to send him the bags and my school leader already send his contact for them,” she shared.

According to estimates from the 2018 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), 35 percent of Cambodians are still living in poverty, with the rural population making up the majority.

Compared to 7% in urban areas, 40 percent of the rural population is living in multidimensional poverty.

The data also revealed that children and adolescents under the age of 19 in Cambodia are poorer in general and make up around 45 percent of the total number of poor people.

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