Walking down a street in Cambodia’s capital city, Phymean Noun finished her lunch and tossed her chicken bones into the trash. Seconds later, she watched in horror as several children fought to reclaim her discarded food.
Phymean Noun is helping give Cambodian children a chance at a better life. Noun stopped to talk with them. After hearing their stories of hardship, she knew she couldn’t ignore their plight.
“I must do something to help these children get an education,” she recalls thinking. “Even though they don’t have money and live on the sidewalk, they deserve to go to school.”
Six years after that incident, Noun is helping many of Phnom Penh’s poorest children do just that.
Within weeks, she quit her job and started an organization to give underprivileged children an education. Noun spent $30,000 of her own money to get her first school off the ground. In 2004, her organization — the People Improvement Organization (PIO) — opened a school at Phnom Penh’s largest municipal trash dump, where children are a large source of labor.
Information gathered from CNN.com, CNN Heroes Special Report.
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