The best parents are the ones who go above and beyond to help their children succeed in life.
As Sophous Suon welcomed her students into her classroom on the first day of school in the impoverished country of Cambodia, she was startled to see one little boy carrying a bright blue woven backpack quite unlike anything the other children were using.
Curious, Sophous asked to see the bag and quickly learned that the 5-year-old’s father, a poor farmer, had spent days weaving inexpensive bits of raffia string to create the bag for his son. The child’s old bag had gotten too worn out to use, and with nothing to carry his books and school supplies in the family had to improvise. His dad even salvaged the straps and buckles from the child’s old bag to use on his new custom-made one.
N.Y. Keng, the kindergartner with the impressive bright-blue backpack, told his teacher that his family simply couldn’t afford the 30,000 riels (about 7 U.S. dollars) to purchase a new bag for him to take to school. In the pictures, you can see that conditions in this school are much different than what we enjoy in more developed nations. Many of the students don’t have shoes to wear, much less money for expensive school supplies!
Keng’s father must be used to finding new ways to solve old problems, so he did what he does best and created something out of nothing for his boy.
Sophous was so impressed with the father’s creativity and desire to provide for his son that she shared the backpack on her Facebook page. Soon, people from all over the world were talking about Keng’s backpack!
“People said that it’s heartwarming, touching, cool and creative father, love this bag,” she said.
Soon people from all over were sending the teacher offers to help her students. The best part is that the offers became real-life gifts for the young children.
Since the story went viral back in June, school supplies have been flooding into the small school from all over the globe!
It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are, but stories like this one remind us to never take the “little things” for granted. Keng’s new backpack set him apart on the first day of school because it was handmade with love by a father who wants the best for his child. The love a parent has for their child really is universal.
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