Bopha felt closely tied to her father, and always tried to care for him, even though he did not treat her well.
Bopha’s mother abandoned the family when the children were small. Their father brought them to Phnom Penh to live with her aunt, but her father, who is mentally ill, was rough and abusive, so her aunt kicked them out. They lived on the street, working as beggars and scavengers, and sometimes took care of people’s shoes at the pagoda. Their father would talk loudly to himself about politics and his children, and get into fights. Bopha was scared of him, because he would beat them and swear at them, but she still wanted to take care of him. The Mith Samlanh staff asked her aunt if the children could go to study at the centre. Bopha’s father claimed the children had been taken away from him by force, and one day he beat the security guard. He complained to Court, but when the Court asked them where they wanted to live, the children chose Mith Samlanh. When Bopha was 11, her father had a job and a rented house. Bopha lived with him for two years, until it became impossible. She went back to Mith Samlanh, but asked for permission to visit her father once a week to help him with his job. After he assaulted her, they refused to allow her to go anymore. Now Bopha lives at Mith Samlanh and is studying in Grade 5. She studies arts, such as drawing, dancing and singing, and likes reading books, watching TV and helping with the cooking. She says, In future, I would like to work as a teacher for Mith Samlanh and work for a company, perhaps as an accountant.