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■Reporter for Friendship: The first interview in Angkor Wat (2013/04/01)

We have received the first report from Reporters for Friendship who are now visiting Cambodia.

Reporter 1
Socheng (left), Soktran (right) and Kaname

Hi. I am Kaname Goto, one of the Reporters for Friendship in spring 2013. I am visiting Cambodia because I would like to inform children in Japan and the world of the present situations of children in Cambodia.

March 30 (Sat)

On the second day of our stay in Cambodia, we (Suzuka, Socheng, Soktran, Phalla, Sreypheap and me) went to Bayon, Angkor Thom, close to Angkor wat. When you hear the words “Angkor Wat,” they will probably remind you of the face of Kanzeon Bosatsu, which is located in Bayon.

Reporter 2
Gentle face of Bosatsu

Fascinated by the gentle face of Bosatsu, we took many photographs. Everybody was smiling and our laughter echoed there. But we could not keep laughing forever. Suzuka and I started interviewing, which is our mission.

I mainly asked the following three questions.

  ◆ How old are you?  
  ◆ 
When did you come to “House for Youth”? 
  ◆ 
What did you do and where were you before?

I thought about this order so as not to hurt their feelings as much as possible. I also asked further questions after they answered these questions.

We interviewed Soktran first.

Reporter 3
We had an interview at the site.

“How old are you?”
“Nineteen.”
“When did you come to House for Youth?
“I came here three years ago.”
“What do you do every day?”
“I attend a vocational training program.”
“What kind of training?”
“Automobile repairing.”
“You don’t go to school?”
“I quit school about a year ago. I wanted to work to help my parents.” 
“What grade were you in?” 
“9th grade.” 
“Didn’t you care about what your classmates would think of you?” 
“Not at all. There were some who were older than I.” 
“What did you do before you came to House for Youth?” 
“I worked as a fisherman with my father in Thailand.” 
“Why did you come here?” 
“I was caught by the police, so I was temporarily staying in a village near the border and was wondering which facility I should go to.”  
(Soktran was illegally staying in Thailand.) 
“What is your father doing now?”
“He lives in Thailand.”

Then we interviewed Socheng

Reporter 4
Interviewing Soktran and Socheng

“How old are you?” 
“I’m fifteen.” 
“When did you come to House for Youth?” 
“I just came here in January this year.” 
“Is your life here fun?” 
“Yes.” 
“What do you do every day?”
“I go to school, practice taekwondo and watch TV for a while.” 
“What grade are you in?” 
“6th grade.”
“You are older than other students. Do you care about what they think of you? 
“Not at all.”
“That’s amazing. I really think so.”

“What were you doing before you came to House for Youth?” 
“I was living with my aunt as my parents had died.” 
“Were you working?” 
“No, but my aunt told me to take care of her daughter.”
“What did your aunt do?” 
“She worked as a shop staff.” 
“Did you meet her recently?” 
“Yes, I just met her last week.”
“Are you happy to meet her?”
“Sure.” 
“That is my last question. Anything you want to say?” 
“Can I ask you some questions?”
“Of course. What are your questions?” 
“Is this your first time to come to Cambodia?” 
“Yes, it is.” 
“Welcome to Cambodia and nice to meet you.” 
“Nice to meet you, too” 
“How many are there in your family?” 
“Five including me.” 
“OK. That’s it.”

We all went to House for Youth in Battambang after the interview. Some of the energetic young people were playing volleyball there.

Reporter 5
Their room in House for Youth

They have silkworms in a shed to produce Cambodian silk. After that, we went to their private  room. It is a room for four people with two beds: one bed for two people. They posted calculation formulas handwritten on some sheets of paper around their bed. We also went to a shower room. It was located at the back of the main building. Using the stored water there and the body soap and shampoo provided by KnK once a month, they clean their bodies. They can wash their clothes there. With the soap which is also provided by KnK once a month, they wash their own clothes. I saw Soktran’s work clothes hung out to dry. Socheng asked me to play volleyball, but it was time to go and I was sorry to say “Let’s do it tomorrow.” I am glad that I will stay in House for Youth all day long. I am going to talk with them a lot tomorrow, too.

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