Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

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Sometimes we all feel that life is unfair. That the rich keep getting richer, while the poor are becoming poorer.

Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

Sometimes we all feel that life is unfair. That the rich keep getting richer, while the poor are becoming poorer. We tend to look at success stories, yet are we so sure that money is always the key to success?


Well, there are many exceptions. And some rather shocking ones! Take, for example, the case of Sophy Ron, a 21-year-old woman from Cambodia who had to spend eight whole years of her childhood surrounded by garbage and toxic fumes, living in a notorious rubbish dump, also known as "Smoky Mountain."


Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

Who would believe that this poor girl would make it? Well, Sophie is a student at the University of Melbourne, Australia, with a dream to run her own business in the future. And we really hope she does!


Sophie used to live in the Steng Meanchey landfill in Phnom Penh, a symbol of Cambodia's poverty. She, among other people, used to try to find edible food and recyclable to sell in the garbage. Now, that's what it's called unfair in life, isn't it? Imagine that on a good day, Ron would earn 50 cents that were enough to buy a few cups of rice for her parents and six siblings. She didn't even realize how bad the conditions were; sleeping, eating, and doing literary everything surrounded by garbage, she couldn't even notice the smell! It was her home.


Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

According to Sophie, her family had no other choice, as they had overwhelming debts. The poor girl even missed out on a chance to study, as the local school only offered a place to one kid per family. But she was determined to learn: she followed her elder sister to school and looked through the classroom windows to learn what she could.


And if the story isn't incredible enough yet... Sophie's life was about to change. One day, she met Scott Neeson, the founder of the Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF). He asked her whether she wanted to study English, but back then, she didn't even know what English was. But she was happy. Happy because the stranger had promised he would take her to school. And so he did.


Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

Neeson's charity that was featured by the ABC's Australian Story in 2012 has provided thousands of people in Cambodia with education, housing, and medical treatment since its launch back in 2004.


The poverty rate in the country dropped from 53% in 2004 to 13.5% in 2014, according to UNICEF, but living conditions for children remain poor.


In a 2018 report, the UN agency said that a third of children under four years old were stunted, and about half aged between five and 14 didn't have access to proper toilets.


Sophie said she vividly remembered her first day of school when she was 11 when, for the first time, she saw groups of kids laughing and playing.


She was also a fast learner and an excellent communicator; by 2016, she was on stage, presenting a Tedx Talk in English.


Through CCF, Ron was able to secure a scholarship to complete a foundation year of study at the University of Melbourne's Trinity College. She graduated in June 2019, paving the way for her to start a Bachelor of Arts degree.


While Sophie loves life in Melbourne (apart from the cold), she hopes to eventually return home to start her own business and continue working with CCF.


Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible

Image credits: CCF, Getty Images

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Thinking Humanity: Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible
Girl Raised In Garbage Dumps Earned A Scholarship From The University Of Melbourne Proving That Anything Is Possible
Sometimes we all feel that life is unfair. That the rich keep getting richer, while the poor are becoming poorer.
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