Theay Pet, 16 years old, is from one of the 20 ethnic groups that live in Cambodia. Her forest-based community called “Kavet” lives in isolated mountainous areas in northeastern Cambodia. Most of these indigenous families make a living as subsistence farmers and children are required to help with the work on farms.
“I could not read and write because I did not have the opportunity to go to school. We stayed at our Chamkar farm most of the time which is far from the village,” she explains. Without basic life skills, Pet found it difficult to sell agricultural products produced by her family. She was shy and she could not read numbers or do maths. It was too easy for dishonest clients to cheat her.