OoO was born and raised in Thailand and is currently 16 years old. He started receiving a Kwah Dao scholarship in 2013 and is enrolled in Grade 11.

O’s parents split up 5 years ago which had a huge impact on his living situation and education. His father quickly remarried and moved in with his new wife and her daughter. O tried living with them but didn’t have a good relationship with his stepmother, who reportedly always put her daughter first. His father drinks heavily and gave O very little emotional support. He moved in with his mother but it grew extremely difficult as her lifestyle and financial situation became very unstable after the split. KD staff heard reports that O would be thrown out of their one-room hut when his mother had male visitors. After a year of struggling to fit in to either one of his parents’ homes and feeling lonely and uncared for, O went to live with his older sister. He found more stability with her, but his sister had her own family to support as and could not afford to keep him in school beyond Grade 9. To avoid dropping out of school or moving back in with his father and stepmother, O applied for a KD scholarship and was accepted into our program. He formerly attended the KD after-school program and was always kind and helpful, and the first to volunteer his help to KD staff.

Since May 2013 he has been attending a vocational school at which he will continue his high school education while specialising in electronics. He has been very happy in his course so far, and this together with the extra time he now has to dedicate to his studies has already been reflected in his grades which have jumped from a 2.5 average up to 3.28 in his first term at his new school. He has also received glowing reports from his teachers, who have described him as diligent and hard-working. Despite the hardship he has faced so far O is determined to finish school. He wants to gain the skills necessary to be able to support his family and make them proud of him.