Co-Director, Svay Chek
Keo Koeung was born in a rural area in Preah Ko village, Svay Chek commune, Angkor Thom district, Siem Reap province. He was born into a farming family, with four siblings. After his mother passed away, his father married another woman who had five children. In all, he has nine siblings—7 brothers, and one sister.
As a farm boy, Koeung often helped with farming, transporting firewood to sell, traveling by bicycle for many miles every day. When he was young, one of his goals was to become a teacher. In 1993, Koeung went to live and study in a pagoda with the monks. Koeung continued his studies until he finished the 12th grade. Due to living conditions and not being able to pursue higher education, he continued to study English at the pagoda, hoping it would help him secure a good job. In 2005, Koeung got a job at a hotel in Siem Reap. Koeung was married in 2008 to his wife, Meng Sarom, and they now have three children, Keo Yuri, Keo Jingjing and Keo Vithy.
Loving teaching and seeing the lack of education in his community, Koeung opened a free English language school for children in 2017 with the participation of his friend Souey Nhahn. These two pooled what little money they could to find a teacher to help teach at their school when they were able to.
His favorite activity is designing photos and cutting videos, and it is his favorite hobby. What he wants everyone to know is his honesty and seriousness, and is known to say “Walk the talk!” These are the things he always exemplifies to the younger generation as well as everyone who knows him.
Koeung understands that only knowledge can help make life better. He knows that is is because of his educational experience, as well as his understanding of society and work, he has become well informed, more prosperous and that this has transformed his life and the lives of his family
Today, Koeung is still an English teacher in his village, and he is very happy to have the support of Cultivating Cambodia, with the support of materials, classrooms and libraries, as well as some support they receive from other. He is happy to be part of the team.