I am over the moon to announce that for the second year in a row, Human and Hope Association has taken out the World Relief Australia Unsung Hero award, this time for the incredible work of our Director, San Thai.

Understanding the importance of education to break free of poverty, Thai was a student in high school when he founded Human and Hope Association with his friends in 2011.

For me, I had to work so hard, I worked all day and half night. From 7 until 5 pm I was at high school and I {voluntarily} taught English from 6 till 7 and then I went for tuk-tuk driving from 7:30 till 11:30 at night.

Thai graduated high school in 2013 and became HHA’s community liaison. In 2015, Thai became the Director of HHA, and lead its transition to be entirely Khmer operated. Working six days a week, Thai always works extra hours to ensure HHA is financially sustainable and achieving its outcomes to alleviate poverty. Over the years, he has developed the respect of the local community and is a trusted figure. He has even helped men in the community to stop drinking and performing acts of domestic violence, which is no easy feat.

The first staff member to graduate from the HHA university scholarship program, Thai is pursuing a Master’s degree at his own cost, continuing to champion for education in Cambodia.

Being a director of HHA is important because I play an important role to make sure that HHA’s goal is being achieved. We are great role models for our Cambodian youth to understand the importance of their participation to help their own society under our local staff’s leadership.”

Well done, Thai. I am so proud to have seen your development over the past few years and am confident that Human and Hope Association is thriving under your leadership.