Teacher Sophia shares her outstanding journey through GDI-AHHA Education

From student to teacher to management, Teacher Sophia is one of Cambodia’s very first success stories.

We got the chance to talk with her personally about her inspirational journey from the beginning… 

Sophia’s StoryTeacher Sophia Cambodia

1. What is your name? 

My name is Uk Vun (Sophia).

2. What is your position in the organisation? 

I’m a member of the Educational Board and I’m also teaching English and Science of Life.

3. How did you come to GDI-AHHA Education?

I used to work in a factory in Phnom Penh and In 2007 I came to AHHA through a friend from Kampong Cham.

4. What is your biggest achievement here?

My biggest achievements are English skills, Management skills, and Public Relations.

5. Have you worked in other countries?

I have worked in Cambodia, East Timor, and Malaysia.

6. Why do you think you deserve to be in this position?

I deserve to be in this position because of my hard work and experience.

7. What are the most challenging things that you faced during your time with GDI-AHHA Education?

In the beginning I found it hard to adopt to the schedule in AHHA. The other challenges are convincing underprivileged people about the importance of education and having self-motivation, especially with lack of resources as we are providing free education.

8Why did you decide to become a teacher?

After I completed the AHHA program in two years, I decided to be a volunteer and share my knowledge with poor people.

9. What are your favourite subjects to teach?

My favourite subject is Science of Life because it helps me improve my self-awareness, and also my ability to explain to students and help them improve their lives.

10. What do you like most about teaching as a career?

I love to teach because I do it with my heart. I came from the village and I had the chance to change my life and I want to help people understand that they have the power and ability to change their lives.


Sophia is actually one of the outstanding volunteers among their generation.

She has produced massive results in the province and was actually the first one from her generation to sit on the management board.

She is an amazing teacher, wife and a mother.

Naoko Ebara, AHHA Education Thailand


Sophia’s Students

11. What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today?

The challenges that students face today are that they don’t believe in themselves and also feel inferior.

12. What are the qualities of an excellent teacher?

The qualities of an excellent teacher are patience, warmness, care, love, kindness, and calmness.

13. How do you encourage students who give less participation in class?

I encourage participation in class by asking students individually about their reasons, understanding their feelings, and having the patience to repeat the lesson as many times as I can until all the students understand.

14. How do you provide support for students with exceptional ability?

We usually provide support to students with exceptional abilities by Scholarships, extra attention, and more time to improve themselves.

Sophia’s Inspirations

15. Why is Big Teacher an inspiration to you?

Big Teacher is an inspiration to me because he has the ability to change people’s minds from understanding nothing to understanding as many things as they can. He has the power to empower people and he always has new ideas, new techniques for teaching and new understanding of our work.

16. What did you learn from him?

I learned a lot from Big Teacher like I should always try to reach my full potential, soft skills, hard skills. The most important thing that I learned from him was to get my life organized and have a life plan.

17. Why do you think he deserve to win Global Teacher Prize?

I think he deserves to win the Global Teacher Prize because:-

  1. He helped millions of people and he has the passion to keep on helping more.
  2. He opened new horizons to understand people and provide opportunities to help more by going to different countries and experiencing different cultures.
  3. After all his achievements and the many years he spent on teaching people and loving them, he is still a simple and humble man; he eats from what we eat and he drinks from what we drink. He flies with the rich and dines with the poor.

18. What do you think about Big Teacher’s work?

I think Big Teacher’s work is great and unique as he provided a different education.

19. So Big Teacher has made a difference in life, how will you plan to make a difference for the future?

I will keep on following his steps and spend time to educate myself and more time to teach others.

20. What are your future plans for AHHA-Education?

I would like to have the opportunity to teach as many people as possible in different countries.

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