Somchit and Sue
The second scholar that we'd like to introduce you to in our series about the inspiring, hard working, determined and dedicated students that we get to work with in Luang Prabang is Somchit.
Somchit is a Khmu student, who is from a rural village approximately 3 hours away from Luang Prabang city. His family are agricultural farmers. In 2009, Somchit moved to Luang Prabang to become a Novice Monk. In addition to spiritual reasons, young men commonly join the temple seeking food, shelter, greater access to education and the future employment opportunities this may bring.
Novice Somchit began studying English with GVI in 2009. He studied English and maths in GVI Laos’ free English classes for Novice monks made possible through donations to The GVI Trust and GVI Laos’ partnership with a local library. During this time, he was also sponsored by The GVI Trust to attend ARDA, a prestigious English language Centre.
Novice Somchit was a charismatic, dedicated student who consistently attended classes where he was active and engaged, soaking up all the knowledge he could. He also regularly practised his English by taking GVI volunteers on tours of his Temple and sharing the chanting experience with them.
Novice Somchit decided that when he left the temple, he wished to study abroad. With the help of several GVI volunteers and staff, including GVI Laos’ Education Coordinator Sue, Novice Somchit had individual tutoring, essay writing, application and interview tutoring as part of our free classes funded by The GVI Trust. Novice Somchit worked day and night to prepare for the gruelling application and interview process associated with this. After 2 essays, a creative writing piece and an interview in Vientiane, Novice Somchit was offered a scholarship to study in Canada.
In July 2015, Novice Somchit disrobed and travelled to Canada to begin his studies. This summer (July 2016) Somchit returned to Luang Prabang during his holidays and chose to volunteer his time with GVI Laos to give back and to pass on his skills to the next generation of students. During his time with us, Somchit translated in our classes, taught volunteers Lao, gave temple tours and used his passion for photography and filmography to direct and produce a short film about GVI Laos’ summer program in 2016.
While Somchit has now returned to continue his studies in Canada, he remains a special part of the GVI Laos Family and we look forward to welcoming him back next summer.
Thank you for your support and donations, we are humbled to have been able to help Somchit on his journey!