A Fund Isaan alumni: part twenty five: Pung

Pung was born in 1993 in a poor family in Prasat, Surin. There were six people in Pung’s family. They all lived together in a small wooden house. Her grandmother was very old. Pung had one older sister and one younger sister who were both still studied in the nearby schools. Her parents were farmers and owned only 2 rai (3200 square meter) of rice fields, which was too little to run a profitable farm. They sometimes rent other people’s field to grow rice.  Pung’s family didn’t own any cattle.

Fund Isaan granted Pung a scholarship in 2008, she was 16 at that time. Pung was about to finish her third year of high school at Baan Thanong (Ratraswitthaya) School. Although she lived in a very poor conditions she was an excellent student, she graduated with a grade of 93%. Also her parents understood how important a good education was. They supported her to the best of their abilities.

Pung wanted to become a teacher or a nurse in the future. She was very nervous when Fund Isaan visited her family for the first time. She also received a portable computer to use at school. Pung was very happy and promised to be a good student and help her parents when she grew up.

Pung continued another three years of high school at Prasat Witthayakarn School. As well as her older sister who started her study at Surindra Rajabhat University in Surin. In practice the girls shared the scholarship. In the meantime, her mother tried to make some extra money by working as a housemaid. She received about 3,000 baht per month. Her father worked very hard to support his family. If he had no work on the field he would work as a day laborer. Despite their difficult financial situation, Pung’sparents still believed that a good education was the best way out of poverty.

Pung eventually graduated from high school in 2012 and got accepted at Surindra Rajabhat University later that same year. Pung chose to study Public Health because she wanted to become a nurse or a social worker. She finished her first year with an impressive 82%. English was her favorite subject and she seemed to do well with all other subjects.

While studying, Pung stayed at a dormitory together with her older sister and to earn some extra money, she worked as a cleaning lady every Friday afternoon and Saturday. She used her scholarship to pay for her tuition fee, school materials and transportation and used her extra money to pay for her daily expenses. During summer time, she worked full time as a cashier at Star Book Center in Prasat district and made about 200 Baht per day.

Pung was very happy at university. She enjoyed her classes and activities at the university. She joined a Thai boxing club and even participated in the competition.

In March, 2014, Pung started a long term internship at a local hospital. After her internship, she said she had learned a lot about the concept of “service minded”. During that time she met her current boyfriend.

Pung graduated with a Bachelor of Science, program in Health Science in 2016. She was first offered a job at a well-known private hospital called Phayathai 2 Hospital. Unfortunately, it was in Bangkok and Pung cound not afford the high cost of living so she rejected the opportunity. Pung is now working as a receptionist at Sarenna Resort and Spa located in Muang Surin district, close to home. She receives about 15,000 baht every month, which is a very respectable salary for a fresher. She is very happy with her current job because it pays well and it is very close to her house in Prasat.

Finally, Pung and her family would like to take this opportunity to thank her generous sponsor, Nancy and family for always being so kind and supportive. Pung and her family would never have reached these milestones in their lives without the continued support from them. Pung promises to be a good person and take good care of her family.  

Having worked with Pung for almost 10 years we have no doubt she will do exactly that.