By KIT GILLET
Published: June 18, 2013
The New York Time
PHNOM PENH — Soeurng Sambath grew up as the youngest of seven siblings in an impoverished farming village at a time when Cambodia was emerging from decades of civil war, genocide and bloodshed.
During Khmer Rouge rule from 1975 to 1979, an estimated 1.7 million people were killed or died from starvation, disease or hard labor, including many among the educated classes. Years of conflict followed, even after the Khmer Rouge was removed from power.
“People in Cambodia in the 1970s and ’80s lived in darkness,” said Mr. Soeurng, 22. “For my generation, we have a chance to push our country forward.”
Mr. Soeurng, who expects to graduate this summer from a pioneering social work program, hopes to be a part of that change.