When Deva was a toddler, her father was arrested and sentenced to a decades long prison sentence prison, shattering her family. Overnight, her mother became the sole breadwinner of the family and while she worked multiple jobs, they struggled financially. Where Deva lives in Cambodia, public school is not provided free of charge and her family simply did not have enough money for food, school fees and school materials. Deva was faced with the growing possibility of having to drop out of school to help support her family and leaving behind her dream of becoming a doctor.
In 2014, a staff member from Prison Fellowship Cambodia received Deva's information while visiting her father's prison. The caseworker met Deva and her mother to discuss if she wanted to enroll in The Child’s Journey®, a sponsorship program for children of prisoners that provides a dedicated caseworker to ensure a safe home, nutritious food, medical care, assistance with school fees and supplies, and access to Scripture resources, mentoring and emotional care to heal trauma.
Deva was overjoyed when she was told that they would provide her with the support to continue her studies. The family also received supplemental food support, health checks and monitoring, a Bible in their heart language of Khmer and encouragement from her sponsor. Last year, Deva was able to graduate from the program and she was able to secure a spot in university, where she is currently studying medicine.