Heng* was born in Phnom Penh into a very poor family. He was one of seven children in the family.   His parents died when Heng was 10 years old. He dropped out of school in grade 2.  In 2015, when he was 17 years old, Heng moved to Sihanoukville. By then he was living on the streets, hanging out with a rough crowd, and doing drugs.

It was in 2015 that he met one of M’Lop Tapang’s Drugs Team social workers who helped him receive support at our 24-Hour Drop-In Center. In December 2017, when M’Lop Tapang opened ‘Phteah Romchang’, our drugs and alcohol detox and rehab center, Heng was one of the first clients admitted to the program. He completed the detox and rehab program in six weeks. Following his time in rehab, M’Lop Tapang’s employment officer helped Heng in securing a placement as an apprenticeship as a barber in local barber shop in Sihanoukville. Heng is still in training now and is proving to be a dedicated student, he had stopped using drugs, his health had improved, and he was excited about starting a new chapter his life.

I’m so happy so that M’Lop Tapang gave me a chance to learn my favorite skill and if I completed the training I will be move back to live in my family in Phnom Penh.”

*name and photo changed for confidentiality