HOF031: Sophal VONN

Sophal was born in Vietnam and moved to Cambodia when she was 4 years old. After the Khmer Rouge siege, she was transferred to a mobile working group. She was tortured and made to starve for ten days for simply picking up a papaya fruit to eat.

Her abuse continued when she attempted to escape, but was captured and forcefully and  removed from her place of hiding then tortured and humiliated. The Vietnamese invasion drove her and her group towards the Thai border. She was ordered to carry bombs back-and-forth from the barracks to the front lines until, with her aunt and cousin, she decided to escape once again, and this time attempt would prove fruitful.

In the refugee camp, she found work as an agent helping to connect lost orphans with their parents and dedicated herself to learning English. On this day, she hopes to continue her education at Algonquin College that has been postponed for nearly two decades after she took some time to raise her children, whom she is greatly proud of.