Mr. HOK Sothik, Director of SIPAR, is appointed Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters

On 26th January 2017, Mr. Jean-Claude POIMBOEUF, Ambassador of France to Cambodia, appointed Mr. HOK Sothik, Director of SIPAR (Soutien à l’Initiative Privée pour l'Aide à la Reconstruction des pays du sud-est asiatique – Support to private initiative towards helping the reconstruction of Southeast Asia), Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. The ceremony took place at the Ambassador’s residence in the presence of Dr. HANG CHUON Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.

The Ambassador highlighted Mr. HOK Sothik’s remarkable career which has been dedicated to children’s education and the fight against illiteracy.

Born in 1967, Mr. HOK Sothik’s childhood was marked by civil war and the Khmer rouge regime. Working alongside Marie Desplechin and the illustrator Tian, he’s recorded his childhood memories in a book titled “Sothik” that was published in 2016.

He joined SIPAR in 1995 as a communication and pedagogy counsellor. He then worked as a coordinator of the SIPAR program for libraries. As such, he’s trained more than 2500 librarians across the country before going on to head the association in 2004. He’s also created a publishing house for books in Khmer which are chiefly aimed at young Cambodians. Alongside his team at SIPAR, he’s contributed to making the organization a key player in the field of education and the promotion of reading.

He’s also devoted personal time to local associations whose aim it is to promote reading as well as access to education for all.

His appointment as Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, an Order created in 1957 to “reward individuals who’ve set themselves apart through their creations in the artistic and literary field or through their contribution to the promotion of Arts and Letters in France and in the world”, symbolizes France’s appreciation and acknowledgement of his tremendous achievements.

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