Mara Pho first joined where There Be Dragons in 2006 as a Khmer Language Teacher and a homestay coordinator in his home village of Prek PDao in Kandal Province. As a teenager, he left home to pursue university studies in Phnom Penh, a journey that led him to manage restaurants, work for transnational real estate companies, and teach at the International School of Phnom Penh. Having fostered a love for education, Mara moved to Siem Reap where he partnered with an NGO focused on rural education and development studies. It was here that he crossed path with a group of Where There Be Dragons students and joined the family.
Since 2006, Mara has led a number of semester, summer, educator, and partnership courses. He has been working in the field of education for over a decade, a career inspired by his mother who has devoted most of her life teaching students during the Khmer Rouge regime. Mara’s professional interest has been to promote the overall quality of public education in Cambodia. Having observed an obvious mismatch between graduate skills and available careers, he joined the Cambodian Ministry of Education in 2013 to work on vocational education and training. Mara currently works to promote technical high schools in Cambodia and lives happily in Phnom Penh with his wife and two daughters. He has received a Bachelors Degree in Education (B.Ed., TEFL) from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and a Masters in Education from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.