Mrs. Chamnan is a 42-year-old widow, living with AIDS. Prior to that, her husband was seriously ill and all her small assets were sold to cover his medical treatment. Unfortunately, he died in 1998 and left her behind with one daughter, one year later their daughter died too. Since then, living conditions of her family became deteriorated without profitable business and sufficient food to survive. She left her home to live and work in Poy Pet district and Banteaymean chey province.
In 2004, being sick and very weak, Chamnan decided to come back to her homeland and to be tested for HIV. As she was diagnosed as being HIV-positive, her family was selected as a part of SCC’s target group in Ekphom district of Battambang province. SCC’s intervention aimed to alleviate suffering of its beneficiaries through the provision of participation, non-discrimination, human rights and gender equality, physical and practical support, HIV/AIDS, anti-stigma, gender and human rights education. Chamnan has received SCC support services such as regular home base care, Buddhist counseling, meditation instructions, referral to healthcare service and monthly WFP food Aids. Moreover her business grows. For now she is able to earn income by sewing after she has received 150 USD a start-up capital.
As the above-mentioned situation changed positively, Chamnan has secured food for living, she mentioned that, “the villagers always invite me to attend ceremonies and wedding receptions. My business keeps me very busy, but it brings in income every day. Even though, those activities keep me busy, my health is largely stable”.
Thank you for your generous support of our project. Rather than giving you just the numbers of women taking part in our Empowering HIV+ Women in Cambodia to Start a Business, we would like to share stories of women whose lives have been transformed through participating in our sewing program.
Meas Rotha, who lives in Preakmaha tep Village, Svaypor commune Battambang, district Battambang Province, is 21 year old. Living with her 4 siblings, she is the youngest daughter in her family.
In 2004 Rotha dropped out Primary School in 5th grade because her family impoverished. From day to day she did not have enough food to eat, which made her give up on school. After she stopped to study, she wanted to earn money to help her family by selling vegetables, sweets and others. Due to lack of necessary skills to find a job, she asked someone to train her in Samangka (make up), but nothing changed and she stayed unemployed. Then she heard on the radio about SCC choosing girls to learn in Sewing Vocational Training Centre.
After visiting Wat Norea and taking a look at the program, Rotha was very happy and motivated to get trained in sewing. Her wish was to become a tailor someday, so she asked to attend the program.
That is how Rotha joined the sewing and tailoring program as a new participant at SCC-F2F Community Centre. Thinking about her story and the situation of her family saddens her. Even though she tries to hide this unhappiness by smiling, it is still hard for her to talk about all this in more detail.
While from Monday to Friday she stays at SCC’s Centre, she works outside on Sunday and Saturday for getting income. By sewing and tailoring, she can earn 2.25 dollars per garment.
"Before joining this sewing training, my life was so difficult. I became so desperate, because I could not get any money. Even though I am very poor, getting the chance to learn how to sew at this Community Centre changes my live. I want to gain enough professional skills to earn money on my own, so I can support my family and myself.”
Some day, when Rotha improved her sewing skills furthermore, she would like to start her own business. Rotha would like to express her sincere thanks and gratefulness to all the individual donors and SCC related donating organizations that have helped her in getting a new perspective for her future.
Thank you for your generous support of our project. Rather than give you just the numbers of women taking part in our sewing class, we would like to share the stories of women whose lives have been transformed through participating in our sewing program.
Mrs. Yin Phalla is a 52 years old HIV positive woman who lives in a small village with the name Kompongsambour. She began to study sewing in SCC’s program one year ago. After finishing the 12 month course, she decided to use her skill for earning income in her community. She sewed clothes professionally and sold them to the people in her village successfully.
“I am thankful to SCC for giving me this opportunity,” she said.
Now she has a daily income from sewing and tailoring. She can earn 3.25 dollars per day while her family’s expenditures are 2.50 dollars every day. Thus she can save more than 270 dollars in one year which is a big help for her family. In the future she wants to open a shop at the local market of her community to sell her clothes to a larger number of customers.
“Before I joined SCC’s sewing program, my family faced discrimination by community members, but now everybody respects and encourages us. Finally I am very very happy to live with dignity and hope.”
Van Chay Sreynich is 19 years old and lives in the Sdeyloeu Village of Battambang Province. Having one older brother, she is the youngest daughter in her family.
Sreynich abandoned High School during her 10th grade in 2012 because her family became impoverished. After quitting studying, she wanted to earn money to help her family, but did not find a job due to her lack of professional skills.
“I was nearly desperate, but my close friend Hov Dalin told me about the vocational centre of SCC. I decided at least to have a look at it.”
When she came to visit Wat Norea, she experienced the program which taught the young girls about sewing skills. She was very excited and wanted to join the other women, so she asked SCC staff for their permission to attend that program.
At this point Sreynich became a new participant in the sewing and tailoring program at the SCC - Face2Face Community Centre. Her infectious smile and laugh dissemble her family's tragic story, which happened when she was just nine years old.
Her father Kol Bunty and her Mother Vy Savait got divorced at that time. Soon after, her father married a new wife and moved to another district while her mother married a new husband and moved to another village within the same commune. Neither of them ever cared nor looked after her at all, “in fact they forced me and my brother to live with our grandmother” Sreynich stated.
"Before joining this sewing training, my life was so difficult because every day I became desperate about how I could get the money for learning sewing. I am very poor, but now I am very happy, because I get the chance to learn how to sew at this Community Centre. I want to gain enough professional skills to earn money on my own, so I can support my mother.”
Sreynich wishes to open a sewing business for selling clothes if she will have the ability to do some day. Sreynich would like to express her sincere thanks and gratefulness to all the individual donors and SCC related donating organizations that have helped her in getting a new perspective for her future.
Srey Bunna is a 25 year old woman who lives in Takok Village in Battambang Province. She has 7 brothers and sisters, Srey Bunna is the fourth daughter in her family.
Srey left High School during her 11th grade in 2008 because her family was in poverty. She had to move to Malaysia in order to earn income that would help support her family in Cambodia.
After she returned from Malaysia in 2012 to her homeland, she heard of a program that teaches young girls sewing skill. She was very interested and wanted to learn sewing very much, so she visited SCC to ask for the opportunity to participate in the program and become a tailor.
Srey Bunna is a new participant in the sewing and tailoring program at SCC-F2F Community Centre. But her contagious laughter and smile hide her family's tragic story: When she was just seven years old, her father divorced her mother and later passed away suddenly.
Srey Bunna told us that she always wanted to learn sewing and tailoring when she was young but could never afford to pay for it.
"Before joining this program, life was difficult because I’ve desperately but unsuccessfully tried to scrape together enough money for sewing training," said Srey Bunna. “I am still very poor, but now I am happy because I have the chance to learn how to sew at SCC-F2F Community Centre. For the future I hope to gain enough professional skills for earning money on my own, so I’ll be able to help my mother.”
Srey Bunna’s biggest wish is to open a sewing business and sell clothes if she will have the opportunity someday. She would like to express her deepest thanks to all the individual donors and SCC related donating organizations, which have helped her in begin a new and better life
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