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.
The sewing program was started in Battambang Province with the contributive supports from Face to Face AIDS Project and Global Giving. The immediate goal of the program was to nurture poverty and HIV-infected or affected and vulnerable women to be able to gain quality technical skills in sewing so that they might be able to support themselves and their families. The SCC-Battambang vocational sewing program gave young women from poor families both pride in their own work as well as hope for a more prosperous future.
Ms. Doung aged 28, Ms. Roeuth aged 24 and Ms. Yib aged 24 joined the sewing and tailoring program with SCC Battambang after visiting Wat Norea Community Centre and taking a look at the program. With the Program they had to stay and learn from Monday to Friday at SCC’s Centre, they also worked outside on Sunday and Saturday for getting income during their learning at SCC.
With their hard work and learning at SCC’s Centre, they improved their sewing skills and would like to start their own business at their communities. At the end of 2013 they decided to leave SCC’s Centre and then later three of them requested the sewing machines from SCC. SCC suggested them to set up as a group for supporting each other and they later accepted it.
SCC decided to provide them the interest-free loans to purchase the sewing machines and the pong machine. Now they have a daily income from these sewing and tailoring. They can earn around 3.25 dollars each per day. They can save the money which is a big help for their family.
Thank you for being part of the SCC family and supporting our work to combat the economic hardships that HIV imposes on women and their families in rural Cambodia.
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.
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.
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