Help a young woman escape Cambodia's sex industry

by Lotus Outreach
Sep 15, 2011

Getting by with a little help from her friends

NFE students at a sewing skills class in Svey Pak
NFE students at a sewing skills class in Svey Pak

The totals are in for the first half of 2011! We currently have 108 students in our Non-Formal Education classes, with 94 women, 80 former or current entertainment workers and 31 vulnerable children. The story of 22 year-old Korn Srey Neat demonstrates the type of outcome we hope to achieve for each and every one of them.

Born in Tra village of Prey Veng province, Srey Neat is the second of five children. Her mother, a widower, is employed as a cleaner in a factory but makes only a meager wage. Srey Neat quit her garment factory job in January 2010 to earn more money at Srey Sros karaoke bar, where she began attending our NFE class.

Srey Neat proved to be a strong student, and passed the final exam in January of 2011. In March, she attended sewing training with our local partner, Khemara, where she learned about tailoring training opportunity another NGO that specializes in rehabilitating victims of trafficking. LO and Khemara collaborate with AFESIP to refer NFE students to tailoring apprenticeships, and Srey Neat showed keen interest in the program. 

She set her sights on entering the course in June, yet she would need money to live on during her apprenticeship at AFESIP’s training center. To save enough would require a great deal of discipline and sacrifice, and she questioned whether this was the right move for her. She called upon her friends and clients for advice.

Almost universally they encouraged her to take the opportunity, reminding her that karaoke work held no future or promise. Quite the opposite, they said, it was an unhealthy atmosphere where she was and always would be expected to drink in excess while entertaining karaoke clients.

So Srey Neat opened a bank account and spent the first half of this year saving her money, even convincing two of her younger friends to do the same. With the support of peers, she felt confident enough to leave Srey Sros.

Unfortunately her boss, the owner of the karaoke bar, held a different point of view. He forbid her to go and told NFE program staff not to help his employees find other work. It took some doing, but our officers discretely continued to help Srey Neat get accepted to the AFESIP apprenticeship.

That’s where she is today, thanks to the encouragement and faith of so many people – including you! The NFE program would not be possible without the support of our donors, so on behalf of Srey Neat and 108 new students just like her, we thank you sincerely. 

Beauty day school at Srey Sros karaoke bar
Beauty day school at Srey Sros karaoke bar
Our local partner Khemara
Our local partner Khemara's dedicated staff



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Organization Information

Lotus Outreach

Location: Ojai, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Alexandra Land
Sacramento, CA Cambodia

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