SREY NAT’S STORY
I‘m 18 years old, and live with my mother and younger brother. I went to a Chinese school until 8th grade (just before high school) so I speak Chinese fluently. But when my parents got divorced, I was very sad, and I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I couldn’t stand being home either, so I started to go out just wandering around instead of going to school.
Then I heard about the Banteay Srey Project through one of the trainees, Sokun. I really wanted to learn English, so I decided to seize the opportunity. I knew adding English to my language skills would help me to find a good job more easily.
I started working here in December 2017, and at first it was difficult, as I went from doing almost nothing to being busy all day every day with lots of new things to learn. I was quite tired to begin with but soon I got used to the pace of work.
Now I can cook, make smoothies, do manicures, pedicures, hand and foot massages, and braid hair.
And since I like to draw and am good at it, I also do henna tattoos. I’m really glad that I can put my drawing skills to good use while working.
I like to keep myself busy and learn as much as possible. So there are no tasks that I don’t enjoy doing. I really like drawing and I considered becoming a tattoo artist, but I’m not sure I could make a living out of it, so I want to become fluent in English because then I’ll be able to work in an office as a Chinese and English translator. I’ve only been to a couple of villages outside of Kampot, and I would love to travel to other cities, and maybe other countries too, but it’s too expensive just now.
I enjoy working at Banteay Srey spa right now as I can help my family. I give my entire income to my mother, and only ask her for some money when I need something. She’s happy I get to learn new skills that will allow me to get a job with a good salary, as she wants me to be able to support myself and not depend on a husband. She actually doesn’t want me to get married too young, it’s more important to her that I get a good education first and find a good job. My mother had a hard time moving on, but now she’s better. She owns her own business. She goes to small villages to pick up nice bamboo baskets, and then sells them at the market. My father only sends some money on religious holidays, but financially we’re doing ok. My parents getting divorced and my mum’s struggle since mean that I’m not really that interested in getting married just now.
I’m happier since I joined the Banteay Srey Project. I’ve made new friends here, it’s like a second family. I like working with the volunteers and meeting new people.
I believe even when we’re tired or sad, we should always try to smile. And you will indeed always find me smiling at Banteay Srey Spa.
I give my entire income to my mother, and only ask her some money when I need something. She’s happy I get to learn new skills that will allow me to get a job with a good salary, as she wants me to be able to support myself and not depend on a husband.