SREY NICH

SREY NICH’S STORY

When I was born my father was in the army and rarely at home. He didn’t earn enough for my parents to care for me. I was constantly sick and thanks to Cambodian superstition they believed the reason I was sick was because we were incompatible.

In order to prevent my eventual death they gave me to my grandmother and Aunt to raise when I was two years old. I did begin to thrive in their care but I suspect that was because at that time my Aunt worked at a factory and had some money to feed me with.

In my new little family fiancnes were stretched but my Aunt and Grandmother worked hard to earn enough so that I could graduate from high school. I wanted to study further but I didn’t want to be a burden on my family so I went away to work at a factory. I was so excited to get my first month’s salary but then it was stolen from my room. I stood 8 hrs a day inspecting clothes for 150/month. I did manage to send money to my grandmother to buy gold to save for my university. I quit the factory job after 2 years during the rainy season so I could return to my village to help my family plant rice and then look for work closer to home.

Banteay Srey staff visited my village that year to let women know about apprentice opportunities. I decided to try it out. I wanted to study English and computers and at Banteay Srey it sounded like I might be able to do that and earn a salary too!

After 2 years I’ve been promoted to Administrative Assistant. In this role I work at the spa reception, check on the staff and the spa and pitch in wherever needed to make things always run smoothly. When reception is slow I work on accounting tasks, translate teaching materials, and edit all the videos for Banteay Srey’s own video curriculum.

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I’ve also begun to teach English and reception skills to new trainees. Banteay Srey has given me so much and I take a lot of pride in being able to help the project become even better.

I like being part of the community at Banteay Srey. There are always new volunteer teachers and we’re always learning something new. I also like working in a women’s only space because it makes me feel more free and comfortable. Banteay Srey has been very flexible letting me have weekends off to go to university and study Economics and Agriculture. At the same time, I improve my English and computer skills at work. I learn much more at Banteay Srey than I do at University.

I’m starting a business plan to submit for consideration under the project’s new business loan and mentor-ship program.  My aunt and grandmother own a little land and I want to transform it into a Homestay Organic farm growing vegetables, mushrooms, rice, and fish using the latest sustainable methods. I want the farm to be able to support my family but I also want to do it for myself.

I’ve also begun to teach English and reception skills to new trainees. Banteay Srey has given me so much and I take a lot of pride in being able to help the project become even better.

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