Stories of Change

Top: Sreynoeun stands next to the sign that advertises her business and its services. Bottom: Sreynoeun sits at her computer in her business.

Sreynoeun Builds Her Dream Career in Cambodia

Oeun Sreynoeun, 17, lives with her parents and six siblings in rural western Cambodia. Her family doesn’t own any land, except for the small parcel that their house sits on. As a result, the family of nine relied solely on Sreynoeun’s father’s income–he migrated to Thailand and works as a day laborer.

Unfortunately, this one source of income often wasn’t enough. The family often struggled to have enough to eat. Sreynoeun dropped out of school last year after she finished ninth grade. Her family couldn’t afford school supplies or the transportation costs of Sreynoeun going to a high school far from home.

Then Sreynoeun met our local partner, Rural Development Association. “I dreamed of learning a skill and having my own business so that I can earn money to support my family and make it possible for my younger brothers and sisters to continue studying,” she said. The RDA team helped Sreynoeun join the CWS-supported Promoting Better Lives program. In February 2020, she joined a five-month vocational training course on computer and printing skills. She was a quick learner and thrived in her classes.

With the skills she learned and a business startup grant through the Promoting Better Lives program, Sreynoeun launched her own business. Now she runs a typing and printing service shop in her community.

“I am so happy and proud of myself,” Sreynoeun says. “I never thought that I would have an opportunity to make my dream come true, and I never expected to have this opportunity. I have skills and a career, so I have hope for a better future.”

She added, “I am even more proud of myself because I can be a manager. I manage my own business and earn a stable income so that I can provide my family with a better life.” When it comes to CWS and RDA, she said, “I can’t thank you enough for all the support, since I have my dream skill and business. I am confident that I will be able to support my family and my younger brothers and sister to continue studying. Our lives will be much better, and my father will no longer need to migrate to Thailand to work.”