The People

Seenath Nim

Seenath Nim

Sewing Instructor

Nath comes from an impoverished and difficult background and has overcome many obstacles to be where she is today. Her childhood was absent of any positive male role models. She comes from a family of widows and her Father and Mother were matched through an arranged marriage. Her Father became an increasingly problematic gambler, even though he was mostly absent from the family home, he continued to amount an enormous financial debt for the family, a burden they could not hope to shed. Nath’s Father, the family’s only example of an educated person constantly reconfirmed that he was unable and unwilling to support them and the family’s faith in the importance of education eventually evaporated. After the departure of Nath’s Father, she was raised by her Mother and Grandmother who instilled a hard-working attitude in the children. Being raised in a environment that does not see value in education, particularly for girls, Nath was forced to quit school to care for her family. Despite the constant pressures from her community and family, she was determined to break the cycle of poverty and return to school. Showing her strength in character, she searched for a long time for ways to continue education before finding a local church that hosted a school for sewing skills. Here she attended training and excelled. Upon graduating from this sewing school, Sao Sary Foundation heard of her story and was inspired to hire her to train other youth with similar situations. Nikita Handmade and Sao Sary Foundation are proud to have a permanent staff member who acts as a role model to other children struggling for their right to an education and a future. Nath teaches them the value of education from firsthand experience and the courage to pursue their dreams at any cost.

Vanee Uon

Vanee Uon

Supervisor

Vanny is another appreciated staff member at the sewing centre and she works hard every day to inspire youth about the importance of education in their future. For her it was not easy to obtain an education. Her family worked very hard, yet they did not have enough money to send both children to school. Because of the cultural beliefs in Cambodia, her brother was sent to school and she was removed from primary school and left to take care of the household. When her father died, she was put in charge of the household and her chances of attending school decreased further. She had to work very hard and had an overwhelming amount of responsibility for a young girl. She has since returned to school and now works at Sao Sary Foundation because of her belief that no little girl should experience the same struggles. We are lucky to have her on the team, Vanny inspires youth on a daily basis.

Kang Phalla

Kang Phalla

Kang has been living in the protection centre after being sold to human traffickers operating the black market trade on the Thai border. Growing up she was surrounded by violence and domestic abuse. Kang’s mother tried to leave her husband as it broke her heart to see him beat her young children. He threatened to kill her, demanded that she give him all of the family’s belongings and she was forced to sell her rice fields to pay him a ransom. They were left with nothing. Nursing serious medical injuries, in a hopeless financial situation and with many unpaid medical bills, Kang’s Mum was approached by loan sharks. The family was left with no other perceived choice but to borrow $25 from the shark. After only 20 days, interest had raised the debt to $150 dollars; an impossible sum to pay for a family whose entire gross income for the day was less than $4.

Saem Ty

Saem Ty

Seam is an inspiration to us all. She grew up in a remote village that placed no value on education. She was the only person in her entire village who was committed to going to school. To get there was a challenge in itself as she had to ride her bike 20km along dangerous roads, sometimes taking the 20km trip four times per day. One day a group of gangsters stopped her and attempted to rape her, but thankfully a person on a motorbike happened to ride by and saved her life. Despite her hopes of becoming a university graduate, she decided to drop out of school for fear for her life. She was devastated that she could not continue her dream of becoming the first educated person in her village, but Seam decided safety was a priority and the isolation of her home village was too difficult an obstacle to overcome. SSF met Seam when they were invited into her village to build water-filters. They were so moved by her story, her drive and her clear vision that they asked her family if she could live at SSF where she could travel a much shorter distance to school every day and ensure her safety. She works hard going to school, and when she is home she concentrates her efforts to learn sewing skills. She is truly an inspiration to all at Nikita Handmade and SSF and in Cambodia.

Vecheka Khith

Vecheka Khith

Vecheka grew up in a small, rented shack with a thatched roof. Her family did not own any property or assets and therefore had no method to generate income. Her Father would find occasional labour jobs but battled alcoholism and often spent more time away from the household and his work. As the oldest child, much of the obligation was put on Vecheka to find ways to make money for the family. The family and neighbours forced her to stop going to school and to go to work in a garment factory as a child labourer. Sao Sary Foundation heard of her story and brought her to the protection center where she is supported by them to attend school and pursue her interests. Vecheka is very passionate about sewing so she trains every day in the sewing centre to expand her employable skills and is an inspiration for other young children about the importance of education.

Deb Chun

Deb Chun

Bio coming soon

Eang Da

Eang Da

Bio coming soon.

Sam Chanthy

Sam Chanthy

Bio coming soon.

Tea San

Tea San

Bio coming soon.

Veasna Deang

Veasna Deang

Bio coming soon.

Sewing Trainees

Introducing our sewing trainees! This special group of young people participate in a paid sewing training program to build their skills and assist them to stay in school. Amongst poor families in Cambodia, education is seen as an unnecessary luxury, especially for girls. It is commonplace for parents to restrict their children from going to school and instead put them to work to help contribute to the families combined income. The training program supports our trainees in attending normal school hours (half days in Cambodia) and allows them to participate in a few hours of well paid training a day. This enables the continuation of their education and ensures their families are being financially supported.

Makara Roeun

Makara Roeun

Trainee

Makara was brought to live at the Sao Sary Foundation due to an extreme case of neglect and poverty. Although her family worked very hard, they did not own any land or assets. Her family relied on the rich land owners to allow them to stay on their land in exchange for hard labour jobs with little pay. All of the children were required to work and thus did not have any opportunity for education. Although her family works hard on the land, her father has issues with alcoholism and her mother has extreme health problems. These factors are largely what perpetuate the poverty and destitution that this family of seven is forced to live within. After arriving at the protection centre, Makara began school and has now taken an interest in sewing. She works hard every day to improve her skills when she is not studying. We are so proud to have her on the sewing team, her passion for work and her enthusiasm is completely infectious!

Sieng Sreynuch

Sieng Sreynuch

Trainee

Sreynuch’s entire childhood has been spent battling extreme poverty, living in a small, poorly built house with many family members. Her father passed away when she was only very young, leaving her ill Mother financially responsible for the rest of the family. Sreynuch’s Mum has many health issues and cannot perform any labour duties. After her Dad passed away, she was forced to work on the fields and an extremely young age, barely out of infancy, to raise enough money for all the children in the household.
Tragically, this was still not enough to support the family and because of this dire situation, her brothers and cousins attempted to sell her to Thailand where she would have been trafficked in labour camps or for the sex-trade. Knowing the fate of her two other trafficked cousins, our trainee did what she could to remove herself from the situation. Sao Sary Foundation heard her story and brought her and her sisters to live at the centre where they are now being fully cared for and are attending school. Sreynuch has shown a strong interest in sewing, she now excels at the program and teaches other students. She is one of the most eager and hardest working sewing trainees at Sao Sary Foundation and shows a drive and passion to achieve financial independence.

Rathana Tom

Rathana Tom

Trainee

Rathana has come a long way from her difficult childhood. Her family was forced to rely on a rich family to house them on a small plot of land and worked for very little to survive each day. Her father had severe addiction issues with alcohol and often failed to support his family. Rathana was forced to leave school and work at a very young age to try to ensure the family had the finances to survive. Rathana was sheltered at SSF after showing signs of severe neglect. She is now fully supported to attend school, and train in the sewing program. She is passionate about creating a new future for herself and her family. Rathana is a gifted seamstress and a mentor for others in the sewing team.

Chea Phorn

Chea Phorn

Chea Phorn is a young man, aged 18 who has come to SSF from a distant village. His Father is a village leader with a big heart for his village. Chea Phorn’s Dad works very hard for only $15 per month, and despite knowing the importance of education, he doesn’t have the means to pay for his Son’s transportation to attend school 20kms away. Chea Phorn’s Father met SSF through their water and sanitation program and he spoke to them about his situation. He asked whether SSF could care for his son and support him in his dream of completing high school and attending university. SSF was honoured to help a person who had spent much helping others and thus he now lives with SSF, attending high school and training in the sewing program in his spare time.

Dany Roeun

Dany Roeun

Trainee

Bio coming soon.

Kimlee Phan

Kimlee Phan

Trainee

Bio coming soon.

Sreyin Mot

Sreyin Mot

Trainee

Bio coming soon.

Yakee Peng

Yakee Peng

Trainee

Bio coming soon.

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