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A Visit to Learn About Cambodian Young Girls in Rural Areas.

June 11, 2012

 Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia – On June 05, 2012, Sokneang CHHOUR, Export Manager, EAP Cambodia, visited young female students in grade 10 and 11 in the Girls Program of Room to Read at two high schools in Batheay district, Kampong Cham province. The main purpose was to introduce the Kearny Alliance including Export Assistance Program Cambodia (EAP) and Kearny Alliance scholarship program, disseminated information of internship program with EAP Cambodia; and shared education and work experience of herself as the hope to inspire them to continue their studies at least to graduate high school. Sokneang talked modestly to the girls in person while Room to Read’s staff gathered all the girls together and facilitated the meeting. Meantime, she gave two presentations – one at Batheay high school to about 50 girls and another one at Prey Nhea high school to about 65 girls.

First, Sokneang introduced herself to the girls regarding to her current work, pervious experiences, and education background. She mentioned that she was extremely struggled in her studies in high school to become an outstanding student by getting a good grade. Also she had an experience as a poor student at the university. Sokneang asked herself among other girls that how she could get the scholarship from Kearny Alliance by leaving some important messages to them “Help yourself before asking help from others”, “Create your own chance – success comes from 80% chance and 20% luck”. “You can do it, I can do it as well!” Second, she presented Kearny Alliance focused on profile, program, mission and the cooperation between Kearny Alliance and Room to Read in offering an internship opportunity to the girls. Third, she showed the internship opportunity with EAP Cambodia to them sharing with simple selected criteria and job description.

Based on her observation, those girls were lacked of information of their future career so that they could not see how important of education. Many of them were very interested in the internship program, but they did not know what they would do in the office and they only realized that they could not speak English and they did not have computer skills. “I was very happy when I heard about this internship program, but at the same time, I got so nervous because I knew that I did not know much English and my computer skill was very little,” said Phanna SRENG, a girl studying at grade 11 of Prey Nhea high school. Most of them showed that there was a big challenge for them to get this internship as there was only one vacancy opened. “I wanted to work as an intern with you, but I knew that it was impossible because I was just doing average in class and only one student would be selected” said Lyda VOEUN, a girl studying at grade 11 of Prey Nhea High School. Some of them were very brave in asking questions related to her university life, her oversea life, and her jobs’ challenges.A brave girl answering our question at Batheay High School

By Sokneang CHHOUR, Export Manager, EAP Cambodia

 Girls of Room to Read in the meeting at Prey Nhea High SchoolGroup photo after the meeting at Batheay High SchoolGrade 12 girls of Room to Read’s Girls Program

Less paid, but a good start of new skills

May 29, 2012

“I do like this new job, even I started with no skill and less salary, but it trains me new skills,” said Bopha with smile.

PHNOM PENH – SEM Bopha, 28 years old, just started her job at Peace Handicrafts & Silks a month ago. She is now working on making pattern of re-used net bags. Bopha got a training of cutting skill for her first seven days and then changed to sewing for nine days. Bopha said she is now still in training of sewing while she is paid $55 per month.

“I do like this new job, even I started with no skill and less salary, but it trains me new skills,” said Bopha with smile. “It is difficult at the beginning, but I am trying my best to learn and I think to stay at this job for at least one year,” Bopha added.

Back then, Bopha was a housemate working in Malaysia for more than two years. She just came back to Cambodia and she found this new job through her relative who is also a producer at Peace.

“I earned more money as a housemate, but I had no freedom; I needed to work at least 12 hours a day and I was not allowed to keep in touch with my family in Cambodia,” Bopha recalled. During her two years she could only call home for three times. She has an old mother and a son living by their own and just now her mother is too old to look after her son. Thus, she has to come back.

She had worked in her farm in her hometown, Kampong Thom province until 2010. Because she could not make enough income from farming, she decided to come to Phnom Penh to find a job a factory worker in January. A month later, she was recruited by HRD Company as a housemate to Malaysia.

Bopha was born in a farming family. She is divorced but she raises her 6-year-old son with her mother. Bopha completed grade two of general education. At the age of 10, she stopped going to school to help her mother in farming soon after her father die. She can read some Khmer, but she cannot write. Amazingly, she can speak English as a tool to communicate with her house owner in Malaysia.

By Sokneang Chhour, Export Manager of Export Service Centre Cambodia

My exciting internship in Brazil

May 29, 2012

On May 24, my Brazil visa was finally issued by the Brazil embassy – since the date I embarked on searching summer internship, six months has already passed. During the whole application period, I have been through five interviews in different levels. In spite of a long time waiting, my Brazil trip is eventually coming to be realized!

I applied this post through AIESEC, which is a global organization that enables students to go for global exchange. If AIESEC is the platform that connects me with the world, I would say, Kearny Alliance is the one that opens my mind to embrace the world.  Let alone the two-year-full-stipend study program in Hong Kong Baptist University and an upcoming two-year job placement opportunity in a multinational company – Global Sources, its trade-related skill training program also contributes shaping my will to go global and to explore more about the world. From every opportunity talking with global buyers in the trade show and from every time we coordinate projects with team members from various cultural backgrounds in different nations, I can feel world’s trend of being flat that to be a qualified global citizen, a global horizon and the working skill to work within a diversified cultural setting should be equipped.

The reason why I chose Brazil is that, Brazil is a country on the rise – it is a thriving economy nowadays without doubt. If the US and EU represent the trend of the world at this moment, the BRICs (“BRICs” refers to the countries ofBrazilRussiaIndia and China, which are all deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development) would be the future of the world. And since I come from China and been to India before, Brazil is indeed a highly preferred destination. With the host right of 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, this South America’s largest country is becoming the hot, new global focus. Nonetheless, I found my knowledge of this emerging superpower is really limited except the Brazil BBQ, and a few movies that I have watched. (My favorite one is <RIO>!) What’s more, in addition to the economic potentiality, the culture of Brazil is also what fascinates me a lot. The Samba dance, the Latin music, the food so on and so forth – all are incredibly unique and worthwhile for an exploration in person and in the real place. Time and time again, I can always hear the call of going to Brazil!

The city that I’m going is Goiânia – the biggest city in the central Brazil which is only 200km away from Brazil’s capital Brasilia. The job that I’m going to do is within the Marketing field, which is also my major concentration in university. I will help deliver marketing plan and workshop to help dealing marketing and event management issues for the local entrepreneur.

Nowadays, companies like Global Sources have already spotted the hotness of this niche market – in the coming August, a new China Sourcing Fair would be launched in São Paulo of Brazil. With this precious internship opportunity, I hope I can gain a better understanding of this hot emerging economic power in terms of the culture and business perspective, which I am sure, will have an impact on my future personal development.

By Pason Wong, BBA, scholar from ChinaPason Wong, BBA scholar from China (left)

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