CCF’s Community Vocational Graduates speak

Meet four of our vocational training graduates as they speak about their journey.

Lorn Layhol

I am 19 years old now and I come from a poor family in Kandal province. I had a brother and 2 sisters and I was the oldest in the family. I had to give up school when I was in grade 5 because my family moved to settle in Phnom Penh (Steung Meanchey) in order to find some way of supporting the family. That way was garbage scavenging. My mother was a garbage picker as well as my youngest brother and sister. My father worked on building sites and drank almost every day. Whenever he had too much, he hit my mother.

I was doomed to the dump too. A full day’s work picking through the trash that made up the filthy mountain could bring in around $1. But everything changed for me after I got a place on CCF’s community training program and learned to cook. CCF didn’t only train me, they gave me $ 20 and 20 kilograms of rice each month to support me. I knew it could be good for my future to work hard at it so I did.

After 6 months I graduated and CCF found a job for me at a good restaurant, the Brauhaus, with a salary of $70 a month and I can also get tips of around $15-20 each month. I really appreciate this job and I have been trying my best to be good at it. Now my family situation has changed; Now I can support my family and myself – and I’m a nicer person now too.

I the future, I want to be a restaurant manager or a cook trainer to teach the poor young people as well as my teacher has taught me.

My family and I would like to thank CCF so very much. It always helps me and the other people at Steung Meanchey dump and from other rural areas in Cambodia. I wish all the staff of CCF and Scott much success and much good health for always.

Mok Yut (Male

I am 20 years old and I come from Takeo province. I’m the second in a family of 7 children. School stopped for me when I was in grade 4 because we just couldn’t afford it. My parents are farm laborers and my brothers and sisters helped in the fields though some could go to school a little. I decided to move to live in Phnom Penh (Steung Meanchey) with my sister to find a job but I couldn’t because I had no proper education. So I had to go to the dump with my sister to pick up garbage. As a garbage picker I could get an income of about $1 a day.

One day, I heard that CCF had a vocational training program for poor community people my sister advised me to apply to study cooking there. CCF let me on to the course and gave me rice and money too, so that I could get by while I studied. During the training I thought a lot. Garbage hunting is difficult work. I had to spend full days on the dump in the hot sun among foul smells and all for almost no real income. I promised myself I would study hard until I graduated and get a good job.

Six months later, my dream became true because I graduated from this course and CCF staff got me work at La Kang Tin restaurant as a cook helper with salary 80$ a month. On top of that I get $20 a month overtime. I am really so happy with this job and I have been trying my utmost to achieve the goals of this restaurant. Now I can help my parents and my family – I am always send some of my salary to them.

These are my true words: I felt that had no hope for a career, but after CCF’s training I have become a cook in a restaurant. I am now more than I ever expected to be. I like my work so much. Thank you CCF, I am proud of what I am doing now and will never forget that it was you who supported my career opportunity. I hope the next generation will have more career opportunities like me.

In the future, I want to be a chef in a 5 star hotel and get a higher salary. If I have enough money I want to open my own restaurant. Now anything is possible.

Dem Phary

I am 23 years old and am from Takeo province. I am the third in a family of 6. My parents are farm workers in the province. I stopped going to public school in grade 6 because my parents couldn’t afford it any more. I moved to Phnom Penh in order to find a job to support my parents as well as my younger brothers and sisters. Sometimes I worked on building sites, other times I went to the dump to pick up garbage.

One day, I heard about CCF’s vocational training program from a my friend and I decided to register and see if I could get a place. It was great when I passed the interview and they accepted me. In the class, I was a good student, patient and hard working. I also had good relationships with my teachers and other classmates. After 6 months I finished the training at CCF and I got a job as a baker at the Honey Bread Shop. I have been trying my best to work there for my future and my family.

I am glad that I got a job; it’s hard to believe that I could be where I am today. I get a salary of $120 per month to support my living and I can send money to my parents in the province. Thank you to CCF and the professional training that provided me with such a good skill. I am ever grateful.

Phon Ra

I’m Phon Ra, 23 years old, and like others on the course, I come from Takeo province. I have two sisters and two brothers. My parents are farm workers. Because of our difficult lives I stopped going to public school at grade 8th. My father loved to drink and drink made him a violent man.

After I came Phnom Penh I worked for a year on building sites. It was hard and never nice. My friend encouraged me to register to study cooking and bakery at CCF so I followed him to register there. I was so happy when that they accepted me to study this skill. I worked hard and complete the 6 months and got a job at the Honey Bread shop as a Baker with a starting salary of $120 a month.

I was very happy that I got a job as a baker as soon as I left the training class, Even though I work hard in my new job it is not hard like it was when I was a construction worker. Thank you CCF. Because of your vocational training program, I have my good today.

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