Srey Mom Stars in BBC World’s ‘Designing a Dream’

March 12, 2014 – When you meet Srey Mom, it’s impossible to tell the struggles she dealt with as a child. Right now, she’s a confident and charismatic young woman – as can be seen on the feature story “Designing a Dream” that BBC World aired.

Years ago she toiled in the now-closed Steung Meanchey garbage dump to help her impoverished family. Conditions were appalling, with toxic fumes, loud trucks and debris that would cut up the feet of the children working there. Instead of going to school, she worked on the dump all day.

“I don’t want to collect the garbage, but I had no choice,” she said.

Cambodian Children’s Fund gave her and her family a way out by providing an education, healthcare and other life-changing services. Srey Mom became a role model for girls in the community and she now heads our leadership students as a full-time employee.

“We have a reputation for bringing out some amazing leaders from terrible situations,” said Scott Neeson, founder of Cambodian Children’s Fund. “Even within that scale Srey Mom really stands out. She has a charisma and a leadership that’s really rare.”

Srey Mom loves the work she does inspiring young students, but she’s always dreamed of being a fashion designer. Her new mentor fosters that goal, as can be seen in the BBC World special “Designing a Dream.”

Srey Mom met Rubana Huq, a Bangladeshi textile manufacturer with 11,000 employees, at the 100 Women conference organized by the BBC in London. Srey Mom was invited to join the other women in the conference and was paired with Rubana. The two became very close, and BBC World filmed a 30-minute documentary about Srey Mom’s dream of designing clothes and Rubana working to make that dream a reality.

The journey takes Srey Mom from Cambodia to Bangladesh, where she sees the fashion industry up close and is challenged by Rubana to work hard.

“Every time she has a challenge, she has to be courageous and rise forward,” Rubana said. “There’s no saying no to anything.”

The audio version of the documentary aired on BBC World Radio and can be found on the BBC’s website.

Below is a shortened video of the documentary:

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