Len, 14, from domestic worker to financial caretaker in Cambodia
Len is one of thousands of young women pressured to leave school early to take on domestic work to support their families in Cambodia.
Many more also face the prospect of early, forced marriage, and are unable to take on opportunities like work and independence. Through a Plan International project, young people, particularly women, are able to access skills training, and paid internship placements to kick start their careers. This opportunity can be the difference between a life of poverty, and one of earning, independence, and dignity.
“I think my life can be difficult because I am a female. As a female, you are more vulnerable to abuse and violence,” says Len.
Through a Plan International-supported program Len enrolled in cooking skills training.
After gaining professional skills in the kitchen she was linked with a two-month paid internship at a five-star hotel preparing every dish from chicken, to fried rice and desserts. Len’s internship became full-time work and now she’s earning a regular wage. Employees are entitled to a 10-20% pay-rise every year based on their performance – very different to working on a farm.
“When I look at my life now, I feel happy – and lucky that I can work at a big hotel like this one, and earn income to support my family. The money I send my parents is being spent on raising their pigs, but also on household items like food.”