New skills for survivors at Hope for Justice Cambodia

We’re really happy to be able to share with you the story of one of our survivors attending Shine Career School at Hope for Justice Cambodia who has been able to learn new skills thanks to a competitive vocational training programme.

Chariya*, aged 17, managed to win a placement on a part-time training course at a beauty salon in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.


Since early October, Chariya has been taking advantage of this great opportunity, and is now learning a variety of skills from western and western-trained salon experts, including haircuts and colouring, styling, manicures, make-up and skin treatments.

maly-salon-photo-1Chariya explained: “I love the idea that beauty therapists can use their professional skills to make somebody feel and look more beautiful. I always wanted to learn more about different make-up and hairstyle techniques, so this programme provided the perfect opportunity.

“At first I was nervous. My skills were limited and I didn’t know anyone, but after a few weeks I started to get used to everything. I have really kind, supportive colleagues and teachers, so I feel really happy there!”

She explained how Hope for Justice staff members originally encouraged her to apply for the placement and plan for the future, and to research the salon and what she would be doing there. She added: “The staff also helped me to buy make-up materials to practice what I learned, and made sure I had enough appropriate work clothes. It made me feel so excited!

“I’ve loved everything so far, but have especially enjoyed learning how to do different hairstyles and haircuts. Each lesson builds on the next, so things get much easier over time. Yesterday I started learning how to do nail art. It was difficult, but I’m hoping it will become easier with practice.

“This training will hopefully give me a lot of opportunities, helping me achieve my goals, getting a job and having a good income to support myself later in life. After I finish training I would love to open my own salon. I’m not entirely sure yet when or where – I’m only 17, so I have some time! For now, I’m going to focus on doing well in my training course!”

Chariya’s success in this competitive salon training program highlights important educational features of the comprehensive aftercare services that Hope for Justice provides for survivors. With support and encouragement from her teachers and Career and Education Advisor at Shine, Chariya has found the confidence she needs to flourish in this high-quality programme.

Once a shy and quiet student who preferred to blend into the crowd, Chariya is blossoming into a self-assured salon professional who recognises her skill and talent and is taking advantage of every opportunity before her to make her future positive, bright, and sustainable.

Below are some other photos of the girls learning new skills this year:


* The survivor’s name has been changed for her protection.      

Article by Josephine Rees and Adam Hewitt