Survivors see dreams fulfilled as they secure jobs

Two survivors of Hope for Justice’s restoration projects in Cambodia have been successful in getting jobs.

They both start their employment this month – one in a local café and restaurant, and the other in a hair and beauty salon.

They are both residents of Dream Home, which provides girls aged 13 to 18 who have been rescued from trafficking with a safe place to live while they receive therapy, medical care and education.

The two young women have learned the relevant skills for their jobs through attending vocational training courses at local businesses, as part of their education with Hope for Justice’s Shine Career School.

May* said that when she heard she had been successful in her application and interview she felt very happy and thankful that she had kept pursuing her dream. The 17-year-old said: “Since I started the training I have had this dream that one day I will open up my own restaurant – when I have the money and experience. I have wanted to do this for a long time and getting this job is the first step to learning.

I feel happy and excited about it and would like to thank Hope for Justice staff for helping me – and thank myself for keeping going!

May* will work at the café five days a week but will still have time to attend some lessons at Shine so she can continue with her academic education.

Talking about her job, she said: “I will help make all the different kinds of coffee and take customers’ orders, which I will pass onto the chef. It feels like a nice place to work. It feels like it has a nice atmosphere.”

The other girl, Romdul*, also 17, has been offered a job at the salon where she has been training for the past seven months.

She said: “I love working there and am very happy about being offered a job. I do manicures, cut and dye hair and put on makeup. My favourite thing is putting on makeup. One day I would like to have my own business.”

Chantha Chum, Career and Education Advisor at Shine Career School, said: “I am very proud of both of them for getting a job. And this will give them the chance to show their abilities of being prepared for the next step of living independently as adults.”

*Names changed to protect survivors’ identities

Words and photography: Aly Walsh