Skills Training Course Empowers Vulnerable Women

Photo by Nomi Network Cambodia

PHNOM PENH – For more than five years Nop Sreylen was isolated and unhappy in Thailand where she worked to support her family at home in Poipet city.

“I really missed home, my parents, and relatives but I couldn’t come back because I didn’t have enough money for travelling as my salary was always transferred home,” she said.

That changed when she quit her job and returned to take part in a training course run by .

She is one of about 200 vulnerable women who have gained life and technical skills through the program which aims to support their livelihoods and reduce migration and unemployment.

The training gave her confidence. “I am now able to communicate well with people around me, unlike before when I used to be introverted,” she said.   

Sreylen has no intention to work abroad again, “It pays a lot but you also spend a lot on visa fees, rent and other daily expenses,” she said.

The program has run in cooperation with the government since 2021 in Poipet city and in Mongkol Borey, Malai and Svay Chek districts of Banteay Meanchey province.

Sreylen, from Nimith commune of Poipet city, learned a technical skill involving wrapping electric cords. The course helped her find a decent job at a factory in her home town.

Rong Rattana, Nomi Network country director, said course participants can apply their skills to run small businesses or raise farm animals at home.

Women in rural areas were more vulnerable than others and this course can give them courage and communication skills. They were also able to avoid fraud.

“As long as they are determined to stay in the course from the beginning until the end, they are welcome to join the sessions,” Rattana said.

“One more thing is that the organization also accepts the women in poor households or who are unemployed.”

The women can broaden their knowledge with more freedom and independence to participate in decision-making in the family and the community.

He urged women not to lose hope. “Even if you didn’t have a chance to get an education, you can still find a decent job as long as you’re determined to seek a technical skill.

“Especially for those who are in communities, they should be aware that they have as much potential as other people. They should dream big.”

The course is free and the team provides accommodation and travel allowances when courses are far from their homes. 

To reach out to more vulnerable women, the organization is studying other provinces with a new location to be decided by the end of the year.

Sok Chheng, the deputy director of the Ministry of Women's Affairs’ Department of Economic Development, said the course helps vulnerable women to avoid domestic violence and other life challenges.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs will promote women to achieve gender equality, support from men, and the rights to share their participation, especially through policies and economy to have equality in decision making,” he said.


Meng Seavmey contributed to the story.

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