“Man are gold and women are a piece of cloth” is a Cambodian proverb that Katarzyna has in mind when she is telling us Sarom’s story.
“Sarom was only 16 years old when she crossed the border with Thailand for the first time. She worked for several weeks on a sugarcane plantation with her sister and received in return little rice and sugarcane juice. This first sweet-sour experience did not discourage her. She had no choice: there were no jobs in Cambodia at that time. For many years she travelled back and forth trying to make a living. Once she became a mother, together with her husband, they decided that Sarom should stay in Cambodia to raise up their son and daughter“.
Today, Sarom joined GVC and became its Social Ambassador in Cambodia. She shares her experience with other women and men from her province, hoping to influence the decision people may take in the future whether to migrate or not. “In my village, I see children of migrants dropping out of school with no one to look after them. Without proper attention, these kids can feel depressed, lonely, get seriously sick and eventually drop out of school.”
Sarom, illiterate herself, wants a different future for her children. She believes that education is the key for her children, her country and especially for women and girls. “If I could read or write, maybe I could find a better job and avoid exploitation”, she says.
Women mustn’t be a cloth, but precious gems.
Testimony of Katarzyna Sumislawska, Communication Officer, EU Aid Volunteer in Cambodia
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