Friday, June 26, 2009

Friendship

Meet Srey Ka. I thought it was time to introduce a few of my friends to the outside world. If you read my blog regularly (is there such a person?) you'll already know about a few of them, like Sophoin, Sokheng, Now, Vy, yes there's a common thread, most of them are female. I've always gravitated towards female friends and living in Cambodia is no different. So who is Srey Ka you ask. Well, she originates from the province of Takeo and now lives in Phnom Penh, she's 26 years old and trying like all of us to make a life here in the capital, and to earn a daily crust. She used to work for the street cleaning company Cintri in her first job before moving into one of the more popular jobs for countryside girls around here, working for a garment manufacturer. When her factory closed a few months ago, another regular occurrence here too, she got a job cashiering and making drinks at a city bar, where she is today. It's not where she wants to be but needs must and in due time she hopes to find a new job that has more sociable hours. Then again, doesn't everyone? She has an adorable personality and an award-winning smile, like all my friends, and works hard to be able to support her family back in their home village. Her story is no different from thousands of others, but the difference is, she's one of my closest friends.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another one reason, she is beautiful.

Andy, as you work in the post, have you ever do an idependent survey, how many garment factory worker lost their job during this year in cambodia?

I read news in cambodia, cambodia rice production alway increase, why all of this garment worker doesn't go back to their hometown to grow rice ?

cya
nimol

June 26, 2009 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Yes it didn't escape me that Srey Ka is indeed very beautiful, thanks for pointing that out Nimol :-)

I only work part-time for the PPPost, covering the Cambodian international football team, by the way.

As for numbers of lost jobs in the garment industry, those figures get banded about in the press from time to time. I can't recall off the top of my head but it maybe be as many as tens of thousands of jobs lost in the last year or so, as the clothing sector exports have declined [I just read up to 20,000 jobs lost this year so far when 46 factories closed].

I'm sure some of the garment workers have indeed gone back to the provinces but the point of them coming to work in PPenh in the clothing industry was to earn enough to support themselves and send the rest back home to support their families. So, many of the girls will have stayed in the city to look for alternative work and that's when some gone down the slippery path into working in beer halls, prostitution and the like. Simply returning to the province to grow rice will not feed their family, clothe their siblings or pay for school fees, etc.
Andy

June 26, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

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