Cambodia: Nine Girls Land Top Jobs
From a Cambodian red-light district, to working in a popular Western restaurant, 17-year-old Sammy’s dreams are finally becoming a reality.
“My dream has always been to be a chef and own a restaurant,” she says. “At Destiny Rescue I was given new ideas and ways of focusing on my goal. Now I can make my dream of being a restaurant owner a reality and I have already started.”
Sammy* is one of nine recent graduates of the Destiny Rescue Aftercare Program in Cambodia that have landed incredible jobs at popular western chain restaurants, chic coffee houses, and quality hair and beauty salons.
Our Cambodian staff and volunteers are cherishing these nine amazing success stories; they’re a testament to the quality of our Aftercare Program, the hard work our staff have put in to establish strong business connections around the city, and the perseverance of our rescued girls day-in and day-out.
One of Destiny Rescue Cambodia’s leading Aftercare staff is Samnang, the Phase Two Teacher at one of our project’s post-graduation/job preparation program, who says leading by example is key to the girls’ success.
Samnang says the girls follow this example and have developed resilience in the workplace and confidence to continue in a life of learning.
“Sometimes when the girls are in the classroom they do not understand why we teach what we teach, but now they are working it makes sense to them. The girls come back and say, ‘teacher, thank you’. They love to learn.”
Gaining meaningful employment at the end of the Aftercare Program is the girls’ time to exercise new mental muscles. They’ve spent months or, depending on their age, years attending classes and counselling to heal trauma and cultivate a new lifestyle. But it’s mostly theory for them until the moment of signing an employment contract comes, when they gain new independence outside our programme.
It’s independence like this that Sammy is relishing. Sammy was with Destiny Rescue for two years after being rescued at the age of 14.
“My favourite memory is the house sisters teaching me about the bible. I love Jesus so much,” she says. Sammy’s nickname is “Shiny” because her face is always bright and exemplifies the joy and laughter of Christ, a joy she brings to the project, her workplace, and all who meet her.
Her time with Destiny Rescue was not without its challenges but she has a positive view of changes, even difficult ones.
“The hardest part in the beginning was getting used to studying all day long, but it helped me. Now when I work all day I have a strong work ethic.
What we at Destiny Rescue are humbled to see is that these girls are not just going into jobs, they are intelligently chasing their dreams. As staff, volunteers, and other girls in our care watch them take responsibility for their dreams we see them taking responsibility for their relationship with Christ and the wellbeing of their community.
It is through these girls that real change will happen in Cambodia, in lives empowered and transformed by the love of Jesus.
By Joshua Snell
*This is the true story of one of our rescued girls. For her protection her name has been changed.
Successful job placement is the result of months, sometimes years, of hard work by our Aftercare team, all of which is only possible by our supporters! If you would like to contribute to the Aftercare of our girls in Cambodia you can join our Sponsor a Home programme! For more information please click here.