Noeun is one of eight children who all work in garment factories. She is 32-years-old, married and has two daughters who live with her parents in Battambang province in Cambodia’s north-west.
Noeun left school in Grade 5 and began working at the factory in order to support her family. She first learned about the Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program from friends who had studied many topics designed for women’s development, including financial, problem solving and communication skills, and gender, health and hygiene.
Upon undertaking the P.A.C.E. course, Noeun found the financial component useful and began a savings plan. Before P.A.C.E., Noeun did no financial planning and now has the skills to manage her earnings which has led to her sending more money home to her family.
In addition, Noeun has shared her new knowledge of hygiene with her younger sister, and both now understand the importance of, and how to maintain, a healthy diet.
Similarly, Noeun discussed the gender equality lessons with her husband. Prior to this discussion Noeun’s husband had never considered doing the housework – he had always thought of these tasks as women’s work – and now he and Noeun share the domestic workload.
With the knowledge and skills gained from P.A.C.E., Noeun now has the confidence to make decisions for her family’s future. At the moment, she is saving money and planning to open a side business in addition to working at the factory, to improve her family’s standard of living.
Noeun said she believes the P.A.C.E. program is very important, especially for women with little education who lack the knowledge and skills to be able to build a bright future for themselves and their families, as she can now.