The eldest of two children, Leakhena’s father died when she was five years old. In spite of this Leakhena managed to complete grade 8 before moving to Phnom Penh to find work to support her family. In 2009, she started working at a garment factory where she became a peer educator with the Sewing for a Brighter Future project.
Leakhena is determined to serve as a good role model and to share her knowledge with her colleagues. When she decided to change jobs, Leakhena asked which other factories were implementing the project and applied for a position where she could continue peer educating.
After CARE introduced a financial service provider, Leakhena opened an account and is now regularly saving and sending remittances home to her mother. She uses her savings for English language and computer classes and has also bought herself a computer.
Leakhena said, “Sewing for a Brighter Future taught me how to set goals for my life. Ultimately, I want to study at university, but I plan to continue volunteering to help people achieve their life goals and live better. It’s possible, even if we are poor.
“Now I am confident and proud when I am talking with and sharing my knowledge with other workers. I hope it makes my family happy and proud too.
“I would like to thank Levi Strauss Foundation, CARE and CWPD for giving me and my colleagues an opportunity to learn how to change our lives and build our confidence.”