Kroeun, 52, has been working in construction for over 20 years. She speaks about the recent changes she has noticed and explains how the knowledge she has gained through education sessions at the construction site are helping her at home and at work.
I left my home province of Prey Veng 20 years ago in search of work in construction. I am now married to another construction worker and together we have five children.
For many years, people used to not wear helmets or proper shoes when working on the site. The company provides belts for when we are working high up but most people would leave them and climb without safety equipment.
“I have joined all of the educational sessions provided at the construction site where I work and I feel like I have a better understanding of safety in the workplace." Now I experience fewer instances of swollen feet and the hard hats make me less worried about falling debris.
My children work in construction but on a different site so I make sure I pass on what I have learnt to them. I’m happy they are making changes to stay safe. In addition, the company now takes action when people do not follow safety guidelines.
From the lunchtime sessions I have also learned more about communicating with my husband. He used to drink 1-2 litres of alcohol every day, which worried me and was costing our family money.
After the training I became more aware of the dangers of drinking and said to my husband, “It’s important to cut down because it’s better for your health and it is less dangerous when driving. Now you need to stop drinking too much, limit it to 1 or 2 cans a day”. I only needed to tell him once and now he doesn’t shout or cause trouble anymore, which is a relief. My son has followed suit and has also stopped driving after he has been drinking.
When my husband drank lots every day we were in debt. As a direct result of him cutting down on how much he drinks, our family owes money and we are able to save instead. “I am no longer worried and I feel happy that my family are now safe from harm.”
CARE works in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to ensure safe and secure work environments for women in Cambodia's construction industry with the financial support of the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation.