Life Skill Vital for Self Employment

 In Hand in Hand, Income Generation, Stung Treng, Weekly update from the field

“I am very thankful to CRDT for supporting me with both knowledge and skill which make me a self-reliant person with a bright future, said Ret Rortha. And I would suggest to other SHG members to attend the skill trainings we like so that we can create job for ourselves and support our family.”

The Mekong Credit Association (MCA) is one of the four social enterprises of CRDT which comes into legal operation in 2015 after transforming itself from a two year Self-Help Group (SHG) project. MCA with its all SHG members operates as a micro-credit association in Kratie and Stung Treng Province. The mission of MCA is to empower people with financial access, skill training, and job creation.

Miss. Ret Rotha, 23, from Khuong village, in Stung Treng Province, joined in August 2013 the SGH named “Sattrey Tor Su”, which made her life changed significantly.

In 2011, Rotha migrated to Malaysia as a domestic worker. However, this job did not allow her to earn and save much money. Instead, she was confronted with risks such as labor-exploitation, and harassment. In 2013, her parents did not allow her to continue this job anymore. They decided to send her to join in SHG and receive skill training from the project.

Among all the different skills trainings on Beauty Parlor, Tailoring, Poultry Raising, Piggery Raising, Vegetable Growing and Mushroom Growing, she chose to be a beautician. During a nine month course, she learned many skills such as hair decoration, facial make up, nail decoration and skin polishing. At the same time, she attended SHG monthly meeting and started saving.

Right away after completing the course and with emotional support from her parents and MCA staff, she decided to open her own beauty parlor in Stung Treng town with the start-up capital from her parents and loan from her SHG. From this business, she earned around USD 450 a month of which she could save around 70% as salary from her self-employment. With this income, she is now supporting her own living, her parents, and sending her two younger sisters to high school. The rest of the income she saves with SGH.

Her future plan is to upgrade her business by learning more skills and with the money saved she will open a make-up product shop as part of her current business.

By Bo Ravuth, MCA Regional and Training Manager in Kratie and Stung Treng

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