Makara*, 23, has been working as a “beer girl” since leaving school in grade 9. Her single parent mother, who works as a rice farmer, was not making enough money to support Makara, and her young brother.

Working as a “beer-girl” is a high risk job for a young woman with low salaries, and long hours, in an extremely unsafe work environment with the high potential of harassment, exploitation and abuse. Due to her low education level Makara was finding it difficult to find a better employment opportunity on her own.

On a community awareness visit our Futures Team met Makara, after learning of our service she decided to visit our office to discuss career options. Every individual that Futures works with first has an assessment of skills, needs, and desired employment, through this Makara decided she was interested in hair dressing. The Futures team who, partners with many local businesses in Sihanoukville, were able to find a suitable salon for her to begin her apprenticeship in, along with covering the cost of study.

Makara is now 11 months into apprenticeship, and will completely resign from her job as a “beer girl” in about another month when she has finished her studies. She is now making $150/month as an apprentice; this will increase when the program is finished.

Makara’s future is much brighter, she is working in a safe environment and plans in the future to open her own beauty shop.

Since opening “Futures” last year the program has helped more than 140 local young adults and caretakers find employment.  90% of those individuals remain employed.

Learn more about the program at: http://mloptapang.org/projects/futures-office/

*name changed for confidentiality