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How Life Skills Help This Girls' Education Grad in Daily Life

August 08, 2019

We recently sat down with Chheoun Nut, a Girls' Education Program alumna to hear how the life skills she learned in Room to Read's multi-year program have helped her excel in her career in the hospitality industry. After graduating secondary school, Chheoun went on to study hotel and tourism management at Western University and now works in a restaurant at Rosewood Hotel in Cambodia.

Let's hear what she had to say:

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What was your life like before you joined Room to Read's Girls' Education Program?

Before joining the program, I was a shy and naive girl living in a poor farmer family. When I was in primary school, my house was destroyed by a storm, so my family lost nearly everything - even basic needs like food and shelter. My parents had to rebuild our home out of foraged wood. After that, they didn't earn enough income to support my whole family so we had to trade our handmade woven baskets with neighbors for food. With all those difficulties, my parents could not afford to send me to school and my mother, who did not value education, demanded I drop out and help the family make a living. On top of this, I also traveled alone to school, which was 10 kilometers away. I felt hopeless when I was in grade 7, and I thought I was going to quit school, but fortunately Room to Read came to support my school and I was very lucky and delighted to continue my education.

How did your social mobilizer or life skills classes help you rise above these challenges?

Thanks to Room to Read I had study materials and life skills lessons that helped me finish high school. I remember my social mobilizer always came to support, encourage, and listen to my problems and shared her story to keep me motivated during my mentoring sessions. Sometimes, she also visited my home and invited my parents to the workshops. Over time, my parents, especially my mother, started to open up and understand the value of education and let me pursue my studies further. More than that, the life skills classes have broadened my knowledge and opened me up to the bigger world. I've built my self-esteem and become more confident in talking with my parents. I'm able to negotiate and explain how important education is for a girl like me despite getting criticism from our neighbors.

How have your life skills helped you in everyday life while working at Rosewood?

Room to Read’s life skills have helped me to set clear goals and identify my strengths and weaknesses, which are very crucial for me to learn and develop myself in my career and university life. Since I've started working at Cuts Restaurant, which is a high standard restaurant with many foreign customers, I understand that I need to be well-prepared and improve my English. I’ve practiced and now take English classes. When it comes to communication and listening skills, I’ve noticed that since the Girl’s Education Program I’ve become more confident in communicating with customers and building good relationships with my colleagues. I’ve also learned about time and financial management, which are both useful as I’m studying and working simultaneously.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I’ve worked in several places before I joined Rosewood. I can see that at Rosewood, people work from their heart. More than that, they are open to share and learn from each other. Most importantly, I really enjoy working here as a team because my colleagues are friendly, humble and very supportive. I also like how people respect and trust one another and take responsibility for their mistakes and are willing to improve.

Want to learn more about Room to Read's Girls' Education? Watch the video below.

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