Living in a border city like Poipet, where traffickers prey on economically vulnerable families seeking higher wages, Mealea was highly susceptible to exploitative jobs and labor trafficking snares. Mealea dreamed of financial stability and a secure job to support her family. After dropping out of high school, Mealea could only secure work as a seasonal cassava farm worker which came with extremely low wages. The lack of education limited her career opportunities.
Before joining the Nomi Network Workforce Development Program, Mealea applied for garment worker positions several times, but she always failed the sewing machine assessments. After completing the first program phase, Mealea began technical training with the Cambodian Garment Training Institute (CGTI), a job creation partner of Nomi Network Cambodia, to learn to sew at the industry standard.
In July, Mealea was hired for her first job, which also provides health insurance! As a newly employed young woman with her own savings account, Mealea can reverse generational poverty cycles and better support her family.
*Name changed to protect privacy