“Flying” to Better Futures

COVID-19 has knocked down *Rachana’s dream of owning a small business–this promising young Cambodian woman moved to Phnom Penh to further her education after high school but was soon met with a huge roadblock when money had run out and she could not support herself anymore to finish her bachelor’s degree. This did not faze her, she quit school and set out to work to earn and in hopes of starting her own business. Then COVID-19 arrived in Cambodia and she lost her job. 

She struggled to stay in Phnom Penh and finally made the decision to go back to Siem Reap. Siem Reap also proved to be challenging for her–businesses were shut down because of the spread of COVID-19 cases and she soon realized that she could not support herself any longer if she stayed. So after a few months, she bravely came back to Phnom Penh to try her luck one more time.

In her search for job opportunities, she met an employment officer of Futures Phnom Penh, and was introduced to Ruy Reach, an agricultural start-up business harvesting black soldier flies for animal feed, who were looking for people to join the team. Ruy Reach had received startup support from the Friends Futures Factory (F3) team and were expanding as a result of their growing success.

She has now worked with this startup for three months already and plans to continue the contract. She is satisfied with the job which has trained her to acquire new skills and ideas for small business. She once said that “I saw people in my province raise frogs and sell them for a lot of money. It is good to be involved with Ruy Reach to experience new things.” She is also taking up training sessions in IT and is developing her English language skills. It brings her a new level of personal development.

Rachana hard at work. Photo provided by Ruy Reach

For the future, Rachana has one big ambition – she wants to have her own business back in her hometown of Siem Reap.

*name changed for privacy

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