Arunny is 17 years old, outgoing and energetic. She smiles a lot and has always dreamt of one day becoming a chef. Until three months ago, Arunny never thought she would achieve this dream.
After Arunny’s mother died, her father had not wanted to care for his daughter and moved away with his new wife. Arunny had no choice but to find work. This she found, but in a karaoke bar working in poor conditions and for very little pay. When Arunny was referred to Hagar, she was shy, silent and easily frightened.
“Sometimes, if someone spoke loudly to me, I would cry. I was easily upset.”
Four months on, Arunny describes herself as “more confident” and knowing “how to stand up” for herself. Working with the Hagar Cambodia team, Arunny received work readiness training and job placements to build her technical skills. Now each morning she starts work as a trainee chef at a well-known hotel in Phnom Penh, knowing she is one step closer to achieving her dream.
A fast learner, Arunny is honing her chef skills and is learning how to negotiate and carve out her own space as a valuable member of the team.
“The first day, I felt happy because I was coming to practice the skill that I love. I love the environment. The staff welcome me, encourage me, and support me when I need it.”
What is Arunny’s favourite thing to cook? Sour soup. But beyond wanting to create the perfect sour soup recipe, Arunny wants to be like her boss, who cares about her employees and often checks in with them to see how they are feeling.
“My supervisor offers support and encouragement. I’ve learnt that if I become a boss, I will be caring and kind. I have a lot of respect for my boss.”
Arunny will continue to be supported by Hagar as she journeys towards becoming a fully qualified chef; with our team walking with her every step of the way.