“I am overcome with happiness. I love what I do and I can finally support myself!”
Pich left school to help her mother with a small home-based grocery business after only completing fifth grade. At 13 she was lured into a relationship with an older boy. The boy was arrested and Pich ended up at a shelter filled with a sense that she’d brought a great shame on her family.
After several weeks of keeping to herself, she gradually began to open up to others with the help of regular personal counseling sessions. Pich also learned to enjoy the sewing and handicraft sessions offered and eventually applied for beauty salon skills training. Even though she was only 13 years old at the time, she was very enthusiastic, which earned her the training award.
Being very skilled at salon work, Pich started to earn good money after only 6 months of training! We recently visited her at her very own salon where she can average $5 per day and double that in the marriage season where she can earn $20 for one marriage.
This is the hope that support and skills training can bring a young girl in need.
Gender-based violence is rampant in Cambodia. Girls like Pich are expected to remain chaste until marriage and are generally held in lower regard than boys. Widespread sex trafficking and rape present these girls with a painful irony: in addition to the trauma of sexual assault and abuse, survivors are often blamed for what has happened to them. Ostracized and shouldering a burden of guilt for having shamed their families, many girls have nowhere to turn.
Thanks to your donations, Consoling Through Counseling is able to provide professional trauma counseling to girls like Pich, giving them a safe place to land and heal, and the strength to move forward with their lives.