A Positive Force for Change in Cambodia

Speeches Shim

Nanda Pok is not only the owner of her own successful business in Cambodia but she also keeps herself busy by grooming other women to start their own businesses. She believes that when women are economically-empowered, money flows back into businesses and towards the health, education and well-being of families. Nanda participated in a USAID funded coffee production training program for female business leaders from Southeast Asia. She then passed her learnings to other women entrepreneurs in her country, helping them to start their own businesses. In Cambodia and across the globe, USAID grows the skills of women entrepreneurs. They serve as a positive force for change.

For more stories to lift the human spirit visit: https://stories.usaid.gov

Video Transcript 
As a Cambodian, something that we have that nature gave us, (is) the land, the soil, the products that we can grow on our own land. It is Cambodian pride that we need to cherish, we need to promote, we need to explore so that the world can learn about it. I was born in Cambodia. At the age of 16, two weeks before the Khmer Rouge took over, I went to France. The country collapsed, and I reunited with my family in the United States My decision to come back was to be part of the reconstruction and development of the country and make a difference. I am a mentor of so many women, in politics and now in the business (sector). At the training, I learned how to select the type of coffee that you want to plant on your land. I’ve learned the different variety of coffee. After the training I came back, and I shared that experience. Phala was thinking about having her own business. When she heard about it she said I want to learn more. So I started mentoring her After she was back, she discussed with me about this coffee. She said that we should promote Mondulkiri coffee. I am very proud of Phalla because I am able to help her dream, her vision become a reality. My biggest challenges in training women is not training them to become independent, but in training and mentoring them how they can balance work and family. (Phalla): I am really proud of the achievement in my business and for being a good mother by showing my children that ladies can run business as well as men do. As Phalla’s mentor, I’m hoping that she will grow her business and she’s going to be well known, not only inside the country, but in the region and around the world. I believe that when women become independent financially they make their own decisions and they can stand on their own two feet without fear, without intimidation, and they are brave in making decisions for themselves for the children, for the family and for the whole society.

Last updated: May 27, 2022

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