As usual, ODOV project staff regularly conduct weekly follow-up visits for master craft persons and training participants involved in ODOV vocational training partnerships. The purpose of these visits is for ODOV staff to observe the learning and teaching of the master craft person and trainee in order to evaluate the progress of the trainee in the project. One day, an ODOV project staff went to visit a moto repair shop in Tamao village, Boeng Preah commune, Ba Phnom district, Prey Veng province, about 15 km West of the ODOV office. The shop is by the house of Mr. Konh Phat, the owner and master craft person of the business. When the ODOV staff member arrived at the shop, he showed them a young man working to change a spare part on a motorbike. The staff member said to the young man, “Hello brother, how are you? What are you doing?” The young man with his hands covered in engine grease, replied to the ODOV staff member, “I am doing well teacher. I am now providing a service to repair a moto bike.”
This young man, Non Veasna, 18 years of age, lives in Tamao village, Boeng Preah commune, Ba Phnom district, Prey Veng province, near the moto shop where he now works. He has three siblings and is the second child in his family. His father, Morn Natt, 52 years old, and his mother, Chet Yeourn, 50 years old, make a living on rice cultivation. Rice production here is often insufficient to provide adequate food and financial security for some families. His mother is also often sick. Overall, their family living situation is difficult, so his father decided to take up an additional job as a motorbike taxi driver in the surrounding villages. For this same reason, Veasna decided to drop out of school in grade 10 to help with the farm and other household work as well as care for his regularly sick mother.
Their family learned about the ODOV vocational training program and was interested for Veasna to participate. ODOV project staff went to visit the family to further discuss their needs and the various options for Veasna. He was accepted for the motorbike repair program and began training in March of 2022 and continuing onward. Veasna committed to study hard and gained new skills and experience learning about motorbike repair.
Master craft person Mr. Konh Phat found that Veasna had acquired enough skills and knowledge to be a helpful trainee in his shop, and hired him to continue learning and working under his guidance. Veasna now for the past four months has been working in this shop for a salary of $200 per month. This money has been important for Veasna to help support his family while at the same time gaining new skills and experience.
“I am very happy that I have such a great opportunity today. Now I have the knowledge and skill to gradually begin receiving monthly income to help support my family. I have committed to continue learning and save enough money to start my own business in the future.”
- Non Veasna
ODOV appreciates seeing the success of Veasna, and wishes for him to continue to grow and start his own business in the future. The story of Veasna is a good example of the impact of ODOV’s vocational training program for youth. Thank you to all the donors including MCC who continue to make this work possible through supporting these programs. This project benefits youth to acquire vocational skills to make them more employable and prepare them to eventually open their own businesses. This reduces the need for these individuals and members of their family, especially young men and women, to take the risk of migrating out of the region for work.