Dina was separated from her family at a young age and didn’t have the privilege of finishing secondary school. Instead, she bore the burden of providing for herself financially and lived paycheck to paycheck in order to survive.
After becoming a single mother in 2019 and reconnecting with her younger sister, Dina focused on the well-being of her daughter Zana. Her younger sister was able to financially support the pair, while Dina switched to caring for her daughter full time. Dina had been wanting to return to the workforce, as she didn’t want to be a burden for her sister, but didn’t have any options to provide her daughter with adequate childcare.
During the pandemic, Dina has reflected on her life and realized that in order to become truly independent and successful, she needed to pursue her childhood dream: becoming a cosmetologist.
Thomlang – Cambodian Youth Support encouraged Dina to enroll in a course at a local beauty salon and supported her through the coverage of tuition and the distribution of study supplies. Dina learns from her teachers every day and will receive an official certificate upon completion. After that, she will be able to be employed at beauty salons full-time and might even open up her own business in the future.
Read her story in her own words below:
Dear supporters of Cambodian Youth Support,
My name is Dina. I would like to write you this letter to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me with my studies.
I study hair, make-up, and nail technology at a salon in rural Kampot called Chenda Salon. I used to study this skill before when I was very young, but I never got the chance to work in the field, let alone get a certificate. This is the reason why it is good for me now to take lessons to regain my knowledge and improve my skills. I will try my best to study well.
I spend every morning and afternoon at the salon learning and practicing with customers. Because I am studying so much, I cannot look after my daughter Zana anymore. This was a problem for me because I didn’t have anybody to take care of her, so I was afraid to start studying. I am very grateful that you also helped me with finding a solution for this problem by putting her in Kindergarten.
Zana started Kindergarten in February and she looks so happy when she goes there. This solution is perfect because she already wants to be like a big girl and is very motivated to start learning. This way she is taken care of every morning when I study.
I am so thankful that you always support me and my daughter Zana. I am happy to see her grow up with the beautiful and safe life that she has thanks to your support.
I wish you good luck, a lot of energy, and all the best for the year 2022!
As Dina mentions in her letter, not having anyone around to look after her daughter during study hours at the salon would have prevented her from enrolling in the course. Therefore, CYS decided to help her overcome this obstacle by supporting her further through the enrollment of Zana in Kindergarten and the coverage of the tuition.
Be sure to return to our website next Sunday to read more about Zana’s experience at Kindergarten!