Vannara’s Pandemic Recovery

The global pandemic has had devastating effects on many people’s lives. For Vannara, it catalyzed a downwards spiral that he didn’t see a way out of for months on end.

Vannara used to work as Front Office Assistant in a hotel in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Back then, his salary was enough to provide for himself and his then-pregnant wife, Malin. When the pandemic hit, the tourism industry laid off all of its workers, meaning that suddenly, Vannara was unable to cover their daily living expenses or prepare for the birth of their son.

Throughout all of 2021, Vannara received only half of his salary, sometimes even less. This put a heavy burden on the small family, as they lived in constant fear and worry for their newborn’s health. CYS stepped in and provided for Vannara’s family every month throughout the entirety of the past year. In late 2021, when Cambodia’s borders were reopened and tourists returned, Vannara was hopeful that his career would pick up again.

However, he soon realized that his workplace would not allow him to further his career. Vannara needed assistance in reevaluating his goals and in reflecting on his skillset and knowledge. Through our professional mentorship, Vannara was able to learn how to search and apply for higher-paying jobs.

Read his story in his own words below:

Dear readers,

I hope you are all doing well.

I am writing this letter to thank you for all of the support that you gave me and my family during the COVID pandemic, as my career was not going well. During that time, the entire hotel industry didn’t have a lot of business and the staff wasn’t paid their full salaries. I am so lucky and happy that you helped me during this bad situation. Not only did you support us financially, but this NGO also helped me to find a new job and write a professional job application.

In March, I started my new job at an international medical clinic in Phnom Penh called Olympia Medical Hub. It is a change for me, who used to only work in hotels before. This is a new experience for me and I have to say that this is a perfect workplace. I am gaining a lot of new knowledge. It is really important to me to improve my skills and to improve my ability to achieve my goals.

At the Medical Hub, I am the head of the Front Desk Department. I supervise and manage a team of 12 people in 5 different stations. It’s a really busy job but I love it.
Now I am getting a full salary and I earn twice as much as I did at my previous job. I can support my family completely by myself.

I really appreciate your support!
All the best,


Thanks to this new job, Vannara is finally able to take care of his family again and live fully independently. After more than 1,5 years of financial crisis and dependence on CYS’ aid, this was an important improvement not only for his family’s well-being but also for his self-esteem and personal growth. Vannara is in a management position for the first time in his career, and has the opportunity for further professional development.

This new position has sparked his passion for work all over again and has brought a sense of joy and motivation to him, that he had lost due to the many challenges he had to face the last few years.

Support us in helping families in need by donating to CYS today!