Maly is a crafter trainee at the Cambodian Handicraft Association based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Being poor and female in Cambodia is challenging at the best of times. But being poor, female and deaf is even more challenging. For Maly, this was her reality. Her disability shut her out from a school system that couldn’t cater to her needs; and from an employment market that saw her deafness as a insurmountable barrier.
Maly’s course in life changed when as a teenager she gained a place at the Cambodian Handicraft Association (CHA) in Cambodian’s capital. CHA is a not-for-profit training centre where women with disabilities like Maly’s can gain skills in handicrafts, cooking, English and social connection.
Since joining CHA, Maly has truly blossomed. Her eagerness to learn has seen her pick up many skills and build a bold confidence. Always drawing quick laughs from her workmates, she is now a character at the core of CHA.
As for her future, she isn’t quite sure what it will bring. But one thing is for certain, it is looking a whole lot brighter.