meet Srey Menh - a cheerful 34 year old woman
“I feel very happy now. I am having a good life. Not looking back, but forward!”
Srey Menh was born blind. Her father recalls the time when he and his wife were raising their blind daughter. “It was very hard. We always had to be home to help her. She couldn’t do anything on her own. At the same time, we visited and consulted every doctor spending so much money on medicines, but unfortunately nothing helped.”
In 2005 one of the CDMD’s field staff heard about Menh and her family. “The day CDMD came to my house, my life has changed. Without their help I would still felt insecure and inferior. Not able to do anything and not having a job, which make me feel very much excluded. I feel very happy now. I am having a good life.”
Her father adds: ”Earlier I felt pity for her. Being blind. Not able to go to school. But now when I look at her, she blooms like a flower. I am proud of her being independent.”
Poverty is not simply lack of income; it is a denial of the fundamental freedom and opportunity to develop as a human being. With reduced access to education, training, and work, people with disabilities face impoverishment in every sense of the word. And work is a way out of poverty. CDMD understands that people with disabilities have a right to employment, work and income just like everyone else. So besides the personal mobility and skilltraining that Men got, CDMD helped her and her family to set-up their own business - generating their own income.
“With the first loan we started to raise pigs. Only due to sudden illness and death of the pigs, we had to change our plans to setting up a stock of rice. Unfortunately that didn’t work out either. In consultation with CDMD we started this village shop.”
Menh and her family got a lot of training of sales and accounting. That has given her much confidence. Despite the strong family bond - Menh lives with her sister, brother-in-law and their children - until Menh had her own job and earned some income people of the community didn’t accept her. “Hardly anyone visited me. Nobody talked to me. I really felt alone. Now I have my own shop people admire me and are very happy for me.”
Whether she has any plans for the future, her answer is clear. “ No specific plans. I am happy with my modest life. Not looking back, but forward. I enjoy every day!”
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