Having Skills is Happiness! 

Initial vocational education and training
Thanks to vocational education and training, Rany Chun is much happier in life. Enjoy her inspiring story on how she left behind the hardship of her childhood and found happiness becoming a seamstress and shop owner. “Without these skills I have, I don’t know what my life would have looked like. I would have become a labourer”,  says 32-years old Chun Rany sitting in her own tailor shop in Talabarivat district, Stung Treng province.
Rany is focused on her sewing and alteration work. These are typical activities in her work day as a seamstress.

Rany is a successful graduate from a sewing training course. The intensive 7-month course which included centre-based and on-the-job vocational training supported by the Skills Development Programme, a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Rany was born into a poor family with 5 other siblings. As the oldest sister, her family decided to discontinue her schooling at the lower secondary school in grade 9 to have additional help in farming. But even with Rany’s extra two hands, their income was not enough to make ends meet.

Highly interested in fashion and sewing, Rany was intrigued by the training course announced in her village. The decision to attend the training brought a lot of success to her life. 

‘When I started my business, the training centre provided technical support, counseling, and materials to help me to get going. My family and my former trainers encouraged me and gave me the mental support I needed to be courageous as an entrepreneur’, says Rany.   

Rany is showing her customers the dresses she designed for them.  

‘My business is successful. My customers are highly satisfied. They refer their neighbours to me and I have received up to 30 orders in just a few months. My life is a lot more meaningful with this career. I am so excited.’ she continued.

‘However, I am earning less now that all the wedding receptions are halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But I can still focus on finishing the remaining dresses to secure my daily income.’ mentioned Rany. Despite the slowdown, she is optimistic. People will always need clothes and Rany is convinced that her business will bounce back once the restrictions are eased.

Rany’s new occupation improved her family's livelihood. She contributes to the household income. Her family no longer depends solely on seasonal incomes from crop farming.

“I want to encourage young people to attend vocational training courses. I strongly believe that having skills can make our lives better in the future.”

Rany made some clothes for her mother

This is just a start for Rany as she feels this is the first step towards fulfilling her dreams. After securing a sustainable income for herself and her family, she now plans to grow her business by enlarging her shop, buying more materials, and helping other disadvantaged young women and men in her village to get a decent job.