Voices of Phnom Penh #5

Voices of Phnom Penh is inspired by "Humans of New York" and wants to give a voice to a selection of Phnom Penh citizens whose voice may not be often heard in public sphere. In particular, these inspiring citizens of Cambodia’s capital are usually not the center of public attention. This hbs photo project aims at providing a platform of telling their stories, thoughts and dreams.


Phannith, Service Staff at a Western coffeeshop

My family couldn’t support my university studies, so I started working part-time here to afford my studies. I study Social Protection because I would like to help my province Kampong Thom. We have many issues regarding welfare and education. All of this reminded to study this. At the same time, I can learn to make coffee. The owner at this coffee shop really likes Khmer but we have stricter rules I would say. We have to come on time and help out with everything. On the opposite, the owner allows me to be flexible for example when I’m busy with my studies or when I have to meet my learning group.

One day after I completed my studies, I can imagine opening a coffeeshop in my province. At this shop I can provide students with jobs and I would like to have classes close to the coffee shop where students come and I teach them. I want to set up a social enterprise so that I can share the expenses with the people in my community.

My parents want me to get married already. The culture in Cambodia, especially in the provinces, is different. They don’t think of me. They want to control me. But it’s a bad situation because I don’t want to think about it. I want to have my own business, teach classes, spend a lot of time with children and old people.