“The first time I met the Sister Tribe, I said ‘Oh my God, how am I going to get along with them? Their language, knowledge and experience is so much more than mine.’ But the more I put in, the more I get back, and I have learnt confidence from them. They have given me a voice. You couldn’t find another tribe like them – they are not just there for me 24/7, they are there for me when I am down. It is like a family.
I was only five when Pol Pot came to power in my home country of Cambodia and I can still remember the time very clearly. How hard and how horrible that was – I have seen much more than the Killing Fields and I still have nightmares. I survived that and I survived 20 years of abusive relationships, but along the way, my strength and confidence were buried. With the help and support of Global Sisters, I have dug them up again. I have always been determined but my past has made me more determined.
I don’t speak great English or have any education or qualifications. I faced cultural barriers and had no confidence or self-esteem. Forget about financial independence, I couldn’t even stand up for myself. Global Sisters provided me with all that. It’s how I can now stand up for myself and for my kids and for women. It was life changing for me.
Now, I think ‘How can I get this far without any qualifications in my hands, how can I get this far and help women fight?’ People keep putting their hands towards me and I keep taking any opportunity that comes. I cannot believe I have succeeded and the number of people who have helped me. I don’t have the right words to say how thankful I am.
As my business AMOK Sisters develops, the challenges change. I’m struggling with networking and technology – I’m really useless at social media. My next goal is to build up permanent part time jobs for our women, they so badly need the employment. 24 hours a day are not enough for me!
I keep three powerful words in me all the time, every time I fall down: Don’t give up. I say, ‘Stand up, be strong, don’t give up’. From when I was a little girl, I have told myself that. I want to be a role model for my kids, for my community, for women. People keep telling me I am inspiring, but I don’t feel that. I just be myself. This is me.”
Click here to find out more about Cindy’s business.
Global Sisters is all about making business possible for women who face barriers to mainstream employment due to their circumstances … women who are seeking financial independence. Sister School is a real world business education program that aims to equip women with the practical knowledge, skills and support needed to start a business or grow an early stage business. Click Here to find out more