“At school, I was discriminated by some classmates but I became more motivated and committed to study until I finished high school.”

Sewing recycled bag at the workshop in Rehab
Ouk Samphors is sewing recycled bag at the workshop in Rehab.

Ouk Samphors, 32, from Svay Rieng province, lost his right hand at 14 in an accident while he was using a rice miller at workplace.

Since then, a new chapter of his life has unfolded. Despite being discriminated when he was in Grade 8, he was still motivated to finish high school.

After graduation, Samphors went to Phnom Penh in the pursuit of educational opportunity. He wished to learn skills in computer and hoped to get a decent job in the city.

Ouk Samphors
Ouk Samphors.

While waiting for a job opening, his friend, now is now his wife, advised him to be trained on agricultural skills with Yodifee, a non-government organization which provides skills and training for disabled persons. It is situated 10 kilometers uptown from the capital.

Since then Samphors had received the training with Yodifee. In 2011, the National Center of Disabled Persons granted Samphors a scholarship to pursue his study at a tertiary level. He earned his bachelor’s degree in laws from the Institute of New Khmer Generation.

Samphors used to apply for various vacancies at governmental institutions, but he was not qualified in terms of English proficiency.

Hope at the Rehab

Finally, he got a job as artisan at the Rehab — an NGO providing training skills to disadvantaged people– sewing bags and other items. “I learn the skills from my wife,” he said.

Talking about his living condition, Samphors said despite earning petty wage and having irregular income, he could survive. “Thanks for the help from the center where my wife and I are working and residing. We just cover the expense of $10 for electricity and water bills,” he said.

“Whatsoever, we are happy for we could work together. Thanks to the Rehab. Without it, we don’t know where to go. I would recommend buyers to support our products and buy more,” said Samphors.

About the author – Sophal Bun

I lost a hand but I don’t give in 1
Sophal Bun is an Export Consultant for Export Assistance Program Cambodia. He received a full scholarship from the Hinrich Foundation and graduated with Master of Arts in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2014. He also earned another master’s degree in Development Studies from the Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2012.