Chanratana Pen describes how her life changed when she was employed as a sewer at a handicraft shop, together with other disabled artisans in Cambodia. This 31-year old woman earns from 120 U.S. Dollars to $150 per month.

Chanratana has contracted polio since five months after birth. But, it did not stop her from becoming productive and successful. After joining a training with Watthan Artisans Cambodia in 2009, she got a job.

At first, she still needed help to move to her workplace, which is 10 kilometers from her house. She saved money for three years to buy the three-wheel-motorcycle, which allows her to travel everywhere by herself.

“First, people look down on me. Now, they praise me. I can work; I can earn unlike some people without disabilities, who are unemployed,” she said.

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About the author – Leanghort Sok


Leanghort Sok (Vephea) is a Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholar. He got a full scholarship for Master of Arts in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2015.

He is currently a Sales Coordinator for Export Assistance Program Cambodia, undertaking a one year extended internship as part of the Work Integrated Learning program of the Hinrich Foundation. His internship will help better prepare him for a trade-related career in Cambodia after graduation.

Formerly a News Reporter for Cambodian News Channel (CNC TV), Leanghort also worked as a staff member at the Cambodian Mekong Bank.