Srey Pich is 22 years old and is the youngest of three daughters. Originally from Kampot Province, she moved to Phnom Penh four years ago to study. She has been working as an entertainment worker in a beer garden for the past two years to fund her Bachelor's degree in agricultural science.
18 months ago, Srey Pich joined ACTED’s “Voices Against Violence” project on the prevention of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) against entertainment workers in their workplace. As a peer educator, she provides outreach sessions to other female entertainment workers across six beer gardens and karaoke bars in the city. Each month, she talks to them about ways to protect themselves when facing difficult situations with clients at work, how to try to avoid acts of violence from starting, and how survivors of SGBV can seek help.
For International Women’s Day, ACTED peer educators conducted special outreach sessions to entertainment workers throughout the month of March. A special booklet was created; created by entertainment workers themselves, it provides advice for entertainment workers on strategies to increase their safety in the workplace. The sessions were also an opportunity to celebrate women by hosting small parties, with special refreshments and gifts.
ACTED also wished to learn more about the daily life of a peer educator. Srey Pich let us spend the day with her and document it; here is her photo story.
Srey Pich usually gets up in the mid-morning, gets ready and has breakfast at home. She then goes to the market to buy food and other supplies, and usually has lunch there too. Srey Pich then goes back home to relax for a couple of hours before setting off for work. Srey Pich has her own moto; she is happy about this as it makes going to and from work easier.
Srey Pich works in a restaurant and beer garden every day from 2pm until 11pm, but often stays to work until 1am. She is responsible for preparing the room, cleaning, and serving clients. On the days when she conducts outreach sessions, she takes a break from her work in the afternoon to go to other establishments where she works as a peer educator.
Today, Srey Pich is conducting a special outreach session to the women in a beer garden close to her work. Instead of discussing a specific topic, Srey Pich is hosting a small party with the women to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The women take turns reading sections of the new booklet. Designed for new entertainment workers, it provides feedback and advice from current entertainment workers on how to stay safe in the workplace, as well as on the way to and from work. For instance, women advise each other to ride their own motos to and from work, or to have a family member pick them up from work at night. Reading these tips from the booklet also gives the women an opportunity to discuss the strategies mentioned and share experiences. They all then take part in a lucky draw to win a special prize, whilst enjoying some special refreshments. The lucky winner opens her present: a soft towel. The rest of the women get to enjoy their new t-shirts and the refreshments.
After conducting the outreach session, Srey Pich goes back to work until around midnight. Once she gets home, Srey Pich eats a quick meal before going to bed.
Srey Pich is happy to work as a peer educator for ACTED:
It not only provides me with extra income to pay my studies, it also gives me work experience, and above all, I get to play a role in sharing important messages on women's safety and their value as entertainment workers.
Srey Pich has just graduated from her Bachelor’s in agricultural science and wants to work in an NGO to increase the efficiency of agriculture in Cambodia. She also hopes to keep her job as a peer educator with ACTED.