Monday, August 10, 2009

Cambodia: Precious Girl Magazine

CAMBODIA - Roathanak is an 18 year-old girl working in a garment factory in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. She grew up in the countryside but left school early and came to the big city. She hoped that the money she made would support her parents and her younger brothers and sisters back home.

Away from the security of ther family, Roathanak misses home, even though she shares her small bedroom with five other girls. On a good month, she can earn $68 with maximum overtime and bonuses, and sends $30 of this back to her family. With basic living expenses costing over $30, there is barely enough money for her to eat well, let alone buy books.

Roathanak is just one of about 300,000 young women working in garment factories in and around Phnom Penh. Clothing manufacture is an important industry in Cambodia, generating income for this developing country and providing employment for the daughters of poorer families.

Precious Girl is an affordable quarterly magazine which aims to be a blessing to these vulnerable young women. It is designed to encourage and inspire its readers and impress on them a sense of their immense value. Most Khmer magazines for young women are expensive, celebrity-laden and morally questionable, but Precious Girl is invariably wholesome and uplifting.

The glossy, full-colour pages are packed with health and beauty tips, creative ideas, inspirational stories and practical help for girls facing real-life dilemmas. The factory worker's photos, comments and letters are also printed - the only stars in this magazine are the readers themselves!

Precious Girl is run by a young vibrant team of local Christian girls. In producing this magazine, they want to celebrate the richness of the factory worker's lives and encourage thousands of girls like Roathanak to find meaning and happiness within.


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