Mr Yean Buunchon
35 Years Old
Province: Bantheay Meanchey
Training: Motorbike Repair
Injury: Landmine - he was injured as a soldier on January 21, 1995 - a traumatic experience he remembers keenly to this day.
Buunchon was a 'motorcycle taxi' driver before his training. He was reasonably content with his job; he earned good money, and was able to support his family. However, at times he had to travel extremely long distances on poorly constructed and dangerous roads.
Whenever he found part of the training difficult, he took this as meaning he needed to work harder and practise until this difficult task became as easy as the rest.
Now Chon is still able to earn enough money to support his family and still be around to spend time with them. He earns about 20,000 Riel per day, and has been able to save money, expand his workshop with many spare parts, and open a grocery store beside it. His wife runs the small store, while his daughter is at school, and his young baby boy rocks away happily in his hammock. Although he earns a similar income as before, on average, he now is able to rebuild motors for around 120,000 Riel per motor.
Chon was quite a determined man, who worked away as we spoke. He was in the process of teaching his brother how to repair a motorbike engine so he too could run a business. The only times he really stopped working were to talk of his injury, illustrating how deeply it has affected his life.