Mr Chhoy Chhan
38 Years Old
Province: Bantheay Meanchey
Injury: Landmine - 1994 when he was a soldier fighting in the war.
Chhan found the cutting action difficult early in his training, but unlike other students who also found this skill difficult to master, he believes it was due to his laziness in the early months! However, despite the hardships early in his training, Chhan now enjoys his new work immensely. He also made many close friends at the CWARS (now Lom Orng) centre, and his teachers are amongst these friends that come to visit him regularly.
Farming was a major part of Chhan's life prior to his training, and continues to be so today. He continues to farm his land in the mornings, and then returns to his barbershop in the evenings to cut hair. Being in a farming community allows him to keep this lifestyle without sacrificing potential customers, as the rest of his village are farming at the same times. This also means a dual source of income for his family to live on.
On average he sees three customers a day, and tends to his four hectare rice field during the mornings. His wife helps with the rice field, and his 17-year-old daughter contributes when she returns from school in the afternoons.
I was rather humbled when he told me how proud he was, not only of his training and the success of his business, but of the fact we had come out to interview him for our research. This really adds further pleasure for me to the work I am assisting Lom Orng with, and it gives me great joy and satisfaction to be able to share experiences with people not fortunate enough to speak with these amazing students.