Meet Ms. Hoeum Srey Mao

Srey Mao was born in 1976 in a small village Angkor Peas, about 2 hours away from Siem Reap.  Srey Mao is from one of the poorest families of that area.  She had 4 brothers and 4 sisters, but 3 brothers and 1 sister died during the Pol Pot Regime by starvation and sickness.

Her father Hoeurng  Sok, died when he was 66 years old. Her mother’s name was York, she also died at age 56. Sey Mao’s other 4 siblings married and have their own family.  Only Srey Mao is still not married, as she felt it her responsibility to work hard and help raise and support her younger siblings after her parents died.

One year later Srey Mao went to work in Thailand as a housekeeper, trying to earn a higher wage. After realizing this wasn’t the case, she returned to Siem Reap and worked for a Korean restaurant as a cook. Most of her salary she forwarded to her poorer siblings, who could only work as labourers, minding cows and growing vegetable.  She worked at the restaurant for 5 years then she left her job to find another. She applied to a job agency office, looking for work in the restaurant industry, but no one wanted her, due to her low education.

This turned out to be a blessing for us, as after meeting Srey Mao and realizing her strengths and compassion, we quickly employed her as our Children’s Shelter Home Mother at our previous organisation.

Srey Mao has struggled and fought many obstacles in her life, including teaching herself English within a year of working in the Children’s Shelter Home. Even though she has no academic education, she tries to keep learning in every way.  She is now our Head Chef at Feeding Dreams Cambodia and enjoys her job so much. She is an amazing cook and a very hard worker.  She has great organizational skills, is very kind and loyal and has a big heart.  She is raising one of her nieces, and also still continues to send as much of her salary home to her siblings as possible. She is one warm, loving and giving person.