Developing Life Skills for Garment Factory Workers (2012)

Chronic poverty, landlessness, depletion of resources, lack of year-round employment, debt, and national disasters prompt many young Cambodians living in rural areas to migrate to Phnom Penh each year. Many of these youth – particularly young women – become garment workers. These women are often single and illiterate or with low levels of education, and they lack the knowledge and socio-economic skills that allow them to have successful work and life outcomes in their new environments. In response to these critical issues and needs of vulnerable women, the International Labour Organization (ILO) commissioned World Education to develop a Life Skills Training Program for Garment Workers.

Building on a past partnership between ILO and World Education on the ILO-funded Pre-Industry Life Skills program, World Education utilized materials already developed by both organizations and combined them to create a training curriculum focused on five core elements – safe migration, financial literacy, nutrition and health, personal hygiene, and prenatal care – to increase the work-life skills, health and well-being of garment workers. World Education developed a Training of Trainers manual for the curriculum and trained eight members of a local NGO, Cambodian Women for Peace and Development, who were then able to conduct interactive trainings to 20 different groups of factory workers in four different garment factories. In total, 502 garment workers participated in the training over the course of the project.

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