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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youth of The Week: Nuon Sitha

Youth of The Week: Nuon Sitha


If you are lacking money, an education, or a network and, to make it worse, you are a girl that is not as strong as boy to work in construction what will you do?

Nuon Sitha, 31 years old, head of planning and buying at Riverorchid, talked about a her childhood in the countryside of Svay Reang province where her family’s house was 10 kilometers away from school.   

Nonetheless Nuon Sitha went everyday. “Despite the fact that I had to spend a very long time cycling from home to school, I still got good records.”

Because of loving study and working hard, Sitha graduated high school made a decision to leave home for Phnom Penh. Separated from her family that always cared for her she moved in with a distance relative.

Despite her passion Sitha did not get into the law course she would have wanted to do at the Royal University of Law and Economics. Still Sitha did not go back to her hometown but started her new hard life in Phnom Penh. “Life in Phnom Penh was really difficult. Everything was very expensive and I did not have much money and at that time I wanted to study English, so I decided to sell my necklace that my parents gave me for living as a new life,” Sitha told.

Like in school Sitha took extra English classes at the Chey Tavy School having to spend large amounts of money on the motor taxi from home to school and back.

When costs grew out of proportion Sitha bought a bicycle to ride. Unfortunately, two days after she bought it, the bike was stolen.

“The salary was only 80 dollars a month at City Villa Hotel and I did not live with my relative any longer.”, Sitha remembers how hard it was. “Every month I had only 30 dollars left to live on after having transportation cost and the rent covered. Sometimes, my salary was reduced because I could not reach the minimum sale.”

While she was working at the hotel, she also applied for many jobs and failed because she did not have a Bachelor Degree. Eventually her luck changed when Sitha started a new career as a receptionist at an advertising company in Phnom Penh.    

Day by day, Sitha’s work improved climbing up the job ladder. She was promoted from media assistant to media planner, later becoming group leader. Eventually Sitha was made head of planning and buying at Riverorchid.

To the question of how Sitha was able to achieve what she did she answers: “What I got today comes from hard work, commitment and patience. We should not jump too fast or skip career steps but rather start at the bottom.”



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