Photo story, Cambodia: Putting health first at work

Maly works as a line leader at a busy garment factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is 8 months pregnant with her second child, and as you can imagine, sometimes her job can be very tiring and demanding.

But there are perks of working at her company, and she has joined CARE’s contraceptive training program – Chat! – which has taught her new skills to help her fellow workers, but also to improve her own life.

Maly lives with her husband, her brother-in-law and his wife in a room near the factory where she works. Her work days tend to be long, she usually spends 8 or 11 hours at the factory.

Maly participates during an outdoor contraception activity at a garment factory.

Maly enjoys participating in CARE’s training activities. “Before I joined CARE’s training, I didn’t know anything about contraceptive methods,” She says. “But now, after I have my second baby, I will start protecting myself.”

Maly Thorn at work

At the factory, Maly is learning to not only be a better worker and leader, but she is also learning important lessons through CARE’s training about nutrition, sexual education and maternity health. “I didn’t have any information when I had my first baby. Now, with the second one, I am getting a lot of useful information from the nurse,” she says.

Chanthy Deep has been a nurse at Cambodian Textiles garments factory for over either years. Since joining CARE’s training, she feels more confident to advise her workers.

Thanks to the advice of Nurse Chanthy at her factory, Maly understands the importance of visiting her local health centre regularly to follow up on her baby’s progress.

CARE’s training at Maly’s factory has helped Maly and her husband Rin be better informed about contraceptive methods and hope to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the future.

Maly rests at her factory’s infirmary when she feels tired.

Maly’s work days can get long and her workplace often gets very hot during the dry season in Cambodia, so taking a break is always a good idea. Sometimes, when she feels sick or tired, Maly visits the infirmary to recover. “Sometimes I feel very heavy and exhausted”, she says. “The nurse tells me to eat better, take calcium and get regular check-ups at the health centre.”

Having the infirmary has helped Maly feel better at her workplace. “It’s great to have a nurse at the factory I can talk to,” she says. “I can ask for her advice. I asked her if it was true that if you drank wine during pregnancy, the baby would have beautiful skin. She told me it was a lie and that I should never do it!”

Maly, 25, checks her weight progress at 8-months pregnant during a visit to the factory’s infirmary. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Mar. 14, 2018. © CARE / Erika Piñeros

Maly can also have a close monitoring of her pregnancy at her factory’s infirmary. She visits Nurse Chanthy regularly to get her weight and vital signs logged into CARE’s Healthy Mother’s app.

Maly buys lunch from CARE’s food vendor in front of her factory. “Wejoined CARE’s program to learn how to improve our cooking and hygiene”, says Veasna, who has been cooking and selling his food in front of the factories for months. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Mar. 14, 2018. © CARE / Erika Piñeros

Eating well is very important for Maly and her baby. This is why CARE’s Food Vendor Program is helping provide healthier food options for women like her outside their workplace.

Learn more about how CARE is supporting mothers and mothers-to-be like Maly.

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