"I have been living and working abroad since I graduated from university ten years ago, and I don't think I could ever adopt another lifestyle. It is so enriching, personally and professionally, to interact with people from different cultures every day, to speak languages other than my own and to be challenged in my beliefs. Currently, I work to facilitate safe migration in Cambodia and I love what I do. I am taking part in the EU Aid Volunteer initiative, so I was trained and certified by the European Union to support humanitarian aid projects and to reinforce the capacity and resilience of communities.
I was also lucky enough to be selected by an Italian NGO Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC) to support their activities in Cambodia. GVC works in Cambodia to protect migrants' rights and to promote safe migration practices in vulnerable communities. It is one of the very few NGOs fighting against labour exploitation and human trafficking in Cambodia to be actively present in the field, and I am very proud to be taking part in their activities. Today, one million Cambodian migrants live in Thailand and most of them are undocumented. They work in farms, plastic factories, seafood companies or construction companies in extreme conditions, and sometimes through abuse or exploitation by their employers. For many of them, migration is not a choice but rather the only option they have to sustain their families.
Surprisingly, there are as many women workers as men, especially in the construction sector. Women often make the difficult choice to leave their children behind, so grandparents back in the communities of origina take care of up to five grandchildren with no financial or social support. As a woman and as a migrant myself, these stories touch me profoundly. I wish we lived in a world where migration was a free choice, not a necessity, and that everybody would know what equality and dignity mean."