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Searching for a better life

With Jetstar’s support through StarKids, Eang has found business success.

Like many vulnerable families in Cambodia, Eang and her children used to scavenge on a rubbish dump for items to sell for income.

A whole day’s work brought in about $1.50, barely enough to survive.

It was dirty, dangerous work, but Eang felt like she had no choice. At first, the smell was unbearable, but they slowly got used to it. The worst part was pushing the heavy cart home in the dark along bumpy roads.

Things improved a little when Eang found factory work, but even then the pay was so low she had to return to the dump on weekends. Her children were often sick and rarely attended school.

But now, life on the rubbish dump is just a memory.

Through a StarKids-supported development project, Eang joined a savings group where she learned to weave rugs to sell and was able to borrow funds to start her own business. She can earn enough to meet her family’s needs and has started selling biscuits from her home-based shop.

Eang was recently visited by Catriona Larritt, Jetstar’s Chief Commercial Officer and chair of the StarKids Board, who was in Cambodia to meet some of the people benefiting from donations made by Jetstar customers.

“I was happy to see her coming to my home,” said Eang, who also proudly shared that she has joined her local child protection committee, also supported by the project.

“I like this job, because I can help my community, especially children.”

As a passionate StarKids-supporter, Catriona was struck by how donations are changing lives.

“It was amazing to see how these small business development and savings programs will benefit generations to come by helping parents save for their children’s education,” said Catriona.

“A huge thank you to all the Jetstar customers who donated more than $2.6 million to support StarKids projects like this one in the last financial year.”This project is also supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.