A reader shares "My Journey from Cambodia as a Sweatshop Worker"

The other day I got an amazing email from Sina Li, a Clothing Design student at University of Minnesota who was born in Cambodia.  She read WAIW? and enjoyed it, which thrilled me.  Her sister works at a garment factory and Sina almost did before coming to the United States.

I asked her to tell her story and she did so in the comments of this post, but I thought I would share them here, too.  Thanks for Sharing Sina!

My journey from Cambodia as a sweatshop worker

This is for Kelsey asking me to write on his blog. Well it started when I was about 13 years old when my life was so close to no choice but to work at a sweatshop factory in Cambodia Phnom Penh. Every body is doing it in my village and I don’t see why not. I remember I asked someone who knew my sister helping me filling an application lying about my age entry to a factory a block away near my sister’s rent apartment.

Life is super/extremely hard in Cambodia I dare you to believe me. I don’t remember the exact date but it was the morning sun I ever see in many years. I thought to myself oh man this is it? Now it the chance to have my own money that I wanted those jean and purse I saw at the market. I thought having this factory in Cambodia was like a gold rush here in America. Everybody was rush to the city sending their 13 years old child to work so that they can support the family.

I don’t want to make this long because I might sad myself till my eyes swallow with tear so I am just going to finish this now. You know I was so lucky that I got to come to America right before I take my first step to that factory. But if I know better, I would of love it. Because I would have money to carry that belong to me and I can help my family too. Kelsey stated that the workers (Nari and her friends and this include my sister too) were happy because they can help their family. Sweatshop is sound so bad in America at least my friends said so. But in Cambodia, sweatshop is the only key to unlock those treasure to me, my sister and tons of other workers would soooooooo agree with me.

Well open your eyes and ask your-self, living here in America you think it tough? Ask again! Think about those who worse then you living in the third world country such as Honduras, Bangladesh, Cambodia and China! Thanks Kelsey for allowing me to tell my story and thanks tons your for open our eyes on how we as American consumer see the world.


Let your voice be heard!