I’ve been eating at the same restaurant everyday for lunch for the past 10 days. I see the same little old lady serving here every time I walk past so I decided to ask her what are her shifts like since she literally seems to be here 24 hours a day.
This is her story.
Her name is Sopheak, 52, she is both the cook & the waiter in this little restaurant. She works 7 days a week from 3am (arrives at the shop and cooks the soup broth) to 10pm every single day and gets paid $3 USD ($90 a month, $30 of that payment goes back to her boss because she gave her a loan when she was in an accident to pay for medical costs). This leaves her $60 a month. Her monthly cost to rent a place to live costs $70, which means she’s actually running on a $10 deficit every month. She makes this deficit through tips and collecting empty bottles and cans that customers leave behind after they eat and she sells them at the end of the month.
Her husband died 4 years ago, they had a 30 year + age difference; though he was the love of her life. He was Italian and she is Cambodian and they never had kids. She likes cooking, he didn’t know how to cook but he started learning and together they built up their businesses to 4 restaurants. He was later diagnosed with a range of illness surrounding his kidney and intestines, followed by stomach cancer which ultimately took his life. He flew back to Italy before passing to try get better treatment to try fight the illnesses but after a long battle, he ultimately lost the fight. Due to the mounting medical bills they sold their restaurants and home to pay for all the bills. Soon after her husbands passing she was involved in a car accident, in which the driver hit her as she was crossing the road. She was hospitalised and couldn’t work for a whole year and used up all her savings. She is a single child, with most of her family dying during Khmer Rouge and because of her husbands passing she now has no one related to her that wants to help her.
She tells me there’s nights that she wants to just die and have this all over with. She is constantly stressed out and comes home at 10pm shower gets ready to tries to sleep (on the floor with a bad back due to the accident)is unable to and before she knows it she’s up again and going to work again. Hearing this story hurts me because nobody on this planet should ever feel like they don’t want to live anymore. She has such a kind heart and i want to do what ever I can to try raise funds to try help her out. I’m in cambodia for another week or so, so I decided to set up a go fund me page to try help her out.
Just remember, any amount of money you donate will help significantly as the daily wage is $3 a day (even if it’s $1). She tells me that her dream is just to open her own restaurant again, do what she loves and not get abused by the current owners who is simply taking advantage of her unfortunate situation :(
Thanks all for reading.
DonationsSee top donations
- Vicha Supriyanto
- Alisa Chuck
- Lee Tang
- Ying Lim
- Krystal Zhao
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more