Or Haysim used to earn $4 - $5 per day, working 12 hours per day, sewing products for someone else to sell at the market. She no longer has the strength to do that, but sewing baby booties works well for her. She says, “I can make baby booties because l am not forced to work under a lot of time pressure, so I have time to relax. It’s less income, but it is good for me.”
When beginning, Or Haysim considered how to make the booties beautiful symbols of Khmer culture, discarding her first attempts until she was satisfied.
“It takes me about two hours to make one pair. It is not easy, but I am so happy -- it is my new achievement! Now that I know how to do it, I really enjoy the work and can teach others. I like that I can do this work in my spare time. That way I can also go to the market, look after my grandchild, cook, do housework and care for my 88-year old mother.”
Or Haysim wants more work. “If they (the Gendercide Awareness Project) order more booties I will increase my saving money in my community and teach other women to make them. Hopefully, they will get more food, too.”