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“You have to tell and teach people they are strong enough to stand for who they are.”

The intelligent and genuine Marie Cammal graced Ladies Magazine with an inside view on

The intelligent and genuine Marie Cammal graced Ladies Magazine with an inside view on running her own NGO Sok Sabay. The day to day is never easy but very rewarding to see the lives of Cambodian children evolving into successful and smart Cambodian adults who are given kindness and opportunity to further their lives. Marie Cammal has a great gift of knowing what others are capable. She is an incredible woman in business in Cambodia and someone the Ladies team admires greatly for her courage and humble love.

Can you tell me what you do?

I have a shelter for mistreated children, so people who have been enslaved, abandoned, starved or in chains by the parents. It’s mostly domestic violence and the children come to my NGO. It’s like a boarding school. Kids go outside but also inside for school in a shelter. My NGO is called Sok Sabay. I have been running the shelter for over 20 years now. SO the first student I rescued now has her bachelor’s degree, 4 year lawyer degree, tourism, and one from rape. So I am quite happy.

How did you get to that level of success? How did you build it up?

I trust on their capacity. They are very clever so I push them to study. They study very hard during the day and also at night. They have math, biology, physics, chemistry and study until 8pm. They have holidays but otherwise they stay in the center. I run it like a big family, so the big teach the small; the small teach the smaller. So we are very open to music, classical music. Most of them play an instrument from clarinet, drums, piano, violin, recorder. We do local arts and have an art exhibition once a year. We are very connected to Singapore and get lots of funds through Singapore. We go once a year to a charity night in Singapore.

How did you come up with the idea?

It’s a long, long story, but I spent a few years in a refugee camp so an Asian refugee camp holding people from Laos, Cambodian, Vietnam, but to the Khmer refugee camp. So I really felt the Khmer needed my help of training as a nurse and tropical medicine. I learned Khmer at the university of London, so I spent a few years in South East Asia for refugee people then I studied to come to Cambodia and was back and forth from Cambodia for over two decades

And it’s just grown since then?

Yes, well I don’t take anymore. My last rescue were just one year ago. Last year I rescued 15 more children from the rubbage dump and that’s too much. I like to rescue one and increase the integrity of the shelter before rescuing another one. But last year was special because I went to a new rubbage dump where kids were starving, mistreated, parents with a lot of alcoholism. So I rescued them, but now I am very busy with Laos program at the moment and cannot rescue any more kids. Most of my children go to university. You have to push the students to give them a better life. They cannot go back to square one. They come from very extreme poverty, extreme domestic violence. If you give education to the youngest, they can change that community, they can change that family, they can buy a house and land for their parents and their parents can die in dignity. It is really to slow down the process of poverty in Cambodia. A better future, responsible citizens, they can vote, they can be part of the society and not put in apartheid. The poor people have no voice, but once you have education you have a voice as a woman.

For people who don’t know about this, what can they do to help?

Well of course funds are the best. If we have funds we can promote more education. Like, last year we were struggling, so we had lesser sports and things. If we don’t have money, we can’t fund our program. No work is silly; you have to be the best at what you are doing. They need to learn to push themselves to be better and want to be better. I am less like a mother and more like a coach.

What advice to you have for other women who want to do what you are doing?

You need lots of courage, lots of self confidence, lots of strength, and a little bit of crazy. (not sure how much *chuckles*). You know when you start you never know where you will end up. And when you start you are like I cannot do that, but when the children are there then you just do, you have to push for her, you have to push for him, and eventually you have to push for them. When you get old it gets harder because you are tired

What makes me happy is when they come to see me, they have a job, and you become like the moon. You become their uncle. And when they come back to see you once or twice every year, or two years because they know I am strong, I am for them, I will never cheat them, so I am like an uncle. I am their uncle. It’s kind of cool you know? Because then they get me thinking Wow! I have achieved a lot. Some of them are taller than me *laughs*. It’s an exhausting job and I work every day, but at the end of the day I am happy. You have to fight not only for you but for the mothers, the children. etc. You have to tell and teach people they are strong enough to stand for who they are. Help people to be strong, especially female. Start small, fight for yourself and fight for your people and then you will succeed. For me, where there’s a will there’s a way anywhere in the world.


Survival Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

How to get to the top

How to get to the top

1.​ ​Learn to say ‘Yes’
It’s not everyday that opportunities are presented on a silver platter so when it does happen, don’t be afraid to say yes. You can always figure out the who, what, when, where, how, later. Never let fear hold you back. Be open to new opportunities, you never know where it will lead.

2.​ ​Be Visible
Get yourself out there, get your product out there. If you won’t toot your own horn, who will? Let social media help you in getting the word out. Tap on the viral effect for optimal result

3.​ ​Identify Your Goal
Set accessible goals every step along the way, as well as, the timeframe within which to get there. This helps chart your overall growth and prevents you from getting derailed along the way.

4.​ ​Trust Your Gut Instinct
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Tune in to your inner sanity for a rescue line. Check with industry insiders for credibility of would-be collaborators or potential business partners

5.​ ​Have Fun
Yes, you work real hard but don’t forget to have fun while you’re at it. Otherwise, you’re more susceptible to burning out before arriving at the finish line.

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Who are they? And how did they achieve….

Who are they? And how did they achieve their success? Whether luck, hard-work, or fame these women climbed to the top and have stayed there. Read about these fashionista success stories…

Calling It Like She Sees It
Writer Suzy Menkes is the eyes and ears, but mostly, words of fashion. Mekes is a British journalist and well-respected fashion critic. It all started when she moved to Paris in the 60s and her LANDLORD (say what?!) got her into her first couture show to see Nina Ricci, French fashion designer’s collection. That was the start of her love affair with fashion.

Suzy Menkes is the best fashion editor in the world for a reason, because she has an honest and passionate way of calling it like she sees it. Her success has grown and Menkes has been critiquing fashion for over 25 years! She is now solely writing for Vogue and reviews and comments on fashion worldwide for 19 Vogue websites. To say this is a woman in business to look up to is an understatement.

Stellar Stella
Stella McCartney is an English fashion designer and (drum roll please) daughter of Sir Paul McCartney from the Beatles. She sure is following in his famous footsteps, not to his fame status but there is still time, by racking up 2.4 million followers on instagram.​ ​

McCartney was raised travelling the world with her parents and siblings. (Not a bad way to grow up, am I right?) However, even with all the fame and money, her parents still put her in public school to give the kids a little dose of reality and bring them back to earth. She attended school in East Sussex and admits to being bullied and bullying in school. ​

She later interned for Christian Lacroix and then studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where her collection was modeled by Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon, and Kate Moss!!! Woah! The entire collection sold to Tokyo and became the cover of the front page news! What an amazing beginning! From then on her pieces were sold in stores and her success grew but she has kept her values in tact by not using animal products, since she is an avid vegetarian. Now, McCartney has her own fashion house, shows collections around the globe, has her own perfume line and skincare products, her own lingerie line, a kid’s fashion collection, and is valued and respected by the fashion community.

Run Towards Your Dreams
What is a genetic lottery? German and Brazilian apparently. Model Gisele Bündchen has German ancestors but was raised in Brazil with five sisters before moving to London to pursue her dreams. But like most, your dreams aren’t just handed to you. Bündchen auditioned for 42! Yes, 42 shows before landing her spot at Alexander McQueen’s spring ’98 runway show. After she got her foot in the door, or more so her “Body” as Alexander McQueen calls her, she went on to be the cover of British Vogue and then did 10 covers in less than 4 years after that! I guess those 42 auditions were worth it. Her success has blossomed and she is known worldwide as “natural beauty and modern femininity” as Chanel puts it. Racking up over 1,200 magazine covers, more than 450 editorials, and about 500 fashion shows so far at the age of 35, her hard work has paid off for sure. And I am positive she is not done yet.

Heir to the Louis Vuitton Throne
In September 2013, biz woman Delphine Arnault became Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton Malletier at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. Previous to that Arnault was Deputy General Manager of Christian Dior Couture from 2008 to 2013. She is also an Independent Director at Twenty-First Century Fox, as well as working at/with Loewe SA, Emilio Pucci Srl, Les Echos, Château Cheval Blanc and Céline. Even though her father is Bernard Arnault, one of the most influential and richest men, she still stepped up to the plate to take on the responsibility and work ethic by controlling the future of the greatest luxury brand in the world. It is definitely not just play time but a huge burden to carry such a successful and polished brand. Everyone has agreed that Delphine Arnault was the perfect person to take on the responsibility through both her impressive determination and the lifestyle she grew up in.

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Five morning rituals that successful women live by

First Dibs…

First Dibs
Drink Up
Before you get out of bed, yes, before, gulp down half to a liter of water. The water acts to cleanse the system according to the principles of ayurveda. To really fire up the metabolism, have a tall glass of warm honey lemon water thereafter.

Take advantage of the peace and quiet in the morning by incorporating a meditative practice. Sit in a cross-legged position or on a chair, close your eyes gently and breathe in and out with awareness. Push away incoming thoughts while concentrating on the breath. A daily practice of ten minutes promises to keep stress at bay.

Where will you find CEOs first thing in the mornings? At the gym or on a yoga mat. Exercise gets the juices flowing throughout the body and wakes up the mind. Sweating it out not only gives the complexion an illustrious glow, it also rids the body of toxin buildup from the day before.

‘Me’ Time
Take time to look after yourself. Set up an indulgent morning ritual such as dry brushing, having a warm mug of hot chocolate or taking time to doll up, do something that makes you feel utterly pampered. Now that you’ve taken care of you, then you’ll have the means to take on the rest of the world.

Check Your Schedule
Turn on your email, look through your to-do list, delegate accordingly. Once you’ve wrapped your mind around what to expect for the rest of the day, you’re mentally prepared for what’s ahead.

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