Independence Day Celebrations

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It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition.

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Less rain means less food

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The delay of wet season in rural Cambodia is agonising farmers, who can’t plant rice seedlings until there’s enough rain. The longer they’re forced to wait, the less food their families will have for the year ahead.

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A month of fasting begins

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Wednesday was the first day of Ramadan – the Islamic month of fasting. For the next forty days I will fast from dawn till dusk. You may wonder whether fasting affects my ability to concentrate at work. Actually I’ve been doing it since I was young so I don’t have any difficulties; I’m already used to fasting at work.

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Passionate teachers bring opportunity

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I’ve been visiting Oxfam-built schools in remote areas of Stung Treng province. We went to monitor post-construction progress, while doing in-the-field media training. Inaccessible by car, arrival at the first school was a five hour, bumpy and muddy moto-ride deep into the jungle.

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Changing the status quo for women workers

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Last year I had the opportunity to join in some leadership training conducted by the NGO Kapal Perempuan. I learnt many new things from the training, but as just one example, something that really impressed on me was the way that we perceive the differences between women and men. It’s not true to say that only men can be described as “providers”. But in the past this is an assumption that I had always accepted.

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United: we stand a chance!

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Today I want to talk a bit about why unions are important for workers like me. I became a member of my union because it pays attention to the situation of workers and their rights, as well as their obligations. I also feel that I’ve been able to learn many things since participating in union activities. For example, I’ve learnt that once the company has made a regulation on our rights it can’t just take those rights away again or erase them.

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Cow banks: a long-term solution

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I’ve just returned from rural Takeo where I discovered what makes a cow bank work so well – and the long-reaching effects this simple solution can actually have.

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Photo: Fernando Moleres/Intermon

Over time or over it?

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English / Bahasa Last week I worked 9 hours overtime. This week on top of overtime I’ll also work a Saturday night shift. I will depart for the factory at 9 in the evening and return home at 6 in the morning, possibly not until 7. Long hours are not out of the ordinary for […]

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Photo: Dustin Barter/OxfamAUS

Unveiling hope

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It took a six-hour drive through rice fields and lush forests, a few 4wd tracks and a boat trip on the Mekong River, for my first chance to witness the impacts of Oxfam’s work in Kratie Province, rural Cambodia.

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Working life

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From sportswear factories to domestic work overseas, read Sewani’s accounts of her past employment experiences. Short-term contracts Life as an overseas migrant worker Ups and downs of overseas domestic work Impressions from abroad Back to the factory floor Workplace worries Bitter ironies Short-term contracts After graduating from high school I followed in my mother’s footsteps […]

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Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

In my shoes: Sewani’s story so far

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Read the life story of Sewani* , a 24 year old Indonesian footwear worker. You can follow Sewani’s blog here. Photo: OxfamAUS My story so far My name is Sewani.  I am 24-years-old.  I work in a factory producing a famous brand of sports shoes in an industrial district of Indonesia, not far from the […]

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Photo: Dustin Barter/OxfamAUS

A bit about modern Cambodia

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There are millions of things to write about modern Cambodia, so I’ll focus on a few key things that relate to Oxfam’s work.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Life on the minimum wage…

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English / Bahasa Producing sports shoes in the factory I earn about $140 (AUD) per month. Most of this income (80%) I hand over to my mother so that she can cover our household expenses and schooling for my younger brother and sisters. I don’t have any personal savings. My family that is my savings! […]

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Photo: Dustin Barter/OxfamAUS

Happy New Year

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It was recently Khmer New Year, with most of the country slowing down, as everyone goes back to the provinces to spend time with their families.

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Photo: OxfamAUS

Work Place Worries

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English / BahasaBefore I got status as a permanent worker I had to under go a three month trial period. This was really tough- during this time the pressure is really high. Even if we are feeling really ill there is no way we wouldn’t come to work. Our supervisors often don’t follow the training […]

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Photo: OxfamAUS

24 hours in my shoes

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English / Bahasa Halo! Hi my name is Sewani and this is a blog about my life as a 24-year-old factory worker in Indonesia. I work 6 days a week at a factory producing shoes for a famous international sportswear brand. I want to share my story with you so at least you can get […]

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Photo: OxfamAus

Volunteering with Oxfam in Cambodia

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I’m Dustin (from Melbourne) and I’m in Cambodia, volunteering with Oxfam for 18 months through AusAID’s VIDA program.

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