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Poverty in Cambodia

By Murray Bourne, 12 Jan 2005

  1. A trainee teacher I talked to was about to set out for his probationary teaching period in 'the country' (I saw some very rough schools out of Siem Reap). He will be paid US$25 per month for the 2 years. When he is a fully qualified teacher, he will get $40 per month.
  2. Those working in the tourist industry (like our tuk-tuk driver), earn around $10 per day
  3. Our journey out to Tonle Sap lake was over a very rough road, built high to avoid floods. There were many attap houses on stilts built out from the road (they would eat dust all day, every day). Very simple life styles, but interesting that in many of the houses as we returned after dark, there were colour televisions in there...
  4. Kids begging for $1 at a time probably earn a lot more than teachers.

See the 3 Comments below.

3 Comments on “Poverty in Cambodia”

  1. Tang Kim Seng says:

    Most of us have our own yardsticks for measuring successes. But certainly, all of us are striving for happiness of some sort. The trainee teacher would probably gain much happiness through helping others. Monetary benefits seemed to be his lesser concern. But few are these individuals in a modern society like Singapore. Our present Gen Y seems to have it all, but remain a discontented lot. They seek instant gratifications and quick successes. Even relationships are like instant soups. If they turn sour, they are ready to spit them out and try new ones. One wonders if it is the natural order of things that when a country is powerful economically, it will not be as rich spiritually ?Are the two mutually exclusive ?

  2. Cambodia says:

    Cambodia relies too much on two industries: textile and tourism. These industries are particularly vulnerable to the global economic downturn. We need to focus our resources on our natural strength, which is agriculture, not tourism or textile.

  3. Murray says:

    Thanks, Cambodia, for the input.

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