Celebrating the Leadership of Women with Disabilities!Sovithiea
To mark National and International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we are proud to share the story of Ms. Nguon Sophak Kanika. Despite the many challenges of being a woman and a person with disability, Kanika holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is currently a lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
Access to education has not always been easy for her, “my classmates looked at me as a stranger because of my disability”. However, her impairment did not prevent her from realising her dream to become a teacher. In fact, it has enabled her to take an active role in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in Cambodia as well as internationally. “Although you face many challenges, don’t give-up and keep moving with hope and commitment. One day your dream will become true”, Kanika said.
Kanika’s self-confidence improved when she undertook an internship at the Australian Embassy in the early 1990s, and was further enhanced when she participated in an Australia Awards Fellowships short course.
Kanika is now contributing her knowledge and expertise to help implement the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) program. ACCESS is a new Australian Government initiative that is contributing to enhanced access to services for persons with disabilities and women affected by gender-based violence.