It seems like life is constantly exciting here at Senhoa and that is how it should be!
To kick off, the glamorous, exciting stuff first.
On the 8th November 2010, Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards 2010 was held at Carnegie Hall, New York. The guest list boasted figures like Oprah, Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Chelsea Clinton, Cher and Janet Jackson. But most importantly, among them was Supermodel Coco Rocha in Senhoa jewelry! We want to send a big THANK YOU to Coco and her hubby, James Conran, for their support.
And then over and across the border, the Gemini Awards honors the best in Canadian television as determined by members of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and other industry professionals (similar to the Emmy’s here in the US). Actress Krystin Pellerin attended the event wearing… Senhoa Jewelry of course! Thanks to our dear friend and Fashion Designer, Thien Le, who conspired to make this happen.
And on the subject of Thien Le, in early January 2011, Senhoa hosted Thien in Cambodia where he trained some 30 girls from our partner’s shelter in Battambang, Cambodia. Thien conducted a 5-day intensive training, teaching the girls how to silk screen, how to cut fabric with accuracy, how to utilize fabric sparingly, how to adjust machine tension according to fabric thickness and other tricks of the trade. Thien was deeply impressed by the girls’ keenness to learn and how quickly they picked up his lessons. By the end of the 5-day training, the girls had worked together in teams of four to make samples of the reversible Love Rescue Heal tote, and a sophisticated kimono wrap. Senhoa is currently working with students from Harvard University and Brown University to have the totes available for sale in their respective bookshops.
Rewinding to 2010, in late November, Ms Jenny Van, Senhoa’s Creative Director was cooped up designing a top-secret couture collection for Senhoa. On 3 December 2010, Senhoa was featured in a fashion show on Asia Entertainment, Inc. What better way to end a landmark year at Senhoa than with a spectacular fashion show modeled in front of over 4 million overseas Vietnamese viewers!
AND NOW! Down to business!
I am excited to report to you on the progress of a Senhoa project called the CCPCR Lotus House. A partnership agreement was officially signed with the Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights on 21 October 2010 to launch this project, providing up to 15 young women with temporary accommodations. At the heart of this project are the provision of safe housing, gradual reintegration and the attainment of “sustainable freedom”. Our Lotus House aims to teach women the skills needed for independent living, help them find safe and secure employment and provide other needed life skills. To date, we have completed the following:
Things are happening at incredible speed here at Senhoa. Please follow our weekly blog at www.senhoa.blogspot.com.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to catching up with you again next time!
It has been 2 months since the Senhoa Young Women's Program commenced, and many events have unfolded in that time. It’s been crazy but because we all finish each week with a satisfied smile (and exhausted sigh), it’s a good crazy.
So this is how its chronologically gone down:
At last the 6th of September arrived. The scheduled date for the well-anticipated Program to begin. After a month of recruitment, screenings, planning, market trips, furniture Feng-Shui-ing and resource hunting, we were ready to receive our 18 quivering Lotus Buds.
The Senhoa Lotus Line-up includes:
11 girls from our Partner Shelter - girls over 16 years of age who have been deemed dedicated and behaviorally stable enough to participate. Apparently there was a lot of competition to get into the program because everyone had enjoyed the Senhoa Summer Camp so much!
And 7 girls from the community - these girls were screened by our extremely devoted Outreach Worker who assessed their family and financial situation and vulnerability into the sex industry.
We began with a 3-day induction where the girls made a pledge of commitment to the program; got a taste for the types of soft-skills lessons they’ll be attending and; played around with practice beads and wire, trying their hand at undiscovered craft work. At the end of their induction, each girl received a long-stemmed lotus bud, marked with their name. Ah, symbolism. Gotta love it.
In the first month of the Program, we had the girls all to ourselves- Public Khmer school had not yet started. The schedule was easily set and we all quickly fell into a routine: each Monday and Thursday was life-skills, Tuesday and Friday was reserved for Jewelry and each Wednesday was computer and PLAY (which I enjoy the most. Any idea how fun it is to watch girly, uncoordinated teenagers catch a ball?)
During that month we celebrated daily. The girls were enjoying all the lessons, happy to be engaged in something meaningful to them (except ‘play’ when they all suddenly had period cramps and headaches. Teen-aged girls are teen-aged girls everywhere.)
It was an especially exciting time when our former Country Director, Anh and our Creative Director, Jenny Van, flew all the way from the US of A for an intense training course in professional jewelry making! The girls impressed us with their fast learning! They showed persistence at every task, and mastered their skills quickly. For their efforts, each girl was rewarded with a framed certificate with their full name and picture. We also gifted each graduate with their own set of jewelry-making tools. The way the girls beamed when they received their frame and present was absolutely priceless!
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