With 20% of Cambodians living below the poverty line, vocational training is crucial for uneducated villagers to break the poverty cycle. Our ten-month sewing program not only teaches women the basics of sewing right through to elaborate ceremony tops, they also learn about chemical-free farming and life skills as part of our holistic approach to development.
Our surrounding communities are filled with villagers, particularly women, who do not have the education or skills to earn a stable income. The cycle of poverty then continues, with their children not being afforded the education they deserve. By investing in their future by providing the skill of sewing, these villagers will be able to earn a stable and consistent income and break the poverty cycle.
Our students study for three hours a day, five days a week. They take care of a garden at HHA and receive rice and vegetables as a stipend for studying so we can ensure their families are well-fed. On Friday's they study life skills and learn about topics such as domestic violence, marriage laws, anger management, job skills and hygiene. As some of our students are illiterate, we provide daily Khmer language classes for them.
Upon graduating, armed with a diverse set of skills, our students seek employment in sewing shops, run sewing businesses from their homes using machines purchased through our microfinance program or are hired by us to make products for a fair wage. We continue to provide workshops and refresher lessons for them once a month for six months after they graduate. They steadily move out of poverty as a result of this program and are more confident and socially aware.