The last week of our service-learning trip to Cambodia, the NCAS-I team was fortunate to work with the Women’s Handicraft and Development Association(WHADA) in the Kep Province. This area, once a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge until the late 1900’s, is now a peaceful area where families are working hard to overcome the affects of years of violence and oppression. However, instances of PTSD, domestic violence and alcoholism are still high, and lack of education is common. The need for children to work in the fields takes precedence over going to school, so families can survive.
WHADA producers are from traditional farming families living and working in Cambodia’s rural Chamcar Bei village. In 2008 they formed a women’s cooperative to improve their livelihoods and play an active role in shaping their community, so their children might have better lives. Their completely handmade original pieces include coconut jewelry, traditional loom-woven scarves and handmade soap.
Since that time they have formed a partnership with FunkyJunk, an innovative social enterprise that transforms used plastic bags reclaimed from streets and fields to makes useful long-lasting beautiful products to sale.
We partnered with WHADA this year, in an effort to collaborate our skills with theirs. Using the resources they already had on hand we worked together to come up with a product that we felt would be sellable in stores in Cambodia and the states, while also offering some “art as therapy”. We worked together for three days designing and producing these products.
WHADA and NCAS-I are proud to announce our new line of products …..
WHADA “tok-kataa” (dolls)
and eye pillows!
We had such a delightful time making and producing these items together. Because the crafts include a notion of self-care, the feeling in the room was playful and calm. Together we cut, stitched, and created, as community of crafters and artists. It didn’t matter if we couldn’t understand what the other said, because the smiles and laughter and the making of the art transcended the differences we had.
We are eager to continue this partnership with WHADA, and look forward to creating and refining our products in the years to come.
The great news for you is you can purchase these products now!!!
100% of the proceeds go to WHADA and will help to improve the lives of these families. The price of one eye pillow and “tok-kataa” can support a family for one month. To find out how to purchase one of these products, leave a message here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR OUR WORK IN CAMBODIA!