If you travel to the province of Kampong Speu, just an hour from Cambodia’s capital, you would probably notice the towering palm trees and majestic waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffs. However, with 55% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day, Kampong Speu is the third poorest province in Cambodia and a trafficking hotspot. Women and girls in particular are vulnerable to this billion dollar industry, often being tricked into thinking it can lead to a better life than one of extreme poverty.
At Nikita, we know that we cannot change this situation on our own. But by planting seeds of opportunity for these vulnerable women and children, we hope to grow sustainable and supported communities who are empowered socially and economically to reach their full potential.
Our vision is to create a sustainable, long term income source for at-risk families to minimise their vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. We do this by partnering with a local Cambodian NGO called the Sao Sary Foundation, who work to prevent human trafficking and sexual exploitation by inspiring vulnerable children and their families to socially and economically empower themselves.
It has now been over a year since Nikita Director Claire first sewed that seed to create a social enterprise to protect children and their families from trafficking and exploitation in Kampong Speu province.
Fast forward to present day and Nikita Handmade works alongside Sao Sary Foundation operating a sewing program that supports vulnerable women to build a brighter future for themselves, and continue to sew seeds of opportunity for their communities. There are currently 10 women who work full time in the sewing team and 8 part time trainees. We work to ensure that the trainees, all of whom are girls, are also able to attend school whilst learning sewing skills at the centre. Our sewing team make beautiful yoga mat bags from upcycled fabrics, which are then sold in Australia through yoga studios and globally online. Each bag is handmade with love and no two bags are the same.
Empowerment remains at the core of our work at Nikita, and we are constantly working to ensure that these stories of hope from our women are delivered to the customers who buy our yoga mat bags all around the world. We will continue to sew seeds of opportunity in Kampong Speu to empower more women to learn valuable business skills to start their own social enterprises and become self-reliant, successful members of their community.
Thank you for joining with us to empower and inspire women in Cambodia – head to our website to purchase a yoga bag or donate to our sewing centre. Please feel free to contact us if you’re looking for ways in which you can to contribute further firstname.lastname@example.org.
With endless gratitude,