On the 15th of August our CEO, Sally Hetherington OAM, pitched to 160 attendees at the sold-out 10×10 Sydney event. Thanks to the generosity of the attendees and the fabulous fundraising efforts of the 10×10 committee, we raised enough funds to support four Cambodian women through the sewing program at Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap.
In her pitch, Sally focused on the story of Seila, one of the many women whose life has been changed forever thanks to this program. Seila is illiterate; she was forced to stop studying at age seven when her parents told her that taking care of their cows was more important than her education.
Seila had an arranged marriage and lived in a tiny shack with a dirt floor. Soon after, she had a daughter, but she feared her husband on a daily basis. When Seila began studying with Human and Hope, she gave it everything she had. And you know what? She nailed it! Seila now runs her own micro-enterprise and the demand is so high that she is teaching her husband to sew. Seila has built a safe house and gave birth to her second child this year. Her family have officially moved out of poverty and are living a peaceful life, free from violence.
Some quick facts about the sewing program that Seila studied in:
- It is run only by local staff, where the teachers are former sewing students themselves.
- It has a 100% retention rate, up from 50% in 2013.
- Students at least triple their income.
- The micro-finance loans have a 100% repayment rate.
- Domestic violence is reduced or eliminated in 80% of families.
- 19 families have moved out of poverty.
We look forward to keeping all the attendees updated with the success of this program!
To purchase handicrafts that have been handmade by Human and Hope Cambodia’s sewing graduates, please visit our online store.