From a Waitress to a Teacher – Phalla’s Inspiring Story


The creators of our the handmade products you will find at Hope on Purpose are graduated sewing students at Human and Hope Association, a grassroots, sustainable NGO in Siem Reap, Cambodia. These ladies come from very marginalised backgrounds; however, thanks to the 10-month sewing program at Human and Hope Association, they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to move their way out of poverty. Take for example, Phalla.

Phalla dropped out of public school when she was 14 years old due to the death of her sister and the illness of her mother. She began working at a restaurant, earning just $50USD each month for six days of work per week. In 2013 she was approached to study sewing at Human and Hope Association.

After finishing the first semester, Phalla was chosen to be a sewing assistant, and was trained by Human and Hope Association’s sewing teacher, Seyla. Phalla was promoted to be a sewing teacher in 2015, and with weekly development workshops and a scholarship to study English, she has grown immeasurably.

Now at 24 years of age, Phalla now works in the mornings at Human and Hope Association, helping others to break free of the poverty cycle, and makes clothes for her neighbours in the afternoons. She says, “My family situation is much better with my skill. Now I have enough money to support my family.”

Phalla is involved with developing new ethical homewares and accessories, and training our seamstresses to make them so that they too have a consistent source of income and can move out of poverty just like Phalla.

To support women like Phalla, you can purchase our handmade products through Hope on Purpose.  We have a range of eco-products, stationery, decorative items and gifts that all positively impact the women who make them.

Shop on Purpose today.


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