AFESIP Cambodia25 Mar 2007, by Uncategorized in
AFESIP Fair Fashion employs 50 survivors in the creation of silk clothing products including jackets, shirts, trousers, and skirts. AFESIP survivors are highly trained, having received 1-2 years of supportive shelter care, education and training in sewing before being employed in the workshop. These survivors now live independently in the Kampong Cham, the village where the workshop is located.
This program provides an inspiring example of how an economic self-sufficiency program can help survivors truly reintegrate into mainstream society. When the workshop first moved into the rural village of Kompong Cham, the community was generally appalled and unwelcoming. ‘We don’t want those bad girls,’ people said. They feared the survivors would spread AIDS or low moral conduct in the community.
But in Cambodian culture, a woman who earns is respected. As some of the highest wage earners in the village, and with their gracious smiles and professional behavior, the survivors soon won over the village headman and the entire community. The community now welcomes not only the tailoring team but also the child survivors living at the AFESIP orphanage down the road. Many of the survivors have met and married young men from the community, so production is often interrupted for a giant wedding!