Submitted by Houy Chap | Senhoa’s Cambodia-based accountant
Senhoa Jewelry Social Enterprise is very important. Many of the girls who [work for Senhoa] come out of bad situations [and] have a very low level of education. Some are illiterate because they have spent much of their lives in exploitative conditions.
Senhoa’s jewelry program provides crucial education and includes classes in Khmer, English, math and life skills. The life skills classes are important since they teach the artisans skills like budgeting and goal setting. When artisans leave Senhoa, they can use these skills in their personal lives.
Our Own Hands, the jewelry program, gives the artisans a marketable skill. They learn to design jewelry, and all the money goes back to support the program. The artisans also designed an affordable line of jewelry (called OOH), which sells in the local Cambodian market. The [profits] from the affordable jewelry line’s local sales goes directly back to the artisans (the artisan who created the sold item receives a payment for it and the rest of the proceeds go into a social fund for the artisans to use as they choose).
I’d like to say thank you very much to the donors who support Senhoa. Your support is critical to a community of people. Thank you for wanting to help people who have been through trauma, domestic violence and human trafficking. Thank you for wanting to help end these problems.
As for my role as accountant, I try to do my best to organize my work and always use your money in the most effective ways possible. I feel 100 percent responsible for using donors’ money to help people, and I take the nonprofit’s mission very seriously. Prior to working at Senhoa, I did not know much about the nonprofit landscape or the issues that nonprofits aim to address. Working with Senhoa, I’ve developed a humanized view of suffering that has expanded my compassion and sensitivity. Since I’ve been with Senhoa, I have met so many people and learned about these girls. I grieve for them, even though I work with the money. I have learned how to talk to them and try to understand how they feel.
I want to see Senhoa become more independent and increase its marketing in Asia and abroad in order to support its social enterprise. Someday, I hope to see Senhoa expand into other countries, because other communities have the same problems. We are all the same all over the world.
This month, you can support both Free the Slaves and Senhoa through purchases made with the code “freetheslaves” – when you use this code, you’ll receive 10 percent off and Senhoa will donate 10 percent of the profits to FTS!
Editor’s note: Senhoa is one of 12 ethical fashion brands that have teamed up with Free the Slaves in July for our 25 Days of Fashion Against Slavery summer campaign.