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Meet the local nonprofit working to provide vulnerable young women with lifelong skills they need to achieve economic independence.

Who Are They?

The Siem Reap Sewing Program is managed by a local team of monks known as the Life and Hope Association. They work with community leaders in rural areas surrounding Siem Reap to identify passionate and hard-working young women from vulnerable backgrounds to participate in the yearlong training program.

"We identify vulnerable girls from rural regions and try to give them new skills."

"When I first came to this school I was so happy!"

Why is their work so important?


Young women are more likely to be unemployed than men, and of those who are employed, 70% are in vulnerable employment. 

(ADB, 2014)


Only 53% of 12-year-old girls in Cambodia are enrolled at lower secondary school level and only 40% graduate.

(Cambodia Gov, 2014)


Young girls in Cambodia are often required to forego schooling in order to provide unskilled labour at work and at home.

(Anecdotal, LHA)

Explore this Nonprofits amazing work first-hand.


What do they do?

Siem Reap Sewing School offers 20 vulnerable young women each year the opportunity to attend their program in the city. Beneficiaries are supplied with food and accommodation, as well as tuition in sewing, business skills and English for 10-months. Young women generally attend the school from vulnerable rural areas surrounding the city where few opportunities for economic development exist.

Long-term mindset


Upon graduating the program, women are given a sewing machine and a business starter pack to begin their new, independent future. Many return to their villages, offering sewing services and often employing and training other local women. Others take advantage of the bustling tourist trade in Siem Reap, choosing to stay in the city and access local opportunities, guided by the tutors at Life and Hope Association. Underlying every element of the program is a sustainable mindset, where local women can build their own businesses and hopefully one day employ other local women.

Sustainable funding model


Part of the success of sewing training school is its partially self-sufficient funding model. Whilst the local Park Royal Hyatt offers major sponsorship, the school creates other sources of revenue by selling garments made by students in the small shop attached to the training school. Here, girls not only get the opportunity to produce sell-able products, but also gain experience in book keeping, stock management and customer service. 

What do locals think?

"It is great to know that my baby can stay in the nursery whilst I learn"


Sewing School Beneficiary, 19

"When I first came to this school I was so happy!"


Sewing School Beneficiary, 20

"It's such a change from how I used to live. I can't wait to see what happens."

Venerable Lorm Loeurm

Project Director

"We identify vulnerable girls from rural regions and try to give them new skills."

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