Meet the Artisans of the Rehab Craft Cambodia
Rehab Craft Cambodia is a non-profit, local fair trade NGO that has been operating since 1995. RCC was originally funded by a New Zealand organization, but has been financially independent and a certified member of the World Fair Trade Organization since 2004. Approximately half of Rehab's members are landmine amputees. The second-leading cause of disability among members is polio, followed by disabilities related to untreated diabetes.
Because of societal attitudes, there are not many opportunities for Cambodians with disabilities to find work or to learn skills to support themselves. Rehab Craft Cambodia was founded with a goal to train people with disabilities in handicraft production and provide career opportunities within the organization. After training, some of these artisans continue to be employed by the organization, while others set up independent production in the provinces. For those artisans producing in their home province, Rehab purchases and retails their products in their Phnom Penh and Siem Reap showrooms and further markets their products internationally.
Hello! My name is Me Sokha
I am 32 years old. I grew up with my parents and 3 siblings, farming in Takeo, a rural province in Cambodia. I'm a silk weaver and have been an artisan with Rehab Craft Cambodia (RCC) since 1997, when the director of RCC visited my village and asked if I wanted to work for them.
Before working with RCC, life was very difficult. After my parents died, I used to live in a house with many other people. I had to wait for work and weave for a middle man who kept most of the money. Now, the income I make weaving silk orders for Rehab Craft Cambodia and selling my own work on the side has allowed my husband and I to buy our own place. I really like weaving on my loom at home. It allows me to watch my 4-month-old daughter while I work. Someday, I hope to have 4 or 5 looms in my house!
Hello! My name is Bin Manyan
I am 27 years old. I live with my parents and my daughter in Svey Reung Province [Cambodia]. I was injured by a landmine in 1989, when I was fishing with friends in a farm field. The explosion killed 3 of my friends and only my brother and I survived. I did not have a prosthetic leg until I was 16 years old. I've been receiving sewing training at Rehab Craft since 2004. In the future, I want to continue working with Rehab Craft Cambodia and have my daughter complete school.
Hello! My name is Dok Yom
I am 50 years old. I live with my family in Kampong Chnang Province [Cambodia]. Before I was disabled, it was easy for me to walk anywhere and do hard work. Now, I've worked with Rehab Craft for 12 years. I appreciate the Mine Ban Conference that gave our group opportunity to work. I wish that 9MSP will spread all over the world to stop the production of land mines and that land mine victims will be supported.