story of a seamstress May 03 2013, 0 Comments
Mothers are on our mind this week so we're highlighting one of the many strong and inspiring women and mothers who make our cycle of positive change possible.
Meet Noeun Chork
Noeun is one of the seamstresses who not only hand-sews the school uniforms we donate, but she also goes to the schools to take the measurements of the children to ensure each of their uniforms is a good fit.Her family is among the poorest in her village outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. When her husband passed away, she was left with 4 children to take care of on her own. She worked odd jobs such as selling firewood to try to make ends meet, but she was unable to earn enough money to feed her children.
"My house was in ruins and when I looked at the roof at night I could see the stars. When the rainy season began I was unable to find a place to sleep in my house. I was forced to wait until the rain stopped.”
Noeun's dream was to become a seamstress. Her village had only one sewing machine and not enough people with the skills to make school uniforms for the children there.
During an adult literacy class in Siem Reap, she told the NGO hosting the class about her dream and they helped her get training and a sewing machine to get started.
Since pursuing her new path, Noeun has trained 2 other seamstresses in her village and plays an essential role in ensuring the children that krama wheel supports receive high-quality uniforms in time to start school. With a more steady income she has significantly improved her family's standard of living and can now finally afford to put her own children in school.
khmer new year April 12 2013, 0 Comments
New Year's comes twice for us at krama wheel HQ. We love getting warm and fuzzy notes throughout April from our partners and friends in Cambodia wishing us "good health, luck and dreams come true" as they prepare to celebrate the end of the harvest and the impending rainy season. We are incredibly grateful for our good fortune and health, and especially for our ability to do what we do. It's helping their dreams come to life that brings the most joy to each day.
the women behind our wheel March 08 2013, 0 Comments
Today is International Women's Day so we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the women at the core of our work: the weavers.
Most of our weavers are older women who work on personal looms under their homes (houses in the Cambodian countryside are built on stilts to protect families from the annual floods). Stroke by stroke they weave with their hands while masterfully working foot pedals to guide the process along. It's truly mesmerizing watching them go, and the end results are of course stunning.
Just as quality scarves are of utmost importance to our cause, so is the quality of the environment in which the women work. In a country with a large garment factory industry, we seek to keep production at the local community level to preserve a tradition and to ensure we respect the women with whom we work. Working from home allows our women the ability to maintain the home and watch their children, both customs strong within their local villages. For most, producing the scarves is their only source of income and your purchases empower them to become more self-sufficient while allowing them to work in a safe and familiar environment. We are so proud of these women and their desire to transform their lives and provide more opportunities for their families. Here's to them and all women of the world who deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.
In honor of this special day, we are offering free shipping today on all scarves in the scarf shop.
p.s.~ Read Half the Sky for a fuller understanding of how empowering women can truly change the world...
turning scarves to smiles February 22 2013, 0 Comments
Meet some of the children your purchases have helped!
Your recent purchase has allowed us to supply school uniforms in 3 remote villages in Cambodia's Siem Reap province. One of the core pieces that keeps our cycle of change in motion is this investment in children in these villages who otherwise may never have the opportunity to go to school. We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to these glowing smiles.
You as an individual are just as an important spoke in our wheel of change as the one child, one seamstress and one weaver your purchase supports. We'll continue to share individual stories of those whose lives you are changing and hope you feel the very real impact you are making. So thank you for joining our journey...we're just getting started.
Student receives his new uniform from a seamstress Boys testing out their new uniforms
"I am very happy to wear a school uniform because it makes it easier to go to school every day. I go to school because I want to learn how to read and how to calculate numbers properly. I want to be a teacher when I grow up." ~ Youn
"I am very excited and I will keep studying hard in order to help my family and also myself. I want to be a policeman!" ~ Lath
school uniforms coming to life November 10 2012, 0 Comments
We want to show you the very real impact your purchase of a krama wheel scarf makes.
Seamstresses in Cambodia are busy sewing our first batch of school uniforms. The first big give is just around the corner, but here's a peek into how the uniforms are coming along. Below are photos of one of our seamstresses, Chak, at work. We love that we (including you!) can support her trade while also having her help us change lives in surrounding communities.
scarf giveaway October 15 2012, 0 Comments