Graduates from the 2009 Sewing School sponsored by Hotel de la Paix and MasterCard in conjunction with the Life and Hope Association received their diplomas in a colorful ceremony at Wat Damnak last Friday.
As well as receiving diplomas, the participating women also received sewing machines and a starter kit to help them set up business in their villages.
This innovate project, a brainchild of the management of Hotel de la Paix, has been underway for just over two years, and this year MasterCard helped fund the philanthropic endeavour by covering all costs for 10 village women to take part in the course.
Originally, 21 women from remote villages in the province signed up for the sewing school, but three dropped out due to marriage or pregnancy.
The sewing school lasted for 10 months and, as well as receiving training skills, the women also received basic education and training in life skills. Christian de Boer, the director of sales and marketing at Hotel de la Paix, said the project is a very simple way to help uneducated girls from the countryside learn skills they can take back and use in their villages.
“It makes a very direct daily difference to their lives,” de Boer said.
Among the guests who attended the ceremony were the Venerable Nol Chum, Chief of Monks in Wat Damnak and honorary president of Life and Hope Association; Venerable Chhun Chhoeurn, acting director of the Life and Hope Association; Pang Sok Chea, deputy director of the Provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training; and Sam Lorn, chief of Sangkat Salakamreuk.