More than 100 home-based makers spread all over Cambodia. They are part of a social workshop committed to training them in the production of their craft, allowing them to grow and develop socially & financially.
Products with past - looking right into the bright future:
Cambodia’s rich culture dates back to the Khmer Empire (or Angkor Empire), the Hindu-Buddhist empire that grew in South East Asia from 9th to 14th century with impressive art and culture, architectural technique and aesthetics achievements. If you've been lucky enough to visit the stunning Angkor Wat, then you've seen it first hand.
Fast forward to the 20th century, Cambodia has suffered decades of civil war and the devastating impact of the Khmer Rouge regime, which destructed and impoverished the country profoundly. At the beginning of the 1990s, Cambodia was faced with the challenge of rebuilding its economy. Social associations and local workshops started to emerge, aiming to enable economic integration of young rural people by teaching them the ancient Khmer handicrafts.
The workshop we work with is focused on a very unique jewelry collection made with bombshells remaining from the war years. They source the bullets from Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC). The bullet fragments are cut, trimmed, carved, cleaned and polished to make the brass smooth & shiny. Then, the different fragments are used to create different pieces of jewelry, transforming symbols of war and hate into symbols of peace & hope for a brighter future.
Good for people:
The social workshop ensures employment with fair wages and a safe work environment where the workers have the opportunity for professional development. Due to this, these families are able to support themselves, send their kids to school and grow socially & financially.
Here Thorn Raksmey, Jeweler, from Phnom Penh. Raksmey worked in construction and cleaning until 2003, when he began to get training as an artisan. Today Raksmey is a skilled artisan and knows how to work with platinum and landmine materials. In the future he would like to have his own family business.