Park Hyatt Siem Reap & LHA Sewing School
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap & LHA Sewing School has been teaching sewing skills since 2006 to young disadvantaged Cambodian women with the aim of giving them a viable opportunity to break the poverty cycle and build for themselves and their communities a better future.
For many young women in Cambodia with minimum education, employment opportunities are few and earning capacity is low. Examples of more common unskilled occupations include tending the family land or selling vegetables at the local market. Others may need to work in brick-factories or on construction sites where they are subject to hard labor for six days per week with few workers rights and a monthly wage of approximately $25.
The STC provides ten months of training. By the course's end, each student masters over fifty different sewing skills. This comprehensive knowledge can then be drawn upon to foster economic opportunity. Upon graduation each student is given a sewing machine and small starter-pack to begin their new life with this new skill.
During training, the students also take lessons in Khmer literature, English, culture, tradition, basic small business skills, Buddhist morality, social awareness, and life skills. Full room and board is provided for the students for the duration of the course.
After graduation most students return to their villages to start up a small business. This affords them the opportunity to continue supporting the family while actively contributing to the household. Others have taken advantage of the tourist trade in Siem Reap, gaining employment as seamstresses in local hotels. Others have chosen to remain working as part of the now growing team of graduates who continue to operate out of the STC located in Wat Damnak. LHA assists these skilled graduates by getting contracts from local businesses, most commonly for uniforms. These women also make the school uniforms for LHA's other projects.