Last week I visited the Kilometer 7 community where four of our very first knitters live. Since the week before, Rony and Tyna have been working from home and we wanted to assess what their working conditions were like at home. I was particularly worried about lighting and wanted to see how we can help them to improve this. While there, we met with Rony, who had stopped knitting a few weeks back due to the arrival of a new bundle of joy:
She is gorgeous! And mom is looking very healthy. You can see in the photo that Rony has cotton stuffed in her ears… this is because Khmer women believe that women are more susceptible to catching a cold after having a baby. And these colds are caught when cool air enters through the ears. Another person told me it is to reduce the stress of a new mother. If she hears too much of the daily world around it, it decreases her focus on the baby. Some women are discouraged from watching TV or reading for the same reason.
After spending some time with the knitters and talking about electricity costs, I realized that supplementing their electricity bills would not be a solution to poor lighting. We’re now looking into solar lights for them that they can use during the day and at night. We’ll buy the equipment for them, but they can contribute to the cost over time. We’ll check the prices and quality of the locally available solar packs next week.