Help CK grow!

Help CK grow!

We’re growing to a new stage and we need your help to get there! Cambodia Knits is excited to announce that we’ll soon be working with Caritas in Toul Sambo to set up a full knitting workshop right in the community. Caritas are building new housing and community spaces, and there is room for a CK workspace!  This means we’ll now have an on-site dedicated space to assemble our products to completion. Currently, CK has to purchase unfinished knitted parts from Toul Sambo, then assemble them together in the Phnom Penh office. With the new workspace, knitters will now be able to earn more by making completely finished products! We’re thrilled with this opportunity, so to get the space running we’re asking for a small funding infusion. Our immediate goal is to: fund the knitters’ new training for assembly, and afford travel to the community during training purchase equipment and materials to create a safe and healthy work environment Your donations will also go towards: setting up a contingency fund for staff; a set reserve that staff can borrow from, with no interest or advance signage, brochure printing and advertising to raise awareness for and promote CK business registration fees Because we’re not a registered charity, we can’t issue tax receipts — however, donors will receive a heartfelt email of thanks, and a mention on our Donor Wall of gratitude. Every bit will help CK get through this challenging stage. Please donate today via Paypal by clicking the button below. Thank you! Donations are fully secure using the PayPal...

Graduation

Yesterday we had a very informal graduation ceremony to give the TS knitters certificates of participation as well as the completion bonuses from sponsors. Mony gave each knitter a grade based on how well they knit, attendance and attitude and this was marked on their certificates. I also finally had a translator with me, so I’ll be able to send out more info on your knitter to all sponsors this weekend. We had planned on having a small party to celebrate the end of the training, but unfortunately, we received terrible news just as we were leaving town: the community where Tyna and Rofi live was ablaze. They quickly returned home to check on their families. We were too worried to stay at Toul Sambo too long and returned as soon as we could in case there was anything we could or needed to do. The blaze, which went on for most of the morning, destroyed over 200 homes, most of them being wooden. Everyone from CK was lucky, though, and their homes were spared. The houses next door to Rony, who now works from home, was burned down, but hers was not....

Welcome, 18 new knitters

Yesterday was our last day of training at Toul Sambo. That’s a total of 15 training days spread out over a month and the results are fantastic! Today I went back to the community with Mony to talk to each of the knitters (I finally have a competent translator) and they were all pleased with the training and what they had accomplished. Several of them said they really enjoyed the training because it gave them a chance to sit together in a relaxed atmosphere and talk while learning. Others were, of course, looking forward to earning an income. The very good news is that Mony accepted over 60 finger puppets that had been knitted during the training. There are more still to be collected but they had not yet been mattress stitched together. Knitters at Toul Sambo will do all the knitting and stitching minus stuffing the head, putting on the eyes and attaching the head to the body. That will be done at the head office for consistency. About 5 of the knitters are still not confident with mattress stitch and Mony, Tyna and Rofi are going back out on Monday for a day of training on this. On Thursday we’ll give each knitter a certificate of completion and have a small party to celebrate the hard work of all the...

First puppets from Toul Sambo

Yesterday, the trainers went out to the community armed with plastic eyes, tapestry needles and coloured thread. Each knitter got to make up one or more of their finished puppets to keep for themselves or their children. I went this morning and some of them were wonderful! See photos below: Finally for Lena: your knitter, Touch Chayron with her first monkey. Ven Thy and Chan Thyda. Soy Srey Neang. Sin Soeun and Noun Soka. Krouch Koun, and the best monkey of the lot. Our champion knitter, Ven Vireak. All this is very good as we have a handful of orders for Christmas and will need more knitters soon. Hopefully, we get more orders to we can keep purchasing from the TS knitters and keep them working. I got some of our smaller items into Baitong Restaurant yesterday. They support several other NGOs and social enterprises and have a small shop area at the front of the restaurant to display items such as honey from Mondulkiri, baskets from Battambang and pepper from Kampot. All good projects, all providing jobs. Oh, and the website looks better organized (www.cambodiaknits.com) but the links are still AWOL and I want to put more information on it over the coming week. I also hope our graphic design guardian angel in Amsterdam gives us some...

Last day of training before Water Festival

So yesterday was the 7th day of training and the last before a week long break. Today is a holiday for the 5th year anniversary of the current King’s coronation, tomorrow is a holiday for the former King’s birthday and Monday-Wednesday are off for the Water Festival. Cambodia has the most national holidays of any country in the world except for Sri Lanka. Not for me though! The knitters have come in for a couple days of sewing together finger puppets are we are way behind! The training has been going really well. One knitter has quit…. she just could not understand. She tried really hard the first week and I had really hoped she would keep fighting on, but she decided she wouldn’t be able to do it. Of the rest of the knitters, about 4 or 5 are exceptionally good and pretty much ready to start making things for us! The rest are doing really well, but still have some problems like rowing out, twisting stitches or not doing the decreases correctly. When we go back next week, we’ll focus on those that need to improve their technique and we’ll bring some plastic eyes and tapestry needles so everyone can finish what they’ve made and have some finished products to be proud of. They can give these to their children or as presents or keep or whatever they want. There are also dozens of pairs of booties around and I’m going to contact the national hospital and see if we can’t donate them to newborns from poor families. The last of the sponsored knitter photos… I think....

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