Color Silk Foundation
In 2011, Color Silk created a Foundation that runs the Silk Weaving Training Centre in Slar (Takeo Province). While ensuring that the silk weaving knowledge heritage is being transmitted to the new generations, this centre aims at providing vocationnal training and employment opportunities to poor young women that could be tempted to go abroad to find a job.
This training center was established thanks to a grant from Starbucks. Since that, Color Silk Foundation has been teaching the trainees all the subtleties of silk weaving, showing them how to create patterns, how to mix beautiful colors in order to have an astonishing result. Once the training is over, these young women can lead the business on their own and become member of Color Silk Entreprise. Moreover in 2015, thanks to the Maybank Women Eco Weavers program, a new bigger weaving training center was built in Takéo. Now, about 50 women are trained in weaving free of charge per year.
Up to today, 450 women have benefited from this program. Most of all are vulnerable, coming from poor households and sometimes affected with VIH/aids or related diseases. According to our estimations, the Training Center also impacts 12000 indirect beneficiaries.
Besides, since 2014, Color Silk Foundation's activities have deepened and widened, following a grant from ICCO Cooperation, in order to provide income generation to groups of household farmers and vulnerable women in Cambodia. Three programs have been set up : sericulture, training and workshops.
Today in Cambodia, 90% of silk is imported from Vietnam : it is an unstable source that can also be very expensive. Our silk is 100% produced locally. Color Silk Foundation encourages farmers to do sericulture and to grow mulberry trees and rearing the cocoons on their own land with an attractive farming contract. Color Silk Foundation provides a technical assistancy all along the process (how to prepare the land, which seed to use, how to plant...), as well as free seed for the first planting.
Today in Cambodia, 90% of silk is imported from Vietnam : it is an unstable source that can also be very expensive. Our silk is 100% produced locally. Color Silk Foundation encourages farmers to do sericulture and to grow mulberry trees and to rear the cocoons on their own land with an attractive farming contract. Color Silk Foundation provides a technical support all along the process (how to prepare the land, which seed to use, how to plant...), as well as free seed for the first planting.
Training is the next step, as a lot is to be done to raise awareness about the dangers of dyeing the silk with chemicals, during the process and after with the wastes. Color Silk Foundation, through monthly sessions gathering already members of the community and poor women of Takeo province, puts the light on the importance of avoiding toxic to preserve health and environment. It also teaches new technologies to weave and dye the silk, especially ways to dye naturally with tree barks and so on.
Workshops, finally, are another way to provide employment opportunities for vulnerable women, with a focus on tailoring skills. The idea is to create a wide range of stylish and beautifully designed products that could be sold on international markets. Color Silk Foundation intends to have a designer specialist as well as foreign volunteers to prospect for sales.