"My dad told my sisters and I that we had to enter [the sex industry] because he and my mom desperately needed medical help. He said if I cared about my aging parents, this was my destiny."
S-H sat across from me in the dark Phnom Penh restaurant and told me her story. She didn't show a lot of emotion until she began sharing about her five-year old son who lives in another province.
"I rarely get to see him," she said, wiping away tears. "The hours and... type of my job make it impossible for me to raise him. And I don't want him to know how ill I am now from my job. I hope some day I can get a real job, raise my son, and make him proud."
S-H has a lot of courage! She wants to get out of a lucrative but harmful job in order to be healthy for her son. There are some local Cambodian leaders who are poised to sponsor and support a new way of life for women like S-H, her sisters, and so many others like them.
These leaders are already doing so much! They recently opened a safe house for sex trafficking survivors, but they have bigger dreams. It is common for women rescued from sex trafficking to leave safe houses and go back to their old jobs because they don't have other employment options.
Our Cambodian partners have known of Nozomi's social enterprise story, and reached out to us. They have asked us to help advise them in how to provide viable jobs so that survivors don't have to go back. We are excited to explore this collaborative effort to spread hope together!
Together, with your help, we can make a difference in the lives of young Cambodian women!
We've gone on a number of visits to Cambodia to meet with our partners. During our last visit in May, we brought back some stunning pieces of Cambodian pottery to our Ishinomaki workshop and made them into our special fall anniversary campaign. We love that our customers can now wear a piece of Cambodia that was upcycled by hand by our skilled artisans here in Japan.
Nozomi will donate proceeds from each purchase of this collection to help strong Cambodian women break free of the cycle holding them back. These make amazing gifts with beautiful stories; together we CAN make a difference. Your purchase of our limited Cambodian Pottery Collection is empowering women in Cambodia and Japan; each gift is bringing much-needed hope and dignity!
Please join with us in believing there is beauty in brokenness.
Shop our Cambodian collection here.