There is a saying here in Cambodia. “Boys are like gold and girls are like white cloth.” Meaning a brick of gold can get dirty and you can wipe it off and it still retains it value. Where white cloth, once stained is ruined. There are a few great NGOs here trying to change that mindset with the saying “women are gold”. Penh Lenh, is one of those organizations.
I first heard about Penh Lenh, while exploring a pop-up shop during Beckie’s visit to Cambodia. A few girls sitting next to use had on these beautiful necklaces and were talking about the work their friend was doing with female Khmer artisans. I was instantly attracted to the mission and the beauty and quality of the mission.
Penh Lenh means “whole,” sets out to empower marginalized and at-risk women in Cambodia to pursue their life goals through quality education and sustaining employment.
Their products (like their “Women are gold” t-shirt I’m rocking above) are handcrafted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by female artisans working to build new lives for themselves and their families. Each piece represents the strength and beauty of the women creating them and also the women wearing them.
100% of Penh Lenh’s product sales are reinvested in the social mission of Penh Lenh, to provide education, vocational training, and advanced career opportunities for their artisans.
From their artisans to the community, they believe they can make a difference in Cambodia and around the world.
Today, Cambodia ranks as one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations. For many Khmer people, making ends meet is more important than human dignity, which is why over 15,000 women in Phnom Penh alone work in drug or sex-related industries, often with the hope of being able to support their families.
The artisans of Penh Lenh strive to be messengers of equality in the workshop and throughout the community. Penh Lenh seeks to combat these industries by taking their mission outside of their workshop and into the community through service projects and fun events. Serving the marginalized and often abused women of the city gives Penh Lenh the chance to illustrate messages of kindness, peace, and hope where those things often lay dormant.
Penh Lenh is a family, and like family should, we look out for one another. They are deeply committed to changing the world by starting from within. Weekly, their team members are offered academic courses that cover an array of topics ranging from nutrition and physical wellness, to female empowerment, English classes, and professional & budgeting skills. It is their belief that from knowledge springs strength, and from strength springs reform.
All of their products are handcrafted in their workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, by female artisans working to build healthy lives for themselves and their families. They are committed to producing 100% ethically-sourced,
responsibly-made goods. They take their time to source only the highest quality materials ensuring their products are crafted using semi-precious gemstones, handmade gold-plated and gold-filled chains and clasps, and hand-sewn and locally sourced fabrics. By investing in high quality tools and clean, hygienic working conditions, Penh Lenh ensures that their shop is a place of joy and peace for both their artisans and customers.
At Penh Lenh, they believe in transparency; when you shop with them, you can be confident that every product they make contributes to a global movement for slow, sustainable fashion.
Have you ever been to Cambodia? What social good businesses did you like?