Cambodia – Reaksmei

Reaksmei means “light” or “enlighten” in Khmer, the language of the Cambodian people.  Reaksmei works with artisans in both urban and rural settings. People who live in Cambodian villages survive through their labor in farming, even though they may not have a regular income. It is even more difficult in the city because the standard of living is much higher. Most people work in the factories, non-government organizations (NGOs), and markets. However, their salary usually is not enough to cover the higher prices for commodities in the city.

Wives of pastors and church planters in Cambodia began creating the skirts and purses, and that group has grown by way of sewing classes taught to the neighborhood women. Women near church plants outside Phnom Penh created small bags.

Helping young leaders support themselves through artwork.

Artisans trained in watercolors are able to pursue educational opportunities that would never have been afforded them without Reaksmei. One painter, Thyvenn, is also a church planter and pastor — pastoring and working with younger leaders to reach out to villages and communities. He supports himself now with oil painting.

Leaders are training young men and women in coconut shell carving. Meet Sila here.

Other profits from the sale of Reaksmei items go to a pastoral support fund that helps pay the salaries of more than seven local pastors and church planters until the growing churches can support them.