King’s Academy, January 21, 2014 – To help empower women in Cambodia, King’s Academy joined fellow Round Square members from across the globe in a service project aimed at enabling women to become active members in their society.
Last month King’s Academy Round Square Coordinator Salwa Manaja traveled to the city of Takeo in southern Cambodia where she worked alongside 21 international Round Square representatives to build a weaving center for local women, which will ultimately help provide for these women’s families.
In partnership with A Mine Free World Foundation and the Banyan Learning Tree, the group took on eight challenging days of physical labor to build the center from scratch – making a foundation and setting up metal rods as pillars, mixing cement, laying bricks, constructing windows and putting the finishing touches of rendering and painting.
A small team of local builders helped and guided the volunteers, who also took part in an intensive three-day workshop led by Round Square International Service (RSIS) Project Manager Liz Gray.
“Cambodia is a very poor country,” Manaja said. “Its history is tragic and sad, but you can see hope. Working with the people makes you see it.”
King’s began its support of the project back in November, when a fundraising luncheon took place on campus to raise money for purchasing bicycles (for Cambodian children to ride to school), mosquito nets and livestock for local Cambodian businesses.
Round Square participants from Pakistan, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, India, Oman, Jordan, Singapore and Thailand joined the cause and collectively generated a total of US $11,111.
According to local project supervisor Lisa McCoy, women at the center wasted no time getting to work and are currently working on scarves – the first 22 are set to be purchased by the Round Square volunteers.
“Giving these women the chance to be able to earn a living and support their families is very humbling,” Manaja added. “My life has changed; I’m so much more hopeful.”