Charity weaves a new Cambodia, by Nick Cumming-Bruce

Sunday, May 8, 2005

From wooden looms lined up under an open-sided, palm-thatched workshop, a bone-shaking drive of six hours from the nearest town – and that is when the weather is good – Ruen and her fellow workers are weaving silk scarves and fabrics of a quality that is starting to attract the interest of upscale stores and boutiques in New York and London.
Weaves (Cambodia) offers governments and international aid agencies a rare example of the kind of enterprise the country desperately needs to overcome the abject poverty in which the UN estimates more than a third of its population still lives.
“When you see the product and where it comes from, it’s a miracle,” said Carol Cassidy, who studied weaving in Europe and the United States.
“You can’t believe such beauty and quality come out of that dust,” said Cassidy, an American.
Fifteen years ago, she set up her own business in Laos. In January she put her own enthusiasm on the line by taking over as owner and manager of this fledgling enterprise with the task of steering it to commercial viability.
Story found here.

Source: International Herald Tribune