In December 2016, we held a public narrative workshop and trained 8 people in a community factory in Cambodia. We partnered with a Japanese NGO called Susu, which is a vocational training arm of Kamonohashi, the largest Japanese anti-human trafficking organization.
Susu hires high-risk women at the community factory and places them in a program that teaches them how to make artisanal bags, sandals and jewelry. We and Susu also provide the women with counseling and place them in jobs after they complete the two year program.
Over time, Susu realized that life skills are just as important as the technical skills that they were teaching. For that reason we and Susu focus on “public narrative” helping the women develop the ability to speak out and tell their own story.
Everyone has a story, but these women in particular have endured almost unimaginable hardships. By being taught how to reflect and speak about their struggles they learn more about themselves and can begin to express who they are. They then start to get other women involved and go on to help these new women.