The Penh Lenh program is run by the anti-slavery organization Hope for Justice, to empower young women in Cambodia who have been rescued from sex trafficking. Girls in the restorative care program can become staff members of Penh Lenh; developing their own jewelry designs, hand-crafting pieces, and learning how to be businesswomen.
The program supports the girls to pursue their life goals through quality education, vocational training, and advanced career opportunities.
“We had just finished a five-week course on professional development. We covered everything with the girls who are part of the Penh Lenh program: how to dress, how to make introductions, how to be respectful regardless of position and stature, how to take responsibility, and how to manage our time.
In our course we also discussed in depth how to be a company, to live with grateful hearts, and to show our appreciation of others.
In our discussions, we all agreed to be more verbal in showing our gratitude of one another at work. I was so proud of each of the girls as we exchanged ideas about creating a culture of encouragement at Penh Lenh, one where heads are always lifted.
One of the girls who joined Penh Lenh gave an example of a local seller at the market that greatly impacted her by her genuine kindness to all. She explained that regardless of the day and her own circumstances, the lady welcomed everyone with a big heart. This led us to talk about what we could do as a company to serve others well. We set a goal to do something special for one of our clients or customers at least once a month. We as a staff at Penh Lenh decided that we could set ourselves apart not only through our beautiful, unique jewelry, but also by being a company that is filled with gratitude and generosity.
What I love about our girls is that when we set a goal, nothing will stop that goal from being accomplished.
I decided to plan an outing for our staff to put into practice all the things we had just learned through our training, while also implementing our new monthly ‘goal of gratitude.’
On the day of our outing we all climbed in our Tuk Tuk. Everyone dressed in their Penh Lenh uniforms and looked especially nice (remembering our lessons on dressing for success!). We stopped by the local market and the Penh Lenh staff picked out the most gorgeous flowers they could find along with some of our favorite fruit. We had already prepared a ‘thank you’ card and had it safely tucked away.
We pulled up to one of our Phnom Penh consignment shops, Subtyl, and I couldn’t wait for the next part of the plan.
Our girls were absolutely perfect as they introduced one another along with their respective positions and politely greeted the shop owner. Our Program Manager, Srey Mao, told the shop owner how much we love working with them and that we truly value their partnership and all they have done to help us build our business. One of our staff members presented the owner with the flowers, fruit, and thank you card that stated that we wanted to not only tell her, but also show her our gratitude.
The shop owner stood speechless with tears in her eyes.
She began to explain that this was the first time anyone had ever given her flowers in her whole life, and that she was so excited and thankful. She said she was thrilled to work with Penh Lenh and hoped to have a fruitful future working with us.
As we drove back to the office, I could tell the girls were filled with a new joy. They explained that this too was their first time giving flowers to someone and when they saw how it affected the shop owner, it made them feel proud; they felt their job was unique and different than others.
They explained that this was a new and good experience, and they can’t wait for the next time!”
We’re so grateful for YOU;
for reading about and supporting the anti-slavery programs of Hope for Justice.
There are many ways to show and share love… as the girls have reminded us, and as your support reminds the girls.
Happy Valentine’s Day!