IWA KEP TEAM
After a +15 years of a corporate career in Switzerland, in 2016 Melissa went to Cambodia to volunteer in a NGO in Kep Province.
She was moved by the optimism and strength of people working to improve their circumstances despite meagre incomes and harsh living conditions.
The country is facing important plastic waste pollution and plastic bags are not recycled. Women are working hard for less than $1.- a day.
When Melissa asked them how could she contribute to improve their living conditions, women immediately answered "Create jobs for us".
Melissa founded IWA Kep in 2017 in Switzerland and moved to Cambodia to implement the project in collaboration with Swiss & Cambodian partners.
Danim is with us since January 2018. She started first to learn how to crochet plastic bags and thanks to her motivation and willigness to progress she rapidely became crochet teacher. She is now responsible for the workshop management and sales of our items in the local Shop. She speaks English and Khmer and is now learning French.
Danim is mother of 2 beautiful girls. Her husband is our tuctuc driver.
MR MIN - FARMER & IWA KEP PLASTIC COLLECTOR
Mr Min collect plastic bags for IWA Kep. On a weekly basis hundred of plastic bags are delivered to his farm. In the past, once empty he used to burn them or simply throw them away in nature.
Since IWA Kep started to buy this used bags for recycling, Mr Min build a collection point at his farm and this way increase his monthly income by +30%. A new circular economy is in place.
Before joining IWA Kep in January 2018, Srey Kim worked hard at local fish market 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for less than 1.- dollar per day.
With IWA Kep, Srey Kim has a 5 days/8 hours working week. She can spend time with her 3 children during all weekends and public holidays and every month she receives a fix salary.
Srey Map is with us since October 2017 and is our senior seamstress.
Before joining IWA Kep, Srey Map worked from home, sewing clothes for local customers or selling fruits on local market.
She has 4 children and 2 of them are going to University in Phnom Penh.
Sarim join us in 2017 and is our Senior crochet IWA Lady !
Before joining us, she worked hard all her life in the rice fields and never had the chance to go to school.
With IWA Kep, she learned how to crochet plastic bags into beautiful items such as bags, baskets, mats etc.
Srey Mom is one of our first IWA Lady ! Together with her 2 sisters Srey Mom was one of the first women to learn how to crochet plastic bags. Srey Mom is now designing most of our shoulder bags and shopping bags. She has 2 children and lives in a house located in front of our workshop.
Sokhom is our first IWA Kep Lady !
With her sister, Srey Mom, she was one of the first women to start crochet plastic bags. Sokhom is now designing our backpacks for children and pencil purses.
Samoon crochet plastic bags since January 2018 and she loves to make new designs, purses and bags.
SreyKa join us in April 2019. During her first 3 months she was involved in all process from plastic bags collection at our collection points till finish product design and sales.
SreyNâ loves to crochet plastic bags and make new baskets in different forms, colors and styles.
PRAM - PLASTIC COLLECTOR
Pram sells vegetables at the local market in Kep. He is the 5th child in his big family of 9 children (Pram means five in Khmer). He is our plastic bag collector since January 2018 and proud to grow his activity by collecting and selling used sugar & rice bags to IWA Kep. This additional activity increase his monthly income by more than +30% in average.