IWA KEP TEAM
After a +15 years of a corporate career in Switzerland, Melissa went to Cambodia to volunteer for 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 has worked with IWA since January 2018. She started with crochet plastic bags and thanks to her motivation and willigness to progress she rapidely became crochet teacher. She is responsible for the workshop management and sales of our items in the local shop in Kep. She speaks English and Khmer and is learning French.
Danim is mother of 2 beautiful girls. Her husband is our tuctuc driver.
Mr Min - Farmer & IWA KEP PLASTIC COLLECTOR
Mr. Min collects plastic bags for IWA Kep. Hundreds of plastic bags are delivered to his farm every week. In the past, when empty, it would burn or simply throw them into the rice fields.
Since IWA Kep started buying these used bags for recycling, Mr. Min has built a collection point on his farm and thus increased his monthly income by + 30%. A new circular economy is in place.
Before joining IWA Kep in January 2018, Srey Kim worked hard at the local fish market 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for less than $ 1 a day.
With IWA Kep, Srey Kim has a 5-day / 8-hour work week. She can spend time with her 3 children during all weekends and holidays and each month she receives a fixed salary.
Srey Map has worked for IWA Kep since October 2017 and she is our senior seamstress.
Before joining IWA Kep, Srey Map 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! With her 2 sisters, Srey Mom was one of the first women to learn how to crochet plastic bags. Srey Mom now designs most of our shoulder bags and shopping bags. She has 2 children and lives in a house located opposite 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 children school backpacks and pencil purses.
Samoon crochet plastic bags since January 2018 and she loves to make new designs, purses and bags.
SreyKa joined us in April 2019. During her first 3 months, she was involved in all processes, from the collection of plastic bags at our collection points to the design and sale of products.
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.
Our first seamstress !
Srey Theam joined us in March 2017 and still works on demand from home for IWA Kep.
Ah Moon Pich
Ah Moon and her family are first IWA Kep fans ! Ah Moon supports us locally with administrative and sales activities.
Nimol supports IWA Kep by selling our products on local markets in Kep Province.
Channeun is responsible for sales of our products within the workshop in Kep. She is in charge of the workshop management.