2009: The non-profit community project becomes a social enterprise and opens its workshop in Banteay Chmar
In 2001, Enfants du Mékong, in partnership with another NGO, Espoir en Soie, set up the Soieries du Mékong (Mekong Silk Products) project. The aim of the project’s silk-weaving training centre was to train young women who had given up their schooling and to redevelop knowledge of how to weave, a skill which was in the process of disappearing in rural areas.
The social purpose of Soieries du Mékong is therefore to empower women in rural areas of Cambodia by teaching them silk weaving and by offering them sustainable work that develops their skills and expertise.
In its early years, the project was run by volunteers from the organisation with the aim of raising funds for Cambodian projects by selling scarves.
In 2009, Soieries du Mékong became a social enterprise. Enfants du Mékong remains a statutory majority shareholder in the silk works, thereby ensuring that the enterprise’s social purpose is respected.
To support this development, Soieries du Mékong is opening a new centre in Banteay Chmar. It is here that colouring, preparing looms and finishing silks as well as training weavers are carried out.