Make for Good
This year we teamed up for the first time with Etsy Australia and their incredibly talented makers as part of the ‘Make for Good’ campaign. With the theme ‘silver linings’, makers developed a collection of handmade goods, with each donating at least 20% of proceeds to Because I am a Girl. This first year of the campaign exceeded all of our expectations, raising an incredible $30,000 which is enough for 150 women in Cambodia to start their own businesses.
As part of the Make for Good campaign, we had the opportunity to send two of Etsy’s makers to Cambodia to take part in a skills exchange with some of the local women Plan International works with. Etsy’s Sarah Ponthieu shares their stories.
In early May Sydney-based soap maker Hepzabeth Evans and miniature embroidery hoop maker Sonia Lyne departed for Cambodia, accompanied by blogger and photographer Emilie Ristevski (Hello Emilie) who captured the journey. A week of travel across the country (courtesy of the generous team at Intrepid Travel) gave the makers the opportunity to learn about Cambodia’s culture, history and people before the much-anticipated main event – the skills exchange.
It was the culmination of months of anticipation and planning for both makers, a moment tinged with equal parts excitement and nerves. “I was really looking forward to meeting the women and children in their community and understanding how Plan International puts the funds we all helped to raise to good use,” Hepzabeth said.
Taking a seat on a large green tarp that had been set up in the centre of the village and joining the circle of local women gathered there, nerves were soon dispelled by the broad smiles on the faces of all involved. Then it was straight down to business with the local women teaching Hepzabeth and Sonia to basket weave, an income source for many involved.
The Australian makers took to the techniques quickly, with the teaching process punctuated by laughs all round.