In 2020 Salat (above) is realising her dream of returning to her home province Siem Reap to open a market stall. She trained in retail with Kravan House in the Phnom Penh shop for five years and now has the skills and confidence to start her own small business. Her stall will stock Kravan House products.
Kravan House provides meaningful employment, training, fair wages, good working conditions and career opportunities for its employees, contractors and suppliers. Working and being financially independent brings people pride and also respect in wider society. A number of her long term staff have married or raised and educated families because they have access to reliable income.
Cambodia is not an easy place to be born if you are disabled. There are no disability pensions, social services are limited and quality health care services are sparse and rarely free. Movement can be restricted or very difficult. Buildings laws do not require accessibility to be taken into consideration and the lack of pavement/footpaths, few accessible public areas and many houses being multi-storey or elevated adds to the challenge.
Education – fair trade and human rights
Kravan House also educates visitors about Cambodia. Many tourists are still fairly ignorant of fair trade and the importance of good provenance. Through being a fair trade pioneer advocating for disability rights and livelihoods Thanan has been a leader in raising awareness inside Cambodia and among visitors. Through this she has been setting standards for the entire sector.
In Buddhist culture there are beliefs that can also cause problems such as being disabled is a karmic consequence for bad behaviour.