Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre

The SWDC was registered with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior (1258SCN) in 2001.  It began as an AIDS hospice caring for former soldiers, sex workers and police officers who were infected by HIV and suffering from related illnesses. One year on it shifted its focus onto AIDS prevention amongst healthy young women.  It offered health education and literacy with the idea that this could significantly reduce the spread of AIDS amongst the Stung Treng population. The SWDC evolved to providing education and alternate employment opportunities for local women in order to provide substitute income options to harmful occupations such as prostitution.  Currently it provides social welfare programmes for the community including nutrition support projects, sponsorship for poor students attending public school, on-site nursery and pre-school provision for working parents, Sericulture training (funded by the Allen Foundation), weaving and training programmes, and a Child Development Centre for vulnerable children.

At any one time the SWDC provides employment for up to 100 women weavers.  Their silk products are traded through Mekong Blue, all the profits of which are invested back into the social projects mentioned above. The aim is for these community projects to become fully sustainable in time through the social enterprise.

Women benefitting from Stung Treng Women's Development Centre
Photo courtesy of Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre