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Cambodian Handicraft Association for Landmine and Polio Disabled (CHA) | Hay Kim Tha | Interview

Established in 2000, the Cambodian Handicraft Association for Landmine and Polio Disabled (CHA) mission is to support young women with disabilities in participating in normal community life by providing vocational training, education and empowerment. Its activities actively empower and give women confidence and encouragement in themselves. CHA Director, Hay Kim Tha talks to i-genius about setting up his organisation.


i-genius: Why did you start CHA?
Hay Kim Tha: We started CHA in order to support the young women with disabilities and poverty in the rural villages did nothing at homes, and they lost their hope in their life, and CHA would like them to start a new kill for new life to integrate into Cambodian society.

i-genius: What makes a good candidate for a Director of a company?
Kim Tha: The program sustains 20-25 students at any one time. On graduation (when students are skilled and confident in themselves) employment is found. A number of past students have stayed on to become teachers to new students.

i-genius: In what way is CHA a social enterprise/NGO?
Kim Tha: The program is a bit successful but run on a very minimal budget.  The management is very prudent – there is little scope to provide resources beyond a “bare bones “approach to the full program including English learning (run by volunteers); life skills; recreation and creativity; and counselling.. The impact on the students’ lives is immeasurable.  The young women go from not being confident and with low esteem to happy, confident individuals willing to take on the challenges of earning a living for themselves and their families.

i-genius: What difficulties did you experience setting up CHA?
Kim Tha: We started the program with a small capitals, and we rented a house for the program, and the owners of each house where we rented always sold them, and the new owners did not want to rent it to us, so they made us waste time and money to move and it was difficult to find funds to spend on the move.

i-genius: What are the most crucial things you have done to grow CHA?
Kim Tha: CHA got the Local communities and social workers who recommended students to CHA.  All students are from disadvantaged families. In recent times CHA is experiencing a number of pressures on its revenue stream including dwindling sales due to market saturation and increased demand for their services. They have been working to increase their product line and find new wholesale markets under the CHA Business Sustainability Strategy 2014-2016 developed and funded through our friendship with others that have been interested in helping our program.

This interview was conducted as part of the i-genius Getting Started interview series. If you would like to learn how to get started in your social business, then why not take our ‘Getting Started – Social Business Start Up’ online course with i-genius Academy. To find out more, click here!


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