Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Embracelet Students Receive Support

  Rotarian and A Mine Free World Foundation Executive Director, Lisa McCoy is back in Canada and I'm busy taking all these wonderful crafts to presentations to raise more funds for eduational support for the girls and women in Takeo:

Many Thanks to Rotarians from Rotary Club of Gravenhurst for purchasing a total of $57 on April 15/2013.

A big Round of Thanks to Members of the Rotary Club of Haliburton for purchasing an astounding $104 in handmade items....

There has been lots of activity over the past several months here in Cambodia as eight Embracelet students enjoy creativity in a unique program in rural, Takeo province, Cambodia.
Pony Tail Adornments made by Students

The eight female participants, young and old, get together twice a month and create a multitude of village crafts including, handwoven bracelets, palm-woven placemats and coasters, handwoven pillowcases and woven purses and wallets...ALL THIS is coming back with Lisa McCoy to Canada and will be sold at presentations and sales organized by Maria Van Santen and Lisa McCoy of A Mine Free World Foundation to raise funds towards MORE educational support for rural girls and women.

Women making Purses

How does the program work?...

Funds from the items sold, go towards purchasing craft supplies and every year, girls and women enrolled in the program receive educational support items, such as bicycles for themselves or their children, school supplies, school uniforms, school courses, etc.

Not only does the program provide this valuable educational support, it provides the girls a chance to get together, have some fun and explore their creativity.
A Finished Purse!
 This week, four of the women, enrolled for a year in the program received Bicycles and School Uniforms for their children. One also received a mosquito net. 
Pov Cheanthy Receives Bike and School Supplies from Socheat (program Director)

Phy Sapoun Receives Bike and School uniforms for her child from Socheat (left)

for her child

This year's participants are:
Men koy, 43 age,Tropeang Prey Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Has Sarom, 40 age, Tropeang Prey Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
 Ky Soun 32 age, Tropeang Prey Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Pho Thea 43 age, Tropeang Prey Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Loun Srey Mom 11 age,Tasom Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Seng Saran 17 age,Prokeab Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Hean Chean Neth 12 age, Tasom Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.
Jem Srey Ty 12 age, Prokeab Village, Tropeang Thom south Commune.

The program is run by Socheat Chea, director at Banyan Learning Tree, Takeo, and takes place at the new Banyan Learning Tree Family Care Centre in Prokeab village, Takeo. The Family Care Centre  building was constructed by the 2013 Round Square International Service Student Team this past December. This Banyan Learning Tree School provides free English language education. The Centre there provides outreach programs for landmine-affected and impoverished families. An on-site Library building is open every weekday and is always full with area children. 

Many thanks to Everyone in Muskoka who purchased bracelets made by these women and girls. Special thanks to Barbara Seagram, Patti Lee and the Bridge Players around Toronto who also purchased many.
Women Make Forms and Weave Unique Pillow Covers

My two suitcases coming back to Canada this week will be filled with the lovely handwoven items these girls and women have made.  

Please continue to support this program that provides so much for these rural women and girls! 

The 'Embracelet' Educational Support Program for rural women and girls was created with the passionate help of Dan Blix of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. Even though he has passed away this past year,  his big heart and love for the children and disadvantaged in Cambodia continues and will be remembered always.
Phrom Somaly Recieves a Bike and School Uniforms from AMFW's Pauline Johns

Mom Siphol Receives a Bike and School Supplies for her child from AMFW's Lisa McCoy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Intercultural Fun and Creativity!

 It has been a busy season for our Embracelet Students. In November, they spent two afternoons bracelet weaving with students and adults from the RoundSquare organization who were here in Cambodia building a school in Takeo province. Our Cambodian women did not know how to speak English, but a great time and lots of laughs was had by all as they spent time weaving together.
RoundSquare Students and Cambodian Women & Girls
-Weaving Amazing Bracelets!

Seven of the students have now received educational and occupational support detailed in the album link here: Embracelet Students - Fun with RoundSquare Students & Support Received

 New rural women and girls have been added to the program and will start March 2012. Many Thanks to everyone who supports this ongoing program through the purchase of a bracelet - especially Rotary Clubs in Ontario, Canada! A special thanks to RoundSquare, Socheat Chea (Program Manager) and Bill and Dora Rathbun for their support. Embracelets is a program of A Mine Free World Foundation and Banyan Learning Tree

Lisa McCoy will be back in Canada the second week in April with many more colorful bracelets, necklaces and fobs that will be sold at upcoming presentations - your support will benefit more rural girls and women like Ven Touch and her daughter (below).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Support Rural Women and Girls in Cambodia Through Your Embracelets © Purchase

A few weeks ago, Pauline Johns, Director Om Chamnap and I, plus our special guests Robin and Claire from Australia, made a special trip to the Takeo village of Trapeang Thum in Takeo district and were amazed by the creativity of our group of 10 women and one boy enrolled in the ‘Embracelets’ © Program there.
Yes! – We have one 16 year-old male student, Pros, in the program. He comes from a particularly impoverished family in a nearby village and makes income for his family by hunting frogs (for food) at night. A couple of months ago he had been hired to clean our yard. He and his younger brother would work away at cleaning up the property while we were running the initial week-long Embracelets © program.
Pros would pick up the off-cast pieces of string off the ground and started weaving bracelets. Much to our surprise, he had the ability to weave beautiful, intricate bracelets! Where he ever learned this, I don’t know – but it wasn’t long before we made him a ‘teacher’ and he was showing the women how to weave his designs.

That started the creativity ball rolling and soon all the women were creating their own unique designs in every color combination imaginable. Some of the string bracelet designs incorporate leather -  some with colorful beads. Rings, keychains, pens, schoolbag ornaments – you name it – they invented a way to weave it!

Everyone who arrived at the program two weeks ago had a small bag of creations to give us. All string, materials and tools were supplied for them through the program. As they each turned in their bag of creations, they were given $5.00 for their efforts. That’s a total of $10 that each woman received – a generous stipend when you consider that the average daily salary for working 12 hours in a sweltering rice field is $1.00.

But that is just the beginning of the benefits that this ‘Embracelets’ © program will realize for these women and other rural women and girls like them.

These creative designs will now be sold in Canada and Australia and all the money from sales will go back into the program to fund the educational needs of these 10 women and one boy. Funds will also go towards enrolling other women into the program in Takeo and Battambang provinces. In Koas Krala district in Battambang province, special consideration will be given to enroll landmine-affected female family members into the program.

From sales in Canada and Australia, these first 11 participants will be supplied with school uniforms and supplies and perhaps even bicycles for the children of the mothers enrolled in the program. Students in the program will also receive the same.

Embracelets’© is a program of Banyan Learning Tree – a registered organization in Cambodia: . In Canada, 'Embracelets for Books'©  a copyrighted and registered program of A Mine Free World Foundation

In Ontario, Embracelets© will be available for purchase at all Rotary Wheels for Learning presentations:

In Australia, contact Pauline Johns to purchase or help sell some Embracelets©:

You can help support this program through your purchase of an item or perhaps even take a few Embracelets© products to sell to your family, friends and co-workers. They make a wonderful gift. Each item is packaged in a bag with a colorful insert describing the program. Many thanks to Dan Blix for the creation of these colorful inserts: Dan's Advertising Design:

For more information, please contact Lisa McCoy at: or 705-687-8538.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Embracelet Program for Rural Women in Takeo Province, Cambodia

Two weeks ago, A Mine Free World Board members Pauline Johns and I spent an enjoyable week teaching 11 women in Trapeang Thum, Takeo province how to weave 'Embracelets'.

The course was a resounding success as by the end of the week the women were teaching us the innovative new designs and patterns that they invented!

The project, conducted under our new Cambodian registered organization 'Banyan Learning Tree' taught these women a new skill and provided them with some income.

Last year, over $200 was raised by Embracelet sales in Canada. This money was brought back to Cambodia to buy supplies and provide capital for 11 women to carry on the program.

The women came to our village house in Takeo every morning for one week. At the end of the week, the women were each paid $5 for the items they made during the week. They were also given a small bag of supplies, string, beads, scissors and leather, so they could continue making the woven items in their spare time at home.

In February, Pauline and I will go back to the village and gather up the items the women made, at which time they will be paid another $5.00. This may not sound like a lot of money, but at village level, where a rice farmer makes $1.00/day working in the hot sun from 5am to dark, this bracelet income is added income which goes a long way for a village family.

The program is a lot of fun, and also builds the women's self esteem through the sense of pride they feel with the beautiful items they create. It's a wonderful outlet for their creativity and a chance to learn a little English from us.

I return to Canada in April with a suitcase full of these lovely items which will be sold at presentations and by mail order in Canada.

The money raised will go towards educational supplies for the young women in the program. For the older women, educational supplies,school uniforms, school fees - perhaps even bicycles - will be provided for their children.

You'll be amazed by the beautiful items shown on this blog, and I'll be happy to provide any groups in Muskoka a presentation on this program and bring along the items that the village women here in Cambodia have made.

Thanks to Muskokans, Dan Blix, Bill and Dora Rathbun and Jay and Linda Harrison for all the woonderful support of this program.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Buy an ‘Embracelet’ and Support Rural Cambodian Women and Children

100% of your ‘Embracelet’ purchase goes towards funding educational supplies and programs for women and their childre. To order your hand-woven ‘Embracelet’, call Lisa McCoy at 705-687-8538, or email at . ‘Embracelets’ are also available by mail order, and will be shipped by Canada Post – the most economical choice. Most ‘Embracelets’ fit in a letter-size envelope. Please add the cost of shipping from Canada to your total. Prices are listed below. Cheques are made out to ‘Lisa McCoy’ – please write ‘Embracelets’ in the memo field, and send to:

‘Embracelets For Books’, Box 53, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, P1P 1T5

Shipping Costs for each Embracelet:

Within Canada -- $0.60
To U.S.A. -- $1.10
International -- $2.00
If you wish, please specify a color or color combination preference.

Thank you for helping the women and children of Cambodia realize and embrace their educational dreams!


About Me

My photo
Lisa McCoy is a Rotarian from Gravenhurst, Ontario. She worked 23 years in the Public Library field. After having extensively traveled around the world, she decided to give worth and meaning to her travels by volunteering her efforts in aid of those less fortunate than herself; particularly the children and landmine survivors of Cambodia and the refugees of Burma. Lisa participated in disaster relief efforts in the aftermaths of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Cyclone Nargis on the Thai-Burma border and Typhoon Ketsana in Cambodia. She is the executive director of the Canadian non-profit organization ‘A Mine Free World Foundation’. In 2009, she spent 6 months in Cambodia where she attended the grand opening of The ‘Muskoka School’; a 6-room rural school funded by the citizens and Rotary Clubs of Muskoka. She is the Field Coordinator for Rotary Wheels for Learning - an international program of the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, District 7010. In the past 2 years, close to 2,000 bicycles have been distributed to needy students in Cambodia.