In 2001, Chantha and her husband Chan created a social enterprise for women in remote Stung Treng province.
At the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center, women bring their children to an on-site kindergarten and have access to medical care and practical training that helps them make a living wage. For nearly two decades, the women at SWDC also wove shimmering “Mekong Blue” silk scarves on hand-built looms and sold them worldwide, winning UNESCO awards for craftsmanship. Although COVID closed the weaving center, Mekong Blue still has inventory available, and the center still provides vital services to Stung Treng women and families.
SWDC is always evolving, but the essential mission remains the same: meeting the most pressing needs of vulnerable families in Stung Treng, with a focus on helping women find economic independence and supporting their children's education. Having made her way out of poverty, Chantha has found happiness and purpose in lighting the path for others.
To learn more about Mekong Blue silk and the social services at SWDC and/or to make a donation, click below.
Videos from SWDC
Stung Treng Women's Development Center:
A day in the life of a Cambodian social enterprise (circa 2016)
Interview with Chantha Nguon:
On finding a life's work by blazing a path out of poverty