The Creative Empowerment project started with a simple idea - to bring some joy and creativity into a child’s life. Fiona Newsome, from Christchurch, New Zealand first came to Wat Opot in 2009 bringing with her some 21 kilo’s of beads, string, and the creative talent to teach the children jewellery crafts. Subsequent visits physically enhanced the children's jewellery making skills but also helped them explore and define themselves through their creativity.
Through the Creative Empowerment project, our children can create unique works of art which helps them improve fine motor skills and heightens their self confidence as well as promotes individuality and self expression. The children earn a portion of the sales and are taught how to manage their earnings. The rest of the profits are put into their education fund as well as used to purchase more jewellery supplies.
The jewellery is sold here at Wat Opot in Aunt Winnie’s Boutique (named after Wayne's Late Aunt Winifred whose monetary donation was used to update the building which currently houses the Health Clinic, Boutique, and School Room) and in Phnom Penh at Rajana (street 450 near Russian Market). Although we do well at Rajana; averaging around $50USD a month, our greatest sales are made right here, with volunteers and visitors purchasing from the Boutique or choosing specific beads and having a necklace or bracelet custom made. Aunt Winnie’s Boutique brings in anywhere from $350 to $1000 a month!