Projects

Thanks to our supporters, Wool for Women is Pozible!

As the end of our pozible campaign edges closer we would again like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has pledged their support for our Wool for Women; Crafting in Cambodia project in 2013. The support we have received has been unprecedented and will help Aware in delivering Wool for Women 2013.

This Friday our pozible campaign will come to an end and we are hoping to reach $4000 which is more indicative of the running costs for our Wool for Women project.

Over the past few weeks we have watched as pledge after pledge has rolled in, strengthening our program and also strengthening our belief in the work we do here at Aware. Your support has been humbling and a real joy to be a part of.

To help us reach $4000 by Friday we are asking our supoprters, new and old, to spread the word via social media or to dig a little deeper and throw some spare change Aware’s way.

Your help will enable Aware to provide training and skill development for the women at Kampot run social enterprise Dorsu, helping them secure the sustainability of their creative livelihoods.

To learn more and to Pledge your support now please visit ‘Wool for Women; Crafting in Cambodia’ on Pozible.

wool for women flyer poz

Written by Louella Fitzsimmons

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Categories: Cambodia, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AWARE’S 2013 WOOL DRIVE

wool for women flyer back

Here at Aware, we would again like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has pledged their personal contribution to our 2013 Wool for Women Pozible campaign.

To coincide with our Pozible campaign we are now launching Aware’s annual Wool Drive to provide much needed materials for our 2013 Wool for Women project this July in Kampot, Cambodia.

Wool for Women provides unique creative skill development and training workshops for women working at Kampot run social enterprise Dorsu.

The women of Dorsu create garments, whilst providing a local and international sewing service, working out of their own store in Kampot, Cambodia with revenue supporting the local Chumkriel Language School (CLS).

Wool for Women builds the skills of women working at Dorsu and asissts in helping them consolidate their creative and sustainable livelihoods in regional Cambodia.

As part of our annual Wool Drive we are asking our supporters to part with wool, ideally of 8 ply, new or old (whether purchased especially for the occasion or whether gathered from the recesses of your linen closet amidst other misdirected creative projects.. ) to help the women of Dorsu to build their skills and to make Wool for Women 2013 a success.

DSCN3245

Donations can be organised by contacting Stacey via stacey.aware@gmail.com.

Your contribution in Aware’s 2013 Wool Drive will help foster the creative livelihoods of women working at Dorsu and help drive positive change in their lives.

 Written by Louella Fitzsimmons  

Categories: Cambodia, Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Making Crafting in Cambodia pozible; securing sustainable livelihoods for women

 In May, Aware launched its Wool for Women; Crafting in Cambodia fundraising drive/campaign through crowd funding platform Pozible.  Aware’s Pozible campaign will raise the funds needed for the July instalment of the program whilst helping secure the project’s sustainability in Cambodia.

Our Pozible target is $2,500 (we are starting safe and smallish) but the total project budget is closer to $4000. This will cover the costs of travelling to and staying in Kampot, and materials for running the workshops. Any funds received above the target will go towards the full funding of the project or towards supporting Aware’s other projects in Kenya and Australia.

wool for women flyer poz

This July Aware volunteers will travel to Kampot, Cambodia, to deliver the second instalment of Aware’s Wool for Women program in collaboration with Cambodian run social enterprise Dorsu.

Wool for Women is a series of creative workshops designed to facilitate positive change in the lives of women working at Dorsu by fostering and developing creative wool based skills to consolidate their sustainable livelihoods.

The women of Dorsu work to create garments, and other creative handicrafts, whilst providing wholesale sewing services locally and abroad, with profits funding Kampot’s Chumkriel Language School. Dorsu provides a safe and positive work environment with regular hours and a competitive salary alongside unique training opportunities in garment production and customer service.

Aware’s work, in partnership with Dorsu, provides a valuable capacity building opportunity for women in a region where they often lack access to quality education and vocational training. Women living in regional Cambodia are often unable to partake in training opportunities without an income and therefore miss out on building their skills and establishing sustainable livelihoods. Wool for Women provides a unique opportunity for the women of Dorsu to earn an income while receiving training and learning new skills.  Aware’s in house workshops ensure a safe and welcoming environment in which training is accessible for all.

Wool for Women was launched in 2012 and Aware is looking forward to building on the successes of last year. The women at Dorsu quickly picked up the new skills and were consistently eager to learn more and to produce new items for the Dorsu store.

By contributing your pledge to our Wool for Women; Crafting in Cambodia Pozible campaign you will be contributing to skills based learning opportunities for women in Cambodia and helping them secure their own sustainable livelihoods of the future.

Written by Louella Fitzsimmons

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Creative Sparks Round Two

In August and September, 2012, Aware worked in partnership with the New Hope Foundation to deliver Creative Sparks, an art project with children from refugee backgrounds aged 5 – 10 years. This March we will be conducting a 5 week project focusing on participants aged 12-15, with the aim of increasing access to expressive outlets and building self-esteem. We wanted to share with you some comments about our Karen participants written by our friends at New Hope Foundation. 

Project participants are from the Karen community. The Karen people are from the Karen State in Southern Burma, yet some of the participants in the program were born in refugee camps on the Thai Burma border or even in Australia. Karen people have been fleeing Burma since the mid 1980s due to Burmese military oppression and killings of the Karen people. Consequently an estimated one million people from different ethnic groups in Burma have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries, and an estimated 600,000 people have been internally displaced.

The Karen people have predominantly settled in Australia through the Australian Governments humanitarian settlement program. A growing population of the Karen community live in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. The New Hope Foundation provides settlement support to newly arrived refugees and migrants during their first five years in Australia.

The Karen people are warm and humble. They are proactive and open and a joy to work with.

busy setting up                                                                           Creative Sparks Round One: 2012

Categories: Australia, Projects, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ever wondered how to get involved with Aware?

Aware is currently recruiting for two exciting Melbourne based volunteer roles for our Creative Sparks project beginning in March.
Project Summary
Creative Sparks works with children and youth from refugee backgrounds recently settled in Melbourne. The aim of the project is to provide participants with a creative avenue to express themselves and build self-confidence in a safe space. In conjunction with New Hope Foundation, Creative Sparks runs artistic workshops with participants in the Werribee area.
Click for the position descriptions for the Co-facilitator / Monitoring and Evaluation Officer AND Co-facilitator / Communication and Marketing Officer, two positions that are integral to the success of the project. 
Applications close Feb 18th 5pm (expected start date Feb 25th)
Please send CV and cover letter to stacey.aware@gmail.com
Looking forward to a great start to Creative Sparks for 2013!
Categories: About AWARE, Australia, Projects | Leave a comment

Crafty Fundraising

What better way to fundraise for next year’s Wool for Women than holding crochet lessons here in Melbourne.

Over the last five weeks volunteers Stacey, Louella and Rita have hosted crochet lessons in Northcote’s Open Studio.

Many hours were spent enjoying live music, delicious crepes and mulled wine while learning the relaxing (well maybe not in the beginning) skill of crochet.

Thanks so much to the great group of participants who braved Melbourne’s winter evenings to come along!

All proceeds from the lessons will go towards 2013’s Aware – Dorsu projects, empowering women through creativity.

We hope to run similar classes in the future, email information.aware@gmail.com for details!

Crafty fundraising in Melbourne fo fund future projects with Dorsu

Categories: Cambodia, Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Creative Sparks

 

Last week we began our first ever Australian project and we are so excited.  Aware will, in conjunction with New Hope Foundation, be facilitating art workshops with children from refugee backgrounds in Melbourne’s outer west. The aim is to increase self-confidence through storytelling and building awareness about social issues facing recently arrived communities in Melbourne.

We are lucky to have studying art therapist Kristy Heffernan on board to run the workshops, with the help of Aware’s Director Stacey and volunteer Louella. Employing the theories of art therapy in a safe, fun and relaxed space is set to be an amazing experience!

 

Let’s meet Kristy!

What you are studying?

I am currently studying Transpersonal Art Therapy at Phoenix Institute. Art therapy is a therapeutic process in which people can engage with themselves, their lives, and their experiences without the need for constant dialogue like mainstream psychotherapy. Although talking can be a large part of art therapy, the creative process is in itself, the critical part of the healing experience for the participant. By expressing through creativity a person can access and express ‘unspoken’ ideas, memories and feelings in a gentle and safe way, with an experienced therapist present.

Why you wanted to volunteer with Aware?

When I was contacted by Aware I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. As an art therapist I was really drawn to the humanist, compassionate approach of aware within their projects. I also realized the great potential of using art with children from refugee backgrounds, as it allows for interaction and expression that transcends language barriers.

A little bit about the project?

I want to allow a space for the kids to feel free to express themselves and play. We will be using numerous mediums to explore their own experiences as a child in their community. We will concentrate on identity, creating opportunities for the children to tell their stories through their art. The children will be encouraged to show their interests, dreams and personalities through paint, pencil, pastel, collage, stickers and clay.   

What you expect the outcomes to be for the participants?

Fun! I want the children to have a lot of fun whilst getting the opportunity to explore a number of different mediums in art. I also hope to nurture feelings of pride and confidence in their own creativity and for them to feel safe in being themselves.

Categories: Australia, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Crafternoon in Cambodia

During my time in Cambodia running Wool for Women, I took some time out to get to know an amazing social enterprise in Batambang – Kinyei. Promoting sustainable travel they run socially responsible bike tours, have a café which serves the best coffee in town, and provide jobs and training to young people. They also have a space dedicated to exhibiting local art. With our mutual interest in working with young people and creativity, I couldn’t help but get involved.

Aware sponsored an afternoon of art and craft within the art space above Kinyei café. We spent hours drawing, cutting, pasting, stitching, creating and having fun. We made broaches, embroidered signs, made paper decorations, sketched and more. It was a lovely way to bring the community together in a safe and fun space. The craft materials that I left with the group have been used in a second workshop, organised by Kinyei staff, creating decorations to liven up the café.

The community of Kinyei – and in particular the young people – relish the chance to get creative and express themselves. In the future, Aware will assist Kinyei in running regular arts workshops, with the aim of building self-confidence in the youth of Batambang.

Check out Kinyei’s projects,

 

Written by volunteer, Stacey

Categories: Cambodia, Projects, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Guest post: Hanna Director of Dorsu

Aware’s visit to Dorsu was very valuable. We established project objectives, and achieved them much faster than planned, but the over-arching theme that recurred in many conversations was connection and creativity. The staff response to hosting volunteers was great. We knew that everyone would enjoy working together but I didn’t realise just how well it would happen. Learning crochet, laughing at having to be creative in finding ways to communicate and seeing all the new products really brought a light-heartedness to the work days. Watching the customer response to new products, and the excitement that generates in the store has been fantastic.
Supplies for the project, particularly wool, are not available in Cambodia so it was a wonderful surprise to see the volunteers arrive with cases full of donated goods. We greatly appreciate the support from Australia.
The partnership with Aware is exciting. It is vital for us to work with an organisation that values developing a long-term connection. Knowing that Aware have committed to returning for new training and continuing with supplies support is really important for Dorsu, we’re looking forward to more projects in the future.
<i>Written by Hanna, Director of Dorsu</i>
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Aware in Cambodia: Chumkriel Language School

While working to increase the skill set and ability of women in Kampot to earn a sustainable livelihood, I took some time out this week to visit the reason Dorsu exists.

 Not only does Dorsu offer women a safe, creative, and empowering place to work, it’s profits contribute to the operation costs of Chumkriel Language School (CLS). Spending time at the learning centre, meeting the staff, the students, and hearing about all the wonderful things they are doing blew me away.
CLS began in 2005 when Mr Nget Sothy (current director), a Khmer teacher recognised the need for language and life skills education in the community. CLS is located amongst rice farms in the Chumkriel village, in Kampot, Southern Cambodia. Many families in the region can only afford to send their children to school for two years, have trouble accessing water and hygiene, and lack viable transport options.
CLS is open to anybody who wants to learn, and on top of that offers scholarships to assist with attending and conducts bus runs to pick up children who live too far away to walk. I was able to see first hand the hygiene, agricultural and nutritional programs CLS has in place, took a tour of the library, activities room and computer lab, whilst listening to a very lively English class in the background. The work this locally run organisation is doing is really addressing the needs of those who, for various reasons, cannot access the conventional education system.
Profits from the sale of the crocheted products made as a result of Wool for Women will be going to CLS, and I’m happy to announce that we will be working with CLS in the future to provide resources and assistance in their arts and crafts activities. The first batch of craft supplies will be delivered this week!
If you are interested in supporting CLS or volunteering your time, more info can be found at www.chumkriellanguageschool.org and www.dorsu.org.
Written by volunteer, Stacey
Categories: Cambodia, Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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