Senhoa Bride

Hieu contacted us last summer to create a customized comb for her wedding in October. She also gifted Charmed lotus necklaces to her bridesmaid. She finally got her photos back to share with us.

Hieu: "I feel we spent so much on the wedding day itself but this one is well worth spending not just for the beauty of it but the cause of it. The thought of wearing something that is going towards something means a lot for me. My only hope is to spread this around and in hope that more brides will lean towards this direction, of using products or vendors that has some sort of contributions to the good cause."

Thank you so much for having us be a part of your special day!

 

Photos by Kien Lam.

March 14, 2017 by Sylvia Dang

Why So Much Fashion? And Meet Our Stylist... Andrew Philip Nguyen

Often times, when we connect with other nonprofit organizations and they peruse our website and social media channels, they ask us why is there so much focus on fashion? Aren't you a nonprofit? We tell them this: yes, we are an NGO that provides support services for survivors of and people vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. One of our programs is a vocational skills training program, Our Own Hands, that teaches jewelry making. We chose jewelry making because it is an easily-acquired skill, can be picked up by those who are illiterate (as many of our artisans often are) and can be therapeutic for those who have been through trauma and abuse. We also run a social business that specializes in producing and retailing the jewelry that is made by our artisans. The girls produce jewelry for the Senhoa brand, OOH brand (the girls' own creations), and for partner labels. When we first started OOH in 2010, we had the jewelry available for sale on our website and at events, but we did not establish the social business until 2014.

The term "social business" was defined by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus as "the new kind of capitalism that serves humanity's most pressing needs." We believe that conscious consumerism can positively impact the world and its people. So in 2014, we took our shelter-retention vocational training program to the next level--employing women full-time as artisans--elevating them from "service users" to "skilled employees." We also adopted business strategies to grow the brand: devising wholesale structures, amping our marketing campaigns and reassessing our cost of goods sold to create a thriving business. We did this because we wanted to focus on empowering the women we served by teaching them a marketable skill and providing them with fair wages and benefits and access to the global marketplace, as well as celebrating their talent as artisans. We also chose this route to maintain sustainability. 100% of the profits from the sale of Senhoa jewelry is rerouted into the jewelry program, with the excess going to the foundation to fund Lotus Kids Club and our other anti-human trafficking efforts.

In our first year as a social enterprise, we grossed $85,346, nearly twice as much as 2013's sales. It is our goal that Senhoa jewelry revenue will eventually cover all foundation program costs. It'll take some time and a lot of team work and support, but we will get there.

When you see all our Instagram photos of models and celebrities donning Senhoa jewelry or see us at LA Fashion Week, remember that we are striving to utilize business sensibilities and fashion as vehicles to achieve our humanitarian dreams. And the man behind all of this "fashion" is our in-house stylist, Andrew Philip Nguyen. You'll see him behind the scenes at our photoshoots and directing models during our fashion exhibits and shows.

APN at work

Andrew has always had a love of fashion, even at a young age he was mesmerized every time his mother would get ready to go out on the town. Her beauty regimen would put him in a trance as she layered on her jewels, found the perfect hand bag for every occasion and finished off her look with her signature Chanel No. 5 parfum. It was almost a religious experience for him.

A Fashion Installation (featuring our latest collection, Kat & George for Senhoa) at our 5-Year Anniversary Gala Curated by Andrew Philip Nguyen
Hair: Tuyen Tran & Trang Do, Makeup: Jacky Tai, Furnishings: Master Designs, Models: Image Powerhouse & Shahana and Sydney Elaine Steinaker, Wardrobe: BGR Designs, Stylist: Andrew Philip Nguyen, Assistant Stylist: Hien Phan, Hair Accessories: Kat & George for Senhoa, Jewelry: Senhoa. Photo by Robert Swapp Photography.


It wasn’t until his freshmen year of high school where Andrew reignited and focused his undying passion for fashion while watching the first season of Project Runway. When the second season came around, he was instantly inspired when fellow Vietnamese-American Chloe Dao won the title. He then knew he could do what he thought was so out of reach. At first, he thought he wanted to be a fashion designer but he quickly found out he had no patience for sewing. So he ventured out to find another career in the vast creative industry. Sometime later he so happened to come by an amazing internship with renowned Vietnamese-American fashion designer Thai Nguyen who had just gotten off his stint on Bravo's Launch My Line as first runner-up and the rest was history. Andrew soon got his hands on all the behind-the-scenes action and was lucky enough to be involved in every aspect of a small fashion house. From assisting and directing multiple runway shows all across the United States, to styling photo shoots with top photographers, even assisting in line production, Andrew had the opportunity to be immersed in it all. He instantly fell in love with wardrobe styling while assisting Thai Nguyen and is now exploring a new outlet for his creativity.

Photographer: Mariel Lohninger, Model: Maggie Danielle, Hair & MUA: Roczane Enriquez, Stylists: Andrew Philip Nguyen & Thu Nguyen, Wardrobe: Lex & Mila, Jewelry: Senhoa

Photographer: Mariel Lohninger, Model: Maggie Danielle, Hair & MUA: Roczane Enriquez, Stylists: Andrew Philip Nguyen & Thu Nguyen, Wardrobe: Lex & Mila, Jewelry: Senhoa

November issue of Huf Magazine. Photographer: Christopher Santiago, Hair: Dakota Hunter & Jill Zegarski, Stylist: Andrew Philip Nguyen, Assistant Stylist: Hien Phan, Grooming: Sameerah Hoddison, Model: Aidan Anderson of Seattle Models Guild, Jewelry: Senhoa

This past fall, he and fashion writer Amanda Nguyen launched an Orange County based digital fashion book named Alpha Omega. The fashion book has a strong focus on high fashion and talent that is found in the Southern California area. He plays as Chief Creative Director and Head Fashion Editor to this magazine he helped co-found. The magazine can be found here. With 4+ years of styling under his belt he has worked some of the biggest models and photographers in the greater Los Angeles area. His work has been published in multiple major fashion magazines. Andrew has even styled top pageant queens that have gone on to compete nationally for the Miss USA title such as Cassandra Kunze Miss California USA 2014, Bianca Vierra Miss California Teen USA 2014 and Hoang-Kim Cung Miss Nebraska USA 2015. Check out Andrew's work at www.aphilipn.com.

Our newest collaboration: Kat & George for Senhoa -- the Enchanting Collection

We are excited to announce our latest collaboration: we have partnered with Kat & George, a UK based hair jewelry company, to create a beautiful collection of hair accessories. Kat & George is an alliance of jeweler Kat&Bee and hair stylist George Northwood. In October, Kat flew to Siem Reap to teach our artisans how to create the 7-piece collection she designed exclusively for Senhoa. The girls have never done anything like this so there was a learning curve but by day 3 they had picked up on the new skills that Kat had taught them.
 

"Everyone involved in the Kat&George for Senhoa collaboration has put in a lot of love and dedication into making it happen and now that is has I feel so proud to be part of the project.   The first hand experience of actually going to Cambodia to teach the artisans has been incredible, eye opening and life changing - one that I will always cherish.  I  feel that is has brought the project and pieces to life and am really excited to share it with everyone.  It was so lovely to see the artisans develop and adapt their skills and mindset over the course of the week and once this all clicked into place they were so overjoyed and had a great sense of satisfaction and personal achievement.  The Enchanting Knot, in particular, was a very difficult and complex piece to both teach and learn and so was challenging at times (for both!) but after serious dedication and concentration we got there in the end and I feel so proud that the artisans are now fully competent to make and produce the pieces" - Kat.



Kat&George for Senhoa brings together Kat&Bee's signature style with George Northwood's  innovative understanding of hair to create a collection that embodies beauty, love and togetherness.   The Enchanting Collection by Kat&George for Senhoa embodies beauty, sophistication and elegance.   Each piece has been carefully crafted by Senhoa artisans with an abundance of beautiful beads, Swarovski crystals that will sit in your hair and shine.  Using a strong mix of gothic colours - mauves, grey, black, gold and silver - these pieces are positively enchanting. The Kat & George for Senhoa collection will be available online at senhoa.org, senhoa.co.uk, katandgeorge.co.uk and katandbee.co.uk on Tuesday, December 1.

 

About George Northwood: Following a 12 year career as Creative Director at some of London’s most prestigious salons, George Northwood, the go-to-guy for the fashion and celebrity elite has recently launched his first London Salon. Situated on a quaint little street just off Oxford Street, W1 (24 Wells Street), with Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington Whitely, (George’s long term clients) being firm favourite in the salon chair. http://www.georgenorthwood.com/ About Kat&Bee: Kat&Bee creates beautifully intricate and eclectic jewellery that is innovative, luxurious and personable. All pieces are hand-‐made in Kat’s London studio allowing the brand to maintain its high level of quality control and expertise. Kat&Bee is currently stocked in the likes of Opening Ceremony, HP France, Henri Bendel, ASOS.com, La Rinascente, YOOX.com, Wolf & Badger, Carnet de Mode, Coldlilies, Kat also teaches jewellery making workshops in her studio and at the Soho House Group to share her expertise and craftsmanship.

November 30, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

The 3 C's of Life

Dr. Christine Dinh is a U.S.-educated physician with a focus on Women's Health. She has recently been accepted to work with Doctors Without Borders and has been an Event Ambassador for Senhoa for 4 years. She is currently helping us develop our Volunteer Management program stateside. Here she recounts her volunteer experience with Senhoa and her visit to our programs this year.

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All it took was saying “yes” to help volunteer at a Senhoa Fundraising event in 2011. I truly didn’t know much about Senhoa at the time, other than it being a organization focused on helping survivors of human trafficking and those vulnerable and the beautifully handcrafted jewelry that comes from it all.

But with each Senhoa event, I got to learn more and more beyond the surface of Senhoa, the jewelry, and the cause; I saw and felt the heart and passion that goes into Senhoa. The individuals, in the states and Southeast Asia, who are a part of making Senhoa what it is growing to be.

As a doctor applying for Doctors Without Borders (Medicin Sans Frontieres) deciding on where to do my assignment in Asia, what better way to know than to take a trip and visit the two countries I could potentially work for.

As a Senhoa Volunteer for more than three years, it is a complete blessing and gift to make the trip to Cambodia, to see the country but most importantly visit Senhoa’s three programs (Lotus Kids Club 1 & 2, Our Own Hands, Safe House) that I constantly speak of, promote and fundraise to support for the past 3-4yrs.

Playing with the happy and healthy children of LKC.

I got to see the results of our efforts of fundraising and promoting awareness of the organization throughout the years. The change and efforts, we (like myself) have put in towards Senhoa’s programs are transparently seen on every single girl/woman/child’s smiles and in their bright-eyed faces looking back at us. Not to mention the happiness and gratitude felt as we were fully embraced with sweet, warm hugs from small arms wrapped around us before getting off of our tuk tuks to be called “teacher” because it is a title they hold with love and respect and look up to for guidance.

Time spent interacting with the kids and Senhoa staff members at LKC 1 & 2 and talking to the girls at Senhoa’s Our Own Hands Jewelry program and to see them firsthand making the jewelry pieces, so skillful and talented, gave me the reaffirmation in my heart and mind that, “Yes, the time, funds, drive and effort I make for Senhoa is ALL WORTH IT.” I often get asked “Why are you involved?” I have tried to explain to many including my amazing boyfriend, who at first had a hard time understanding my growing passion and love for this organization but quickly understood why during our trip to Cambodia and visit to Senhoa’s programs and facilities. He’s a traveling professional photographer which means he has seen and captured an array of things, so to hear over his 10+ years of travel that our visit to Senhoa’s LKC and OOH programs was a highlight of his travels speaks volumes.

A great capture by my boyfriend John of the OOH artisans working hard at their craft in the studio.

 

For those whom we serve halfway across the globe, the LKC children and families and OOH artisans, should confidently know, believe and be able to participate in the 3 C’s of Life: You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never Change.

So "why am I still making time to be involved?” Because if you get to know the organization, especially the individuals who are apart of it, you will get to see and feel the heart that goes into bringing change. I know Senhoa Foundation is helping survivors of human trafficking and those vulnerable get to live the “3 C’s of Life” through Empowerment. Employment. Emancipation.
October 08, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

Reflections from the Alchemy Project



Sydney Scherr is a a jeweler and jewelry design professor at Raffles College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A few years ago she started a project (the Alchemy Project) to teach sustainable jewelry design to victims of sex trafficking. She leads groups of students to instruct and create designs through simple techniques so that they can earn a living. In 2012, Sydney and a group of her students came to Siem Reap and taught our artisans at Senhoa new techniques and donated tools that they sourced locally. She and her students loved the experience and returned to teach another workshop in September 2015. This is her reflections from the week with our artisans.

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Time has transformed Senhoa, and the young women associated with the program. In 2012 the emphasis was on working with women recently rescued from the bondage of human traffickers. This premise dovetailed perfectly with the intent of the Alchemy Project: to teach skills that create an economic alternative to what has been the hard reality of the young lives impacted at the hands of traffickers.

Returning to Senhoa in 2015 reignited the Alchemy Project. This was a joy and a gift. For Senhoa the new direction is one of looking at the future and not focusing on the past. The young women are thriving and clearly moving beyond their history. These women continue to be my heroes as they embody hope: it resonates from their warmth and their gracious laughter and wide open hearts. Without a doubt the young women we went to Cambodia to teach taught each of my students and myself more of what it means to be grateful in our lives than we were able to teach them about jewellery.

Alchemy Project students workshopping with Senhoa Artisans.


The women of Senhoa taught us about living with little and feeling abundance. My students and I found the Senhoa students eager to learn. And eager to laugh. The warmth that was expressed between all of us was genuine and full of acceptance. Through this we found we had common ground: there are few who come through life without a story that touches someone’s heart and we felt the thread that joined us in spirit.

Senhoa has made a remarkable difference in the lives that it touches. The women are paid employees, making beautiful beaded jewellery. They are appreciated and cared for. They are valued-the very sense of self-worth I hope the Alchemy Project can also bring to their experience, and to others who survive the unfathomable. It is the intent of the Alchemy Project to advance their jewellery making knowledge so that if they chose to venture out on their own, in their own business, they will be better able to realize that dream, with knowledge, tools and metal provided to them as a humble beginning.

The women of Senhoa, over the years, have taught me many lessons. That a bright future is rich and alive in the pulse of women and that being valued, and valuing ourselves, matters. That we can choose not to be victims of our history. Their young lives matter, and on a personal note: their lives have mattered to me unfailingly. I learned where hope lives. Hope lives in the eyes of the young women of Senhoa and The Alchemy Project.

An Artisan’s Story: Investing in Our Local Staff

Seang Lai joined Senhoa in 2012. She is one of our top artisans and is currently in training to become a Junior Production Coordinator. Seang Lai has elected to use her real name, and this is her story.

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Due to financial hardships, Seang Lai ceased going to school in the middle of 7th grade to work with her family selling Khmer cakes and later being a tailor. While she was working and honing her skills as a tailor, she saw that one of her friends was studying English at Khmer Help Khmer English School and wanted so badly to learn herself.

One day she tagged along with her friend to the school, and the school director offered her free lessons as long as she helped tidy up the facility. Seang Lai happily went to the school to clean and learn English, while still working as a tailor, for 2 years. One day she met Senhoa’s Outreach Coordinator Kimang, who was also studying English at KHKES. Kimang was looking for a cook and cleaner for Senhoa’s office and asked Seang Lai if she would like the position. Seang Lai didn’t know how to cook but Kimang taught her, and she became skilled at the craft and enjoyed cooking for the Senhoa girls.

While she was cleaning the office, Seang Lai would always peek inside the jewelry room, and she daydreamed about working in there with the artisans. One day Kimang asked if she would like to make jewelry in the OOH program. Seang Lai gratefully accepted and has now been with Senhoa for 3 years.

She started as a trainee, became an artisan after one year, became a supervisor the next year, and is now in training to become our Junior Production Coordinator. Seang Lai has grown immensely in the past few years. When once she barely spoke English, she now speaks nearly perfectly and her writing is excellent (she keeps a daily journal in English). Seang Lai is responsible, always eager to learn and always helpful. During her work with us, Seang Lai was able to go back to school, advancing into 9th grade when she re-entered.

Senhoa has provided her with a scholarship to attend New York School, a private high school. She will be graduating from 12th grade next year and wants to pursue university studies. Seang Lai is our most talented artisan and would love to become a jewelry designer one day.

Senhoa would be honored to help her achieve her dream of attending college and reach her career goals. While jewelry is not for everyone in our program (many go on to become teachers, beauticians or hospitality workers with the skills and confidence they’ve acquired in OOH), we are happy that it is something SL has grown in and wants to continue to practice.

In August, some children were playing around Seang Lai’s family home and accidentally set it on fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but her family lost everything: all of their belongings, their beds, food, and the entire house structure. The Senhoa team quickly mobilized (in Cambodia and in the US) and collected clothing and supplies and money to rebuild their home. Volunteer Building Cambodia, a non-profit organization that builds homes, toilets and wells for Cambodian families in need, reconstructed the house at a discount for us. It was heartwarming to see everyone galvanize to help one of our team members. Because of the help she received, Seang Lai was able to continue her studies and go forth with pursuing her dreams.

The awesome team at VBC rebuilding Seang Lai's house that was burned down

September 25, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

Preparing For a New School Year

LKC preschool grads sing to thank their parents
LKC preschool graduates sing to thank their parents.


Steve Mojica is the Technical Advisor for Senhoa’s preschool programs, Lotus Kids’ Club.  As a social worker with 20 plus years of experience working with young children and families, he has been devoting his expertise for the past three years to our foundation. Here he shares with us LKC's summer plans.

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It is that time of year again at Lotus Kids Club: 28 of our 52 preschool students graduated! Our primary school students have ended their school year. And we close the school for recess in September. We use September to clean and organize our materials and space, conduct various staff trainings and to take time to relax and recharge. We are prepping for the return of our students and getting ready to welcome new families and participants in our many programs and activities.

Just before their annual summer break, our graduating preschool kids were measured for their primary school uniforms. Their school supplies have been purchased--backpacks, pencils, notebooks, as well as hygiene supplies. We provide these items throughout the year. We also provide for each graduating student a bicycle, helmet and lock. We do this as a graduation gift, but it is also a way to improve school attendance. A big cost for us but it is necessary.

September begins for the teachers with cleaning--deep cleaning. This means that all toys, games and materials get a thorough sanitization. Of course some of this happens throughout the school year but this assures that no item is missed including materials in stock. Deep cleaning also means walls, furniture and all surfaces get a thorough scrub-down. We find it is a good start for doing inventory and culling out what items are really not useful or are ready for the trash bin. Organizing materials is the next step followed by setting up the classrooms and assessing what will be needed for the school year. Again it will invariably be a time to spend money, perhaps replacing broken chairs, a new whiteboard or maybe new books. With 50+ preschool kids and a hundred or so older children using materials to have fun and learn for a year replacing items is inevitable. After a week or two of the aforementioned purge, the training will begin.

This year we have 2 new employees as we promoted a teacher to Assistant Program Manager and hired a nurse, since our beloved previous nurse went on to a new job to gain more experience. It gives us an opportunity to review with all staff our mission, goals and objectives and to see if we are adhering to them. We will also be discussing staff emotions in the workplace. Anger, sadness, frustration and other emotions will of course surface during our work with disadvantaged families. It’s important to know how to handle those emotions. We will have trainings on child development and other aspects of working with children and youth. The Social Workers will be reviewing information on how to engage with families effectively and find ways to strengthen our record keeping and case management files. We will visit a government-ran preschool/kindergarten and a private preschool/kindergarten. This should prove interesting and lead to important discussions about the differences and why we do what we do. We will end with several days of rest and relaxation, some together and some solitary. We will all come back on the first day of school recharged and ready to teach, learn and have fun.

I am looking forward to the new school year with high expectations. We have long-term staff who have over the years gained more knowledge, improved their teaching skills, and have become more creative and innovative. They have overall raised their quality of work. Good luck to them and to the senior staff as well as the new families and participants of the Lotus Kids’ Club.

September 16, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

Moving on from the Past; Looking Toward the Future


Sylvia Dang started volunteering for Senhoa in 2011. In 2013 she started working as our Office Manager. She has since become our Director of Operations in 2014. Here she recounts her time in Cambodia last year and an important lesson she learned.

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Last year I was given the privilege to lead the jewelry program in Cambodia for 6 months. I eagerly accepted and am forever grateful for the experience. Beyond living in a new place, being immersed in a new culture daily and seeing our work as it is on the ground (and not just through daily emails and Skype calls to the field team), the intimate interactions with our field staff and service users and what I learned from them will always stay with me.

Acclimating to Third World conditions amidst a growing tourist town was a lesser challenge; cultural differences--how different from what you are used to in the Western world is not necessary worse or needs improvement--was slightly more difficult to grasp.

Even more intimidating was maintaining the delicate balance between catering to our artisans' needs, extending continual grace and being sensitive to their situations AND managing a productive and efficient business and teaching the girls to be good employees and not coddle or debilitate them by allowing irresponsibility or bad habits to develop.

Leading the girls was an amazing, fun and challenging experience and there were many lessons to be learned. Possibly the most important one was a reflection of the girls' own experiences: it is crucial to accept the past but to truly heal and one must focus on the future.

In our descriptions of what Senhoa does, we had always written that we support survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. We said that we are in a fight against modern slavery. We use bold and dramatic language that get our point across. We know that donors and supporters, particularly in the West, need to feel connected to a cause; they want to hear about the brutal stories. They want to feel like they are helping bring change to a harrowing cause. In short, we needed these strong words to sell and market our cause, to bring awareness to our mission. Being in Cambodia, I felt differently. Those strong, dramatic words, describing the "victims" that we worked with and their situations, however true, were not helping us move forward. They were holding us back, continually labeling and exploiting the girls (although not deliberately), reminding them that this is who they are and where they've been.

It is okay to acknowledge the past, but we must make efforts to move forward and look to the future. We need to focus on the girls' accomplishments, how far they've come, the dreams they want to pursue going forward. We need to empower them. More than that, the girls were beginning to be more involved in the business, helping with sales, talking to customers at a weekend market we started selling their jewelry at. Visitors were coming into the design studio to see their artwork, to see them working hard at their craft, watch these amazing jewelry pieces being created by these talented girls. How could we continue to use the language that we used in front of the girls, whom we were teaching English to?

Last July we had a launch event in Siem Reap for Senhoa Jewelry. Our artisans were all there, dressed to the nines and beautiful, so excited to watch the first-ever live fashion show they've ever seen. Better yet, this show showcased their work, their art. It was an incomparable experience watching the pride and sparkle in their eyes as 250 people gathered for an event to celebrate their work and their accomplishments. We needed to do a short presentation before the fashion show which included a speech on what the Senhoa jewelry program was all about. It sounds rather silly now, given all of the different challenges I've faced since being in Cambodia, but I remember thinking in that moment of preparing for the presentation, I felt that THIS was the hardest moment. Figuring out what to say about the girls and this program when they are right there in front of you. In the past we have many scripts prepared, all utilizing the descriptions that I've provided above. But now, what to say to describe what we do and who we work with, when the girls are watching and listening to you?

We decided to say the truth, we work with young women who have gone through many hardships and have had few opportunities growing up. We are here to provide them with the tools they need to move forward from their pasts and live independently and take care of themselves and their families. And more than that, to live out their dreams. Dreams are difficult to live out when you constantly hear these words about yourself. We cannot shield our artisans from the words we use to describe our programs.

Therefore, we are making efforts to change the language on our website and marketing channels. Going forward, this language will reflect change and moving forward and focus less on victimization and labeling. We are not perfect and are constantly learning, but we strive to make the girls in our programs feel comfortable, safe, happy and free.

September 11, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

Senhoa Turns 5!

Senhoa turns 5 and to mark this momentous year, we are hosting a series of events from September to December. Our calendar will be updated from time to time so be sure to check back in!!!

SEPTEMBER, 2015
 Key Event: Launch of the 5-wrap Chance Bracelets
 
Other Events:
- LA Fashion Week; LA pop up shop
- Launch of Senhoa Anh Oi t-shirts

OCTOBER, 2015
Key Event: 50% 4 best-sellers (every week in the month of October, we will feature a key item that will be 50% off)

Other Events
:
Senhoa Calgary fundraiser (31 Oct)
- Launch of Reimagine

NOVEMBER, 2015
Key Event: Senhoa Cambodia Gratitude Party
 
DECEMBER, 2015
 Key Event: Senhoa OC Gala (TBA)
August 25, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

Board of Directors Recruitment 2015

Location: Remotely Start Date: October 2015 Salary: Nil Duration: 3 years  

About Senhoa: Senhoa Foundation supports vulnerable persons and survivors of human trafficking through prevention, rehabilitation and advocacy programs. We provide funding and capacity building through long-lasting partnerships to establish sustainable programs that serve underprivileged women and children. We believe in: - Educational and social programs for intellectual empowerment. - Income generation for women's economic and personal independence. - Using business sensibilities to achieve humanitarian goals. Senhoa is unique in that it operates as a social enterprise. Our programs are designed to provide economic opportunities to survivors and vulnerable persons, while concurrently generating sufficient profit to remit back to our community development projects.  

Position Description  Senhoa Foundation is currently recruiting for up to 4 new members on their Board of Directors to bring further drive and experience to the organization. We need people who are passionate about protecting vulnerable people from human trafficking and exploitation and believe that education and job training, which results in safe employment, are the strongest armors to protect at-risk women and children. Senhoa Foundation has a reputation for delivering high quality prevention and early intervention programs in Cambodia with an emphasis on education and income generation as a route out of poverty. Senhoa also has an award winning accessories brand and produces high quality ethical jewelry through which vulnerable women are provided with safe and secure employment. We are particularly keen to achieve a more diverse board of directors and successful candidates will be drawn from a range of professional backgrounds, including the financial, commercial, public, fashion and charity sector, and will demonstrate a track record of effective performance, strategic thinking and sound and effective judgment. You will need to be able to make a commitment to Senhoa and the ability to think creatively and a willingness to speak your mind.  We expect Board members to have a willingness to travel to attend Senhoa's annual board retreat and strongly encourage all Board members to visit the projects on the ground in Cambodia once during your three year term.  

Responsibilities and Criteria As a Board member, you will be instrumental in planning the strategic future of Senhoa Foundation.  The board usually meets once a month via a telephone conference call. We expect Board members to participate in the majority of meetings and in addition to this you will be asked to participate in one sub committee.  We have an international membership and will accept applications from all countries, however the majority of our Board members are based in the United States.

  • Willing to subscribe to and promote the mission, goals and objectives of Senhoa Foundation.
  • Through personal resources or through the cultivation of new donor relationships, you are expected to meet an annual goal of securing a minimum of $5,000 to support Senhoa Foundation.
  • Serve a three-year term on the Board with the option for re-election to two additional terms.
  • Attend at least 75% of the regular meetings of the Board. Advise the President in advance if you are unable to attend a meeting. If a member has three unexcused absences in a twelve-month period, they may be removed by majority vote by the Board of Directors.
  • Where possible, attend all special activities of the Board, including fundraising events, training and other Board events. Attendance at the annual Board retreat is mandatory.
  • Contribute to the fundraising projects and events through generating support from friends and other contacts.
  • Function as a goodwill ambassador and spokesperson for the organization and its programs.
  • Stay well informed about the organization by carefully reading minutes of the Board meetings, financial statements and other materials. Take seriously the legal, fiscal, and ethical responsibilities the Board carries. Be aware of, and notice community activities and legal/political developments, which may impact the organization and/or its programs and bring them to the attention of the Board.
  • Serve on at least one Board committee.
  • Assist in the recruitment of volunteers and committee members to augment the Board.

Regular Meetings: Monthly Board meeting: 1 hour/ month Monthly Fundraising meeting: 1 hour/month Committee meeting: 2 hours/month It is expected that there will be several hours work pre/post each of these meetings on top of the meeting commitments. To find out more about Senhoa see our website www.senhoa.org  For an initial discussion please contact Lisa Nguyen, Executive Director via email at lisaatsenhoadotorg. To download an application pack, please click here.

August 13, 2015 by Lisa T.D. Nguyen

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