Meet the Artisan
Chenla Chan spent the first 14 years of his life with his brothers and sisters living inside a refugee camp. In fact, that’s where he was born. At 15 the only job he could get was to comb through the streets and dumps and landfills for recyclables that he brought to a local businessman in exchange for money. It was a meager existence, barely enough for Chenla to survive. Chenla worked hard to try to procure an education in what spare time he had but was only able to complete the 7th grade. Finally Chenla connected with Craftworks Cambodia. There he learned to make jewelry, particularly the art of repurposing brass from old bomb shell casings. Today, thanks to his job, Chenla has time to spend with his wife and two children, and he and his family have a better quality of life than he ever dreamed possible.