Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sopheap: A Re-entry Success Story

I first met Sopheap many years ago on my first visit to Rapha House. She was living there with her siblings.

We didn't find Sopheap, she found us. She sought us out when her father was preparing to sell Sopheap's younger sister to traffickers. Maybe you remember seeing the story of Sopheap's sister. We showed her rescue on DVD.

Now Sopheap is living independently with her husband and son. She also cares for her younger brother and another sister who recently reintegrated from Rapha House.

Sopheap was our very first micro-credit project. She faithfully repaid her loan and owns a small clothing shop in the marketplace.

During my last trip to Cambodia, I approached Sopheap about becoming a wholesaler distributor to other business owners in her area. It seemed like a real opportunity for her and a good way to provide employment for our reintegrated girls, if this project succeeds.

We don't know if it will, but here's the latest. Sopheap took our seed money and went to Phnom Penh to shop for items that she thought business owners in her area may want. She returned home. And within two days, she had sold everything that she bought!

We're smart enough to know that one success doesn't build a business. But we're also smart enough to back a winner. Sopheap is a winner. So we're going to provide her with business coaching and the financial resources to see if we can build a wholesale distribution business that will provide economic opportunity for other reintegrated girls to come.

Want to get in on the action? Make a donation to Rapha House and mark it "Sopheap."