Friends’ three shops are the perfect places to spend your money on a wide variety of beautiful, funky and unique products made from local and recycled materials.
What to experience ?
Friends developed social enterprises continually offering new ranges for both kids and, adults, the shop sells a variety of hoodie jackets and shoulder bags, printed T-shirts, comfortable trousers, and new vinyl bags available in a great range of colours. There is a creative and interactive fashion studio for hip accessories and clothing, both ready-to-wear and tailor-made.
Located next to Friends the Restaurant street 13, the Friends ‘n’ Stuff shop sells products made by beneficiaries from various Friends projects: jewellery, toys, purses, crafts and books, as well as products made by parents from their “Home Based Production” programme and by former street youths.
Tooit Tooit at the Russian Market in Phnom Penh and the Old Market in Siem Reap sells the products made by parents from their “Home Based Production” project, so that their children can go to school instead of working on the streets. Favourites are products made out of recycled materials as well as their sarong collection.
And if all of this shopping makes you exhausted, drop by The Nailbar street 13 where beauty students practice the skill of nail art. Come in, indulge, and relax with a massage or get your nails in shape with a manicure or pedicure, or some trendy nail art.
How does it help ?
Friends is definitely one of our Cambodian Heroes.
Friends International’s objectives are to provide education, life skills, and employment tools to children, youths and their parents to assist them in becoming active members in their societies. Ten vocational training courses are available for young people (15-24 years) to provide the necessary skills to gain employment.
They engage skilled young people from vulnerable backgrounds to develop their sewing skills in the workshop, while receiving a stable income to build their futures.
Friends International’s “Home Base Production” initiative is an income-generating programme for parents of marginalised children. They train them, buy their production and sell it in their retail stores. Their “Home Base Production” team in 2009 employed 151 families, with an average monthly income of US$86 and indirectly benefited 611 children.
The majority of raw materials used in Friends International’s products come from recycled materials such as food packaging, straw, rubber tyres, newspapers and magazines. They purchase local materials to be used in production by the teams to create locally-inspired designs.
They developed the ‘ChildSafe Network’ that educates on the best action to take to protect children and how to respond when a child is in danger. They advise tourists not to give to or even buy from street kids, as when you think it helps, it only encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope for a better life and are vulnerable to abuse.
Most recently they developed with UNICEF a campaign to sensitise tourists on the damage caused by the visit of orphanages. Check it at www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforevisiting/
- Designated as one of the best 100 NGOs in the world in Davos Social Forum (2012)
- Isabelle Allende Foundation Espiritu Award (2008)
- the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2007)
- the Gold Medal of the Cambodian Government for the Reconstruction of the Country (2005);
- the Silver Medal of the Société d’Encouragement au Progrès (2003)
- the Order of Australia for Service to Humanity (2002)
For all shops contact details check their website