Slideshow image

In the spirit of collaboration, we are thrilled to work with Village Works this year in producing the bags that hold our curated Christmas gifts for Just Bags.

Our designer, Ana Velazquez, put her creative talents together to design a simple but elegant bag.  After zoom calls and many WhatsApp messages, a prototype was created.  From there, the Village Works team ceased all other projects and focused on creating 200 bags for our Just Bags project.  When we visited the factory, our team was impressed not only by the quality of their work and the energy in the room, but were so encouraged to hear their vision and experience the loving culture that is behind every product made.  Village Works is just one of a few fair trade certified enterprises in Cambodia.

Anak, Village Work’s Director, who is a Cambodian Christian female entrepreneur who empowers community-based artisans, scaled her business considerably a few years ago while she was selling her products outside of the S-21 (Genocide Museum). Being surrounded by disabled people begging for their daily bread from tourists, Anak asked the community if they considered a different career option.  Their response was yes, with a caveat who would hire people with disabilities like us?  Anak responded with a follow-up question, if I train you in making bags and accessories, would you work with us?  The answer was a resounding yes, and the rest is history.  

When most companies in Cambodia closed their doors during the pandemic because the tourism market evaporated, Anak creatively was able to reach out to construction companies for free recycled materials, from which she mobilized her team to create pandemic safety equipment for construction workers.  This allowed her to keep all her 50 employees hold meaningful work while providing an essential service. 

It is the just thing to do, to purchase products from companies that care for their employees while making quality products.  

JUST BAG is a Christmas bag filled with ethically sourced, carefully curated, and lovingly created handmade/fair trade products created with our refugee/newcomer community. 

This year, we are honoured to work with and support Village Works in our Just Bags project.

Village Works website 

Picture above is the Village Works team with Tenth Justice Journey Team in November 2022.