CACD Retreat #3

The CACD retreat gave many of the church and NGO workers the opportunity to see some of the projects started by Bishop Olivier. One of them is CoCo de Takeo, a social enterprise which makes candy and useful and decorative objects from coconuts–of which Cambodia has an abundance!

Coco de Takeo mostly employs people with disabilities and single, poor mothers with no other source of income. Here a Little Person works with large coconut hulls. Notice the teapot and the coconut hull to its left which is being carved to be a decorative holder for the teapot.

Women then extract and trim the coarse, hairy inner shell of the coconut for use in various projects.

Some of the coconut shells are preserved, lacquered, and arranged into decorative hangings that one might find in a restaurant or a tourist business establishment.

Of course, an enterprise centered on coconuts generates a huge pile of husks that cannot be used.

Notable Quotes

Pope Francis must exercise his ministry as arguably the most identifiable and prominent Christian on earth. His plan has been to keep it simple and radically evangelical. Acutely aware that we are facing an extremely uncertain future, his message could be boiled down to this: wherever the world is heading, just make sure you take God with you. Yes, it’s that basic.

Robert Mickens in LaCroix

Vietnamese New Year

Bishop Olivier

There is not much of visible Chinese Catholic community in Cambodia but there is a huge Vietnamese Catholic community. Yesterday Bishop Olivier celebrated the Sunday mass on New Year’s Day with one Vietnamese parish. Here he is on his way to mass with them.

After mass with the Vietnamese community.

CACD Retreat #2

As part of the CACD retreat (Catholic Alliance for Charity and Development), we visited a social enterprise center where Bishop Olivier has created basically cottage industries to give employment mainly to people with disabilities and poor women who have no source of income and no possibility of jobs like in the city.

One source of employment is weaving khramas (scarfs) and other cloth on these massive wooden looms.
Weaving is a simple process basically but it looks rather complicated to the untrained observer. Here a woman guides a shuttle with white thread across the loom while the shuttle with green thread rests on the finished product.
Here a woman weaves a solid-color piece of material. It is a slow process, basically weaving one thread at a time.
Another view of the process.
This woman is able to bring her toddler child to work with her.