Monday, January 31, 2011

Volunteers Abound

Senhoa continues to astound me with its serendipitous events. The most recent series has resulted with an awesome team of volunteers!

Lets rewind a month. At the time it was only me and my exponentially improving Outreach Worker, Kimang. With the start-up of 3 partnerships, development of a life skills curriculum, lesson delivery, jewelry making, and the well-being of 17 teenage girls, very little time was left to get ‘official’ stuff done. Sure, it was ‘done’…but not ‘officially’. We needed help.
So one day, whilst sipping my 4th coffee that morning, I received a Facebook message (Oh, Hail Facebook!) from an estranged highschool colleague:

‘Hey! Long time no see! I heard that you’re working in Cambodia now and I want to do the same. Know anywhere I can volunteer for 6 months? I’ve got a Bachelors in Business and I’m Cambodian.’

As I wiped the coffee spray off my computer screen, my heart jumped out of my chest and kissed her profile picture.

Welcome, Emily Chhen, to Senhoa Cambodia!

High Schoolers unite! Emily, my new right-hand girl

Meanwhile, it was still a good 4 weeks until Emily’s arrival. We were still juggling 8 people’s jobs between us. Then on the 3rd of January, I was at brunch hosting some supporters from Australia describing to them the jet-speed progress of Senhoa.

‘We really want to find a way to help. What do you need?’

‘Honestly, the biggest thing we need now is man-power.’

Nearly as soon as those words left my mouth, my phone vibrated and I excused myself from company. (Normally I wouldn’t be so rude, but I felt a sense of excitement behind this call) It was from Jenni, the missionary worker for our partner shelter with whom I work very closely.

‘I just got a call from Youth With a Mission and they have 3 girls who want to volunteer for 2 months and they want to start tomorrow!’

I looked up to the clouds as they parted with beams of sunlight radiating through.


Thank you to Katie (Canada), Taylor (USA), and Joy (USA) for literally being angels sent from above.

Now with so many sets of hands and brains, our weekly schedules look like this:

By having the roles more spread out, it:

Opens me to develop more comprehensive curriculum and lesson plans, answer emails more thoroughly, attend more meetings with partner NGOs and other associates, train staff and volunteers, record in more detail the progress of the girls, and most importantly more time and brain space to plan out the big picture for Senhoa in Cambodia.

Allows Kimang to build stronger relationships with the girls and their families, dedicate more energy to learning Khmer, English and how to teach lessons.

And all this is supplemented by Marvelous Emily who will be in charge of administrations and accounts.


So far it’s been an absolute pleasure having new team members on board and it’s given us a great taste for more! We’re still on the lookout for more volunteers to donate their time and services to the worthy cause that is Senhoa. Please don’t hesitate to contact if you are interested in our projects in Cambodia.

Over and out, from The Field

Monday, January 17, 2011

Senhoa graces the stage of Asia Entertainment, Inc.

Greetings from Head Office!

What better way to end a landmark year at Senhoa than with a spectacular fashion show?! We were so proud to see our sparkling Senhoa pieces modeled in front of over 4 million overseas Vietnamese. That’s right- 4 million viewers!

Let’s start from the beginning. A few months ago, we had the chance to meet with the Executive Producer (EP) of Asia Entertainment, Inc., an overseas Vietnamese music production company. We asked if we could design a couture collection that we could showcase in Asia’s upcoming, wedding-themed show. Jenny Van, Senhoa’s Creative Director, was set on task to design the top-secret, couture line in conjunction with style advice from the Executive Producer of Asia (a fellow fashion and accessories lover). Our Marketing Director, Thi Nguyen, located nine beautiful models to walk the runway for Senhoa. Threw it all together and TA DA! We had a show!

The extravagant couture collection was created using semi-precious gems like Green Amethyst, Swarovski crystals and Swarovski pearls. On the runway, Nha Khanh designs complimented the ethereal elegance of Senhoa jewelry. The fashion show was featured as part of a musical performance by Trish (also draped in Senhoa), a legendary Vietnamese pop singer. We want to say a special ‘Congratulations’ to Trish who recently married her prince charming, decked out in a Vera Wang gown and…..drum rolls…… Senhoa jewelry!

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you, to Jenny Van for her amazing work. Senhoa would not be what it is without her creative genius. To our Marketing extraordinaire Thi, for coordinating the fashion show. To our models, who volunteered their time to grace the runway for Senhoa. To Trish for her tireless support of Senhoa. And to Asia Entertainment, Inc. and Nha Quyen, for allowing us this incredible opportunity.

Please check it out!

Asia 67: A Spring Wedding is out now and available at