Mother's Day Feature: Meet Alex
One of the women who is instrumental in TJULA Design’s product development is Alex, who turns design sketches into patterns and then into actual products. She trains the young women at the sewing center advanced sewing skills as they produce a variety of products. Some women have also learned pattern drafting and grading skills beyond sewing and hand finishing. Alex is not only a technical designer, but also someone who guides the younger generation through their work every day. She has been working with the sewing training program for over a decade, changing the lives of young women by teaching them employable skills.
Alex is also a mother of two young children. Her husband works in Phnom Penh, which is several hours away. So Alex takes care of the children while working hard every day. When the sewing center first started taking on production work, Alex had to take care of her younger child while at work. The conditions have since improved and both of her children now go to a quality day care. Her oldest child started learning English and occasionally teaches Alex simple phrases. When talking to Alex, I see a mother’s sacrifice in order to give her children the best possible future she can provide. Her face brightens when speaking about her children.
In women like Alex, I see incredible strength and tenacity with the hope for a better life; most importantly, I see a better life for her children. This is a reminder of why TJULA Design chose to work with the purpose of empowering women. The impact often reaches far beyond the individual women themselves, transforming their families and communities. As Kofi Annan said, “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”