SALASUSU is a Japanes social enterprise based in Cambodia for over 10 years and dedicated to improving the lives of young Cambodians. Our mission is to empower young people to gain the life skills they need through training or ethical manufacturing, paving the way for a bright future.
Our organization has been in operation since 2004. We established our Community Factory in Kchass Village, 35km outside of Siem Reap in 2006. Here we provide both vocational and life skills training, dedicating a portion of each day to developing our producer’s soft skills. We cooperate with local authorities and the community to identify 16-24-year-old women from the most vulnerable social and economic backgrounds, and invite them to join a two- year training program with us. During this time they learn vocational skills and earn enough income to support their families. We remove the barriers to them coming to work by providing child care, free lunch, transport and a variety of other benefits.
In 2016 we began offering our Life Skills Training services outside of our factory to companies, NGOs and the Cambodian government. Through years of experience, we have developed a successful training model that can create better workplaces. We provide innovative and proven basic competency (life skills) training to increase young people’s ability to seek and sustain quality employment. We entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in 2016 and with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training in 2017.
We currently produce 3 brands! ‘I Love Cambodia’, our souvenir brand, ‘SUSU’ our ethical fashion brand and SALASUSU our premium fashion line.
It all started when I was 19. I was in a student club doing research with two other university students, Sayaka Murata and Keisuke Motoki. We found that human trafficking was a serious issue in Cambodia, and decided to jump right in. At first, I thought the project would be done in no more than three years; however, I became so engaged in the issues of human trafficking and social enterprise that I dropped out of school and dedicated myself fully to the project. The journey truly took off in 2004 when we opened an office in Cambodia and began holding computer classes for children living in orphanages. After spending time establishing relationships on the ground and understanding the needs of vulnerable communities, we built a factory in Siem Reap in 2006.
It was the impulse to make changes that drove me to Cambodia in the beginning; nevertheless, it was seeing people unable to fulfill their own dreams after receiving help that motivates me to continue working in this field. Many years ago, my older sister was diagnosed with a serious disease. Because of the disease, she has to stay in the hospital and cannot work or do things that she used to do. Every time I visit her, I cannot help but feel depressed. I see a beautiful soul confined in her body, and the illness has cruelly deprived her of all her dreams. I see the helplessness of not being able to accomplish the things that one longs to do. Therefore, I don’t want that happen to any others who should have opportunities to change. I want to do as much as I can to give these people a chance to be independent and achieve their dreams. I believe that people who are not able to fulfill their dreams are often the ones not given chances. Once they have received help and resources, they would perform as well as others.
Senior Manager of Social Empowerment Department
I decided my career when I lost one of my friends when I was 15 years old. I was so shocked and it made me realize the importance of life. At the same time, I was upset that there were still places in the world where human lives are far too often affected by conflict, poverty, and any social risks; problems often made by human beings.I was strongly determined to contribute to remove these problems to make the world better, and help to create a place where all human beings can enjoy their own life journey.
While studying at university, I started to get involved with the Kamonohashi Project NGO (original NGO's name) as an intern for about four years. I devoted my energy to researching child sexual exploitation in Cambodia. I could feel the possibility of change in the world, but I knew it would take persistent work. When I graduated from university, I decided to come to Cambodia to work directly on the project site.
Currently, I am working as a senior manager of the School Division. Through developing practical and innovative life skills training programs with our high-aspiration trainers for the young generation of Cambodians, we aim for all people to be able to enjoy their own lives and control their own futures. Even though there are still many youths in Cambodia who lack the opportunity of even primary education, or face the difficult family situation, I believe that all of them have the ability to fulfill their potential to open up their bright futures.
Senior S&M Department Manager / Sales Manager in Japan
My mission is to explore the Japanese market, looking for sales opportunities, in order to spread the message of SALASUSU in Japan. It is not easy to start from the beginning, and even though the path isn't clear, I am so excited to find a way. I love working with our team and producers, who always work happily in our community factory and are satisfied with their lives. They constantly inspire me to overcome any difficulties and challenges I face both at work and in my personal life.
Senior Production Manager
My mission is to manage our production team smoothly--both the products and the producers. Also, I cooperate with our designer to make new products or improve current products. I work on capacity building for our staff and producers. It can be really challenging for me to train Cambodian women in rural areas to create the high-quality products with natural materials. However, we have made a lot of social impacts and improved the community through our program. I love working here because we have a good team and a good product image. I appreciate the support we get. Please join our SALASUSU community!!!
Deputy Production Manager
I am in charge of the production operation of both brands, SUSU and I Love Cambodia. I manage quality control and solve any problems that arise. I really appreciate that all of my PRD team and all SALASUSU’s colleagues are in a good cooperation and communication with each other. We work smoothly and happily with young women from rural areas, teaching them “life skills” through handicraft manufacturing. Thank you for your support and let's SUSU together!