How Carpets Can Save a Community

How can carpet save a community? Lindsey Ritchie can tell you how.

In Cambodia, financially disadvantage mothers’ children are at risk of being pulled into child labor or human trafficking. Lindsey, CEO of Carpets for Communities, manages a social enterprise that found a way to empower these women by means of carpet weaving.

Carpets for Communities Promotional Video from cassarnorton on Vimeo

The old adage says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Likewise, the women in Cambodia are taught the skill of carpet weaving, so their families can become financially stable and the children can return to school. In Ritchie’s words, “I strongly believe that education is the key to ensuring significant and sustainable change in developing communities.”

The company, based in Australia, uses a two-stage approach. First, the women are trained to make handmade carpets from t-shirts and recycled hessian bags. This then produces enough income, so mothers can start a maintainable micro-business. Meanwhile, Carpets for Communities provides the proper training and guidance to encourage a smooth transition.

Almost immediately, within 48 hours, children return to school after the women enter the program. Ritchie says this is done in order to “ensure immediate intervention, and to avoid creating dependency.” The intent is to empower the women, so they can in the end independently provide for their family, to permanently end the cycle of poverty for them and their children.

To lend your support, buy a handmade product or make a donation.

Thankful for what Lindsey is doing? Leave a comment below to let her know how you believe she is making a difference in this world.

Related Stories:

The State of the World’s Mothers

What the World is Doing to Prevent Human Trafficking and Slavery

World Day Against Child Labor and How You Can Help


Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago


Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago


Jacqueline Lavanchy

Great action !

Mary B.
Mary B5 years ago

Great idea and it works just fine untill the job or the market for the product drys up.Then what will , these people live on? We need a major shift in the way money is distributed, as in ongoing stipends rather than micro-loans.

Dave C.
David C5 years ago

thanks, good luck!

Michael Kirkby
.5 years ago

For those of you interested in sponsoring education; clean water and micro financing in Canada may I recomend Plan Canada; FINCA Canada and CHF [the goatster].

Michael Kirkby
.5 years ago

This is one of the reasons I support clean water; education and micro financing. In most cases it's the women who bring about great change. Thank you ladies. Much peace and prosperity for a better life.

ii q.
g d c5 years ago


Nia M.
Nia M5 years ago

Great idea and program.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.