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THE FOUNDER

Marie Hill is a British designer graduating in 3D design from Plymouth college of art and design. She wasinfluenced by the arts and crafts movement which advocated economic and social reforms to oppose the servile labour of working people.

As a Christian she has always been concerned about injustice and the oppression of the poor which led her to work in a refugee camp for Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese refugees in the early 90’s. In 1993 360,000 refugees and displaced persons from the camps she worked in were resettled in their homlands after living in camps as displaced people for 16 years.

In 1993 she went to Phnom Penh and founded The Rajana arts and crafts association in order to provide skills and income to repatriated young refugees disadvantaged Cambodian youth.

She moved to Siem Reap in 2001 to open Saomao social enterprise to provide income and employment opportunities to the rural poor.

Marie speaks fluent Cambodian and has been continuously involved with artisans, producers and the handicraft industry in Cambodia. She has a M.Sc. in Poverty reduction Policy and Practice from SOAS (The London University).

“There have been good times as well as struggles, obstacles, conflicts and misunderstandings along the way, but with patience, resolution, love and respect for each other we have overcome unbelievable obstacles and have impacted hundreds of people’s lives for the better”