Libraries in factories
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Libraries in garment factories

To contribute to the educational and social development of employees in the textile industry (90% of whom are women) by setting up library education centres at the very heart of the factories.

The garment industry has over 650 factories in Cambodia, employing more than 700,000 people. 85% of these workers are women, a majority of whom are under 24 and come from poor rural families to get their first experience in the labor market.

Having had to drop out of school at an early age, sometimes even before completing their primary school education, around 25% of the garment factory workers are illiterate and have no access to educational services. The garment factories however, wish to be cost-efficient and reduce employee turn-over by improving the well-being of the workers through their CSR policy.

Sipar Lecture en usines au CambodgeSipar Classe d'alphabétisation au Cambodge


Since the opening of the pilot library in 2013, Sipar has been collaborating with the GMAC (Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia), the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education and the local NGO CWPD on this project co-financed by AFD (French Development Agency), the Weave Our Future Foundation, the Pierre Bellon Foundation, UNESCO and the Australian Embassy to set up 34 Library Education Centres (BCE) in textile factories in nine provinces by 2021.

Sipar Bibliothèques Centres de Ressources - Formations numériques pour les ouvrièresSipar - atelier de sensibilisation à l'hygiène en usine textile


The 34 library education centres will offer 95 000 workers in the textile industry :

  • The possibility to borrow books in their own language (khmer), and particularly books dealing with pregnancy, early childhood, tooth care, budget management.  Discover Sipar’s books
  • Acces to digital (tablets) and audiovisual tools
  • Literacy classes
  • Awareness sessions on health issues, hygiene and nutrition - Read more about our awarness sessions

This programme contributes therefore to the education, self-training, and acquisition of independence of this particularly vulnerable population, and also tries to reinforce the skills of key actors in the textile industry for the  social and educational development of their employees and the surrounding communities.

Video Libraries Learning Centers

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Some figures

  • 23 Library Learning Centers in service - 16 newones planned by the end of 2021
  • 64 000 workers have access to libraries (95 000 by 2021)
  • 15 700 participants in awareness raising sessions
  • 300 workers participating in the literacy classes


HOUR Savin, garment worker at Dewhirst Factory

« I am so lucky to be able to read and borrow books so that my family can read them too at home. I’m reading books on History, education, novels… I am learning so much!’’

Mr. SAM Chantith, Department Deputy Director of Non-Formal Education, MoEYS

“These literacy classes allow the workers to study at the factory during working hours, with no negative impact on production. A number of firms are interested in offering literacy classes and the Ministry will cooperate with donors to expand this project to other factories”.


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