Singapore-born humanitarian relief and development NGO, Mercy Relief (MR), saw the successful launch of the S$170,000 Skills Training and Enterprise Programme (STEP) in Phnom Penh yesterday.  The STEP included the construction of a 120-square-metre training block and a vocational training curriculum to equip disadvantaged communities with the necessary skills and knowledge which are relevant to market demands.

The STEP focuses on three key areas – garment-making; beauty & wellness, and agriculture farming. The new training block also manages a production centre where garment-making trainees put their newly acquired skills into practice to produce garments for government contracts.  The income generated from the production centre will be used to sustain future trainings.  With the Programme’s unique inclusion of a job-placement component, trainees are highly assured of  improved livelihood opportunities.  Thirty factories, enterprises and business employers from nine districts of Phnom Penh have participated in this initiative.

Gracing the launch ceremony was the Cambodian Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSAVY), Dr Ith Sam Heng, who appreciated his Ministry’s successful cooperation and partnership with MR.  In his address, he stated, “We worked together to provide training to the poor communities.  With the skills they have acquired, they can find jobs and earn incomes to support their families.”

Speaking at the ceremony, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad shared, “This STEP initiative for poverty alleviation is a multi-sector stakeholdership which includes partners from the government, non-governmental, corporate and people sectors.  This could be an effective and sustainable model where everyone joins hands towards community empowerment and social development.”

MR also presented 300 units of the Purheart Family system to Minister Dr Ith Sam Heng.  The system which uses nanosilver ceramic filters for potable water, was jointly designed, developed and tested by  Singapore’s tech-social company AGplus Technologies Pte Ltd, the Singapore Polytechnic and MR to support poor and disaster-stricken communities.  The 300 units were funded by Singapore-based Cuffz Holdings Pte Ltd.


In his address at the inauguration, MR CE Hassan Ahmad commends the efforts of  trainers for taking up the critical role to equip the trainees with much needed skills which would help mould their future.

MR CE Hassan presenting the 300 units of the PurHeart Family to MoSAVY Minister, Dr Ith Sam Heng. 


(left) Minister of MoSAVY officially launching the STEP Centre, witnessed by MR CE Hassan.

(right) The launch ceremony was attended by the Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality Mok Vansitha (in purple outfit), and Secretaries of State from MoSAVY.


Women make up 60% of the trainees and would be additional breadwinners to better support their families’ developments.

MR CE Hassan and Minister Dr Ith Sam Heng assessing the various species of mushrooms cultivated by the agriculture farming trainees.


Young female trainees are being empowered with new skills for job placements at beauty-care and wellness centres.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email

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