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Alchemy Design Project
talks to
Seanglay Kum,
Alchemy Design Project student



Student Teacher
Belle's reflections:  

"Why them?  Why they are the chosen one for having such miserable childhood memory? I feel my eyes are blurred with tears streaming down my cheeks, one by one following up their faces appear in front of me, at this moment I know, I missed the girls. Their voices, chattered and laughs have accommodate a strong imprint into my heart. I see different shades and warmth in every each of them when I look into their eyes.

Just a short period of time, a couple of days, we get to work with the girls, but all of them have already live deep in my heart.

I learnt a very important lesson from the girls that I believe will be a key guide in my live from now on, which they have shown me the meaning on how love conquer evil."

Message from a survivor:
Belle, thanks for everything and thanks for your lessons.     I love you so much. I hope you come again.
Love you!


Alchemy Design Project

Student Teachers Candy & Zi Ning


In this project, it looks like we were the one who was giving, but actually we received more than what we thought. The reason I said this is because we learned to give through this Alchemy Project. And, what we gained from them is their pure heart and unconditional love.

If one had heard about their story, he/she would be surprised that there’s a sharp severe wound behind a pure smile. Their kindness is the true kindness, their heart stays pure even they had gone through very tough time. And I think, the hopes never end, because there’s always people who spreads love to others. When they were in their hard time, they got help from some organization, and activities like our alchemy project not only passed them survival skills, our presence also made them feel that they were not alone.

Zi Ning:

On the first assignment, without the basic skills on piercing metals; she chose a design that required lots of patient. However, as I worked and guided her through the assignment, she made me realized giving up easily was never the solution to things. She would stubbornly sit across me working on her piece. Her design was so complicated that even watching her drilling holes on the metal, I was on hot pans.


Her attitude towards learning was so passionate that actually moved me. She never complained or moaned while working. When she finished her first assignment, she engraved our names on the back of her piece. As she showed her piece to me, I was trying to hold back my tears. She said she wanted to remember the day we met and to remember me, she made the piece into a keychain so that she can carry it wherever she goes. Even though we only known each other less than a day, I felt overwhelm with emotions. Although I am a sentimental person, I have hard time expressing my feelings into words. And I also saw that in Khmer.

And then it hit me, even though Khmer grew up in a bad environment, she never show nor talked about it; she would put on a naïve smile and talked soundly about her friends. It made me realized that the past of someone is not important, the present is.

Zi Ning and Candy_edited.jpg

Sydney teaching

Founder & President

A little bird flew into our classroom.  A survivor wrote: "Loving bird like you like us and help us.  Big thanks". and then signed.

Survivors presented us with a notebook of thanks and gratitude. 

Here are 3 of many pages.


This little notebook means the world to me.

Sydney & Mazwe

Teacher and Student Teacher 

We played and worked hard.

My college students and I have developed life long friendships with many survivors. 

Message from survivors:

"You so funny!"

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