The garment, textile and footwear industry represents the largest portion of Cambodia's manufacturing sector. Workers are predominantly women under 35 years of age, and many live in temporary accommodations and commute significant distances from rural homes to work.

WaterAid and VF Corporation first joined forces in 2020 to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for workers in nine factories across three Cambodian provinces. This partnership delivers improved WASH access to the workplace and its surrounding communities to maximize its impact and sustainability. 

Activities include:

  • Training key personnel in factories and surrounding communities 
  • Developing behavior change communications and intervention activities  
  • Constructing new water kiosks and rehabilitating existing infrastructure 
  • Strengthening WASH knowledge and skills among women and local governments
  • Advocating to local governments for improved sanitation access
  • Promoting piped water connections through accountability mechanisms 

The impact so far:

community members and factory workers have benefitted from WASH interventions

Factory workers at Sunbow factory, who are going to get their COVID-19 vaccines, wash their hands with Labobo, Kandal Stueng District in Kandal province, Cambodia, June, 2021.

people benefitted from Covid-19 messaging and vaccination campaigns


people have improved sanitation access


In 2021, The VF Foundation came on board to complement the work in Cambodia and is supporting climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene services for marginalized communities and championing women's leadership for inclusive services in Kandal Province. The partnership has thrived through a dedication to innovation by all parties, with a push to try new ideas and ways to communicate key messages about WASH to factory workers. 

The next phase of the project will:

  • Ensure that WASH services are handed over to factory management and integrated into factory plans for the long-term 
  • Extend the rollout of hygiene behavior change activities across the district for workers and their families and reach a critical mass of households that know and practice good WASH behaviors 
  • Support households to move to the next sanitation stage after becoming open-defecation free (ODF), so that household environments are also sanitary and safe
WaterAid’s work to empower women to advocate for clean water and to be part of the solution is a vital unlock to creating systemic change and lasting impact in the communities where VF operates.
Gloria Schoch, Executive Director, The VF Foundation & Senior Director, Global Impact at VF Corporation

Watch the film, "Championing sustainable WASH for factory workers and communities in Cambodia" 

The VF Foundation is the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with iconic brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Smartwool®, JanSport® and Dickies®. With its partners, The VF Foundation strives to innovate and problem-solve in collaborative ways to drive transformative, lasting change with the vision of creating a more equitable and sustainable world. Established in 2002, the Foundation has granted nearly $60 million globally to meaningfully improve the communities where VF operates. It’s committed to driving movements for the betterment of people and the planet across its key strategic pillars: championing Worthy Work, embracing Outside Matters, empowering creativity and self-expression as we are Free to Be, and supporting Disaster Relief and Recovery.  

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