Since February we have been working with motivated women on a landfill near the Thai-Burmese border in Tak province to start a rugmaking venture. Given the low incomes garnered by day labor and picking recyclables there, having a new source of income would be a great way to break the current cycle of poverty there.
After providing training and materials for an initial workshop, one pregnant woman named Thin Thin Khaing picked up the idea and began making large numbers of rugs, using materials found on the landfill! (see previous blog post from Izara Arts here)
After three months of dedicated work, Thin Thin has made over 100 rugs and has sold 62 of them. This has provided her family with an additional 1,240 Thai baht of income ($38 USD)...considering that entire families sometimes make 50 baht per day in the landfill, this supplemental business has given her more financial flexibility, as well as prestige within the landfill community. In fact, several other women have seen her success and are now interested in weaving rugs as well!