Two years ago, ITDP partnered with three villages in the Hill Tribe area to form the ‘Women’s Cooperative’ utilizing their native artisan weaving as the basis for both economic means, as well as, lifting each other up in community. Their goals are to accomplish the following: microloans, training and development, travel to other villages for new inspiration, new designs in product, and marketing/sales of their artisan weaving.
For every water project done in a village, ITDP is now introducing the potential to join the Women’s Cooperative as another means of economic sustainability. The women who join the cooperative and benefit from the supplies provided by ITDP, give 20% of their sales back into the cooperative, as well as, a percentage based on their income towards a savings account. The savings account is to provide a cash flow for the Women’s Cooperative while providing for individual family emergencies as they come.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Last year, after coming back from The Well Community Thailand Exposure trip, I was left with a huge burden on my heart for helping these women. I wanted them to be inspired, empowered and sustainable within their own beautiful artisan craft of weaving. I shared what the Lord had been putting on my heart and the vision for the Women’s Cooperative in a debriefing of my trip. I shared all that I had learned from these women and what their goals and aspirations were. I was invited to share the vision with the Lanna Foundation board…
After sharing and discussing how we could be of help, the board unanimously voted the Women’s Cooperative in as an official project. In January 2018, we met with the committee members of the Women’s Cooperative in the village, to share our ideas based on their needs, to see if this was something that interested them. We shared about the potential micro loans, new product design and adjustments in existing designs to be more marketable stateside. They were in agreement of this new partnership and most excited about the potential for achieving their goals and aspirations. Although we are in the beginning stages of this project, we are very hopeful of the potential. We will continue to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom. Will you join us in prayer?
What a beautiful Women’s Ministry the Lord is forming through the women of these villages, Lanna Foundation, and ITDP, to further His Kingdom.
Stay tuned as we develop this partnership and sign up for our newsletter to hear about opportunities to support through purchasing these women’s weavings.
Written by Debbie Tingley,
Lanna Foundation Board Member