The Pa Daeng weaving group is a very small group, consisting of six Thai grandmothers. The group was founded ten years ago by Pranorm, a Buddhist nun.
The ‘grandma’s from Pa Daeng’ weave their scarves by hand. Most are made from cotton. They dye the fabric in earthy tones with beautiful natural dye made from the bark of old trees.
In 2005 Pranorm met a woman called Hope Watcharaprecha during a Red Cross meeting. A new cooperation was born involving the weaving group, the Red Cross and the university (via Fai Gaem Mai).
The university ensures the supply of essential materials and knowledge to the weaving group, improving the production of the grandma’s.
The Red Cross ‘Grandma Cares’ helps AIDS orphans in the surroundings of Pa Daeng. ‘Grandma Cares’ finances the primary living conditions and the education of the children.
School going AIDS orphans not only increase their own chances, but also free up the time their grandparents otherwise spend taking care of them – enabling the grandparents to generate more money doing other activities instead.
Hope and the University help the weaving group to sell the scarves. Virtually all income from sales goes back to the grandmothers in Pa Daeng. Five percent of sales flow to ‘Grandma Cares’ to support the AIDS orphans.
When the grandma’s in Pa Daeng are not weaving, they are mostly busy with heavy agricultural work. The products they grow are lengkeng (a lychee-like fruit), lemongrass, corn and of course rice . At the moment, about thirty percent of their income comes from the sale of scarves.
Take a look at the scarves from the Grandma’s from Pa Daeng.
The grandmothers at work [credits: Bjorn Slis]
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