Thanks to a surprise donation from a church in The Netherlands, we were able to launch our Building Family Dreams economic empowerment program right on time! The last week has been spent making budgets, purchasing supplies and meeting with potential employers and trainers. It's been so exciting to see the joy on the faces of the parents, knowing that this grant, which is so small for us, will change the trajectory of their family's story.
Here are a few business ideas that are coming to fruition:
-A noodle shop and convenience store for the community. This family used their grant money to purchase tables and chairs, a large soup pot with dividers to make 3 different types of soup, shelving, a small fridge and lots of snacks, dish soap, shampoo and laundry detergent to start their business. We purchased everything on Tuesday, and by Friday, they needed to restock! I think they have found their niche!
- Gardening. This is rainy season and in Thailand, plants don't mess around. In just a few weeks, a tree that was cut back to the trunk will be towering over a house and full of leaves and flowers again. The battle to keep the jungle back is constant, and there is always work to be found for anyone with a commercial size weed whacker. With the remaining money from their grant, they purchased supplies to build a pig pen and two baby pigs to raise for meat at the market.
-Sewing. Several women already have the ability to sew, but no machine to use. We connected with In Bloom, a local NGO providing sewing opportunities to low income women with children. In Bloom creates high quality bags that are sold for fair trade prices overseas. After the women complete the training in how to make the various bags, they will be paid per piece completed. So, the potential for additional income is nearly limitless!
The money made from these ventures will provide more money for food and clothing, be saved for future educational expenses for the children, or even put toward the purchase of newer vehicles.
Stay tuned next month for more stories of family empowerment or check out our Instagram and Facebook pages!