By Iona Greta, Student Intern, Women’s Capacity Development, from Ateneo de Davao University
One of the best things in life is not just making your own dreams come true, but it’s also helping someone else work towards her dream. Working with WEAVE felt like that; extending one’s self for others, giving and sharing, patience and understanding. I had the privilege of delving into a new realm and learning about the lives of those less fortunate, and I wanted to try to make a difference in their lives the best way I could.
Meeting displaced women and children on the Thai-Burma border made me realize that it’s not about “me” all the time; it’s more of the “we-ness” in us, the willingness to be available to our neighbors in any country.
As we worked with the beautifully-made products handcrafted by the women, I somehow felt connected to them. The products told a unique story of Karen culture—a culture that has been handed down from generation to generation. Stories of struggle and hope for peace, unity and mercy were the things that kept going around in my head.
When you see the products, they never fail to surprise you. The intricacy of the handicrafts made me realize how strong these women are, because for all the things that they have gone through, they have never lost their sense of artistry and humaneness. They’re still hoping for a brighter future.
Seeing the products, being able to touch and feel them, knowing the stories behind their creation, made me think that WEAVE is a blessing for the women who make them. It shares not just the products themselves, but the untold stories of different ethnic groups from Burma which are struggling for their rights. WEAVE is a channel for these untold stories—a channel coupled with helping hands to shed light on the plight of these women forced to flee with their families from Burma’s military rulers.
As an intern, I was honored to be able to work with the staff and to help them the best way I could. As an individual, I urge readers to learn more or even volunteer to help these displaced women and children. Let’s help hand in hand to make the world a better place to live for all women and children. Be a blessing and you will be blessed in return.