Weaving Skills and Hope

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By Sarah Matsushita – Income Generation Project volunteer

It’s the day before the big relaunch of our Mae Sot Fair Trade Shop. Last night the excitement really started to build when the whole team from our Chiang Mai office arrived in the late afternoon. Lots of chatter and catching up, plus “wows” heard around the building as people saw the renovated shop and new products and materials for the first time.

Today, I spent the afternoon finishing the multi-media presentation with teammate Ta. He did a great job creating the visuals, incorporating recent interviews of our inspiring women artisans in Umpiem Mai camp, stunning photos he has taken along the Thai-Burma border, plus powerful images of refugees escaping the Burmese military.

I’m also finalizing the script for the grand relaunching and the fashion show with Japheth, our marketing consultant and renovation king. Our models include staff and their adorable children, plus friends of WEAVE from all over, including Denmark and the U.S.

The stunning photographs for the new gallery are being hung and they will be sold on the night, in support of WEAVE.

The team has worked long hours to prepare for tomorrow and many have traveled a long distance to support it in person.

I can’t wait to see guests’ surprised reactions when the enter the renovated space, while a powerful sound plays in the background. It’s our hope guests will not only be entertained, but will leave with a better understanding of the plight of displaced women and the courage they possess to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities.