Lifelong Learning Foundation (Thailand)
in cooperation with Transrural Trust (England)





Project  scope: this  project aims to empower disadvantaged women who have
been affected by the  Tsunami of 26th December 2004 to develop  creative livelihood
opportunities, diversify income sources to reduce vulnerability to environmental
shocks, and to help them make optimum use of additional household income for
the benefit of their children’s health and education.  The project addresses a common
requirement  for livelihood diversification in tsunami-damaged zones.  Within
the Andaman region of Thailand,  the project is currently active in Trang and Krabi
provinces, and aims to  extend its activities in the coming years.
What the project does:  Drawing on a vibrant local tradition of hand-made  items
using natural sustainable coastal resources such as fish-scales, shells  and plant fibres,
beneficiaries will develop 5 craftwork categories of  high-quality, original, hand-made products
for local and international Fair  Trade markets and so reduce their vulnerability in the face
of underemployment  and the vagaries of the international tourist industry.  Items currently
under review include batik, products  made from fish-scale, banana fibre, cotton
bi-products from the textile  industry, as well as pH-balanced cleaning materials made
at village level. Where appropriate, craft-making is linked  with sustainable tourism
initiatives in order to deliver mutual benefits.
What the project will achieve: The project will result in 5 democratically-controlled
and financially self-supporting women-led craft associations  or networks
with the capacity to serve and represent participants, with a  strong foundation
of village sub-groups, with 5 market-tested products being  made by at least 60%
of participants, access assured to materials, microfinance and markets
through the creation of lasting alliances.  Advocacy will promote widespread use
of  renewable fibres from sisal, banana and coconut to substitute for plastics,
and  will lobby for best practice in evacuation procedures in the case of tsunami
alarm systems being triggered.
Who will benefit: 1,050 disadvantaged women and their  dependants whose livelihoods
were damaged by the Tsunami and who are vulnerable  (Approximately 400 women
in Thailand).  Through dissemination and replication of best  practice, the overall impact
will be wider and last well beyond the project  completion in May/June 2012.
In Thailand, Transrural Trust is working in cooperation with the Lifelong Learning
Foundation in Trang. The country coordinator is Dr Anita Siaw.

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The Lifelong Learning Foundation is a non-profit organization legally registered
with the Ministry of Culture, Thailand. License number: 2/2007.